Health Alert (Australia) - 5 August 2013


In This Issue:

- Cases

- Legislation

- Reports

- Except from Cases:

Australia. Family Court -

Re: Jamie [2013] FamCAFC 110 -

The child concerned, "Jamie", was born male but later diagnosed with childhood gender identity disorder. At first instance, Jamie's parents sought the Court's consent for her to undertake a two stage special medical procedure involving the administration of puberty-suppressant hormones (stage one) and oestrogen (stage two). The judge allowed stage one treatment but felt it premature to make a decision on stage two.

The point of law requiring determination on appeal was whether treatment for childhood gender identity is a special medical procedure that triggers the Court's welfare jurisdiction under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), thereby requiring its consent to be administered and removing parental responsibility over the decision.

The Court determined that stage one treatment is therapeutic rather than a special medical procedure and therefore lies within the field of parental responsibility. As it is a psychological disease, not physiological, the treatment is reversible and does not carry a serious risk if the incorrect decision is made. Consequently, should the treating medical practitioner, child and parents be in agreement as to the treatment, court authorisation is not required....

Please see full Update below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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