Responding to objections to gatekeeping for hormone replacement therapy

Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (12):828-829 (2019)
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Florence Ashley has responded to our response to ‘Gatekeeping hormone replacement therapy for transgender patients is dehumanising.’ Ashley criticises some of our objections to their view that patients seeking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for gender dysphoria should not have to undergo a prior psychological assessment. Here we clarify our objections, most importantly that concerning the parity between cosmetic surgery and the sort of intervention Ashley has in mind. Firstly, we show Ashley’s criticism of our comparison is insubstantial. We then examine their comments regarding the analogy between abortion and HRT, and the language of informed consent. We also scrutinize the data upon which Ashley relies to defend the claim that informed consent without assessment always yields positive outcomes, finding this conclusion to be overstated. Finally, even if Ashley’s arguments were vindicated, the claim that the gatekeeping of HRT is motivated by hostility towards transgender people remains unsupported.

Author Profiles

Daniel Rodger
London South Bank University
Bruce P. Blackshaw
University of Birmingham


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