On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence.
As previously reported, Maxine* was encouraged by her school counselor in BC’s Delta School District to identify as a boy while in seventh grade. When Maxine was 13 years old, Dr. Brenden Hursh and his colleagues at BC Children’s Hospital decided that Maxine should begin taking testosterone injections in order to develop a more masculine appearance.
Although Maxine’s mother was ultimately willing to support hormone injections, her father Clark* was concerned about the permanent ramifications of cross-sex hormones. Suspecting that his daughter’s mental health issues might be more the cause than the effect of her gender dysphoria, he ultimately decided that it would be better for her to wait until she was older before she embarked on any irreversible course of treatment.
At that point, Hursh informed Clark that he would begin testosterone injections on the basis of Maxine’s consent alone, claiming that he had a right to do so under the BC Infants Act. Clark promptly sought an injunction to prevent this. On Wednesday, however, a judge deemed Maxine “exclusively entitled to consent to medical treatment for gender dysphoria,” regardless of the opinions of either of her parents.
Further, the court stated that “Attempting to persuade [Maxine] to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria; addressing [Maxine] by his birth name; referring to [Maxine] as a girl or with female pronouns whether to him directly or to third parties; shall be considered to be family violence under s. 38 of the Family Law Act.”