UK court blocks parents’ request to stop “non-binary” teen’s double mastectomy

The High Court of the United Kingdom has rejected a legal bid by the parents of a 17-year-old girl to prevent her from getting a double mastectomy. The child identifies as “non-binary”— which LGBT activists define as identifying outside the male-female gender binary — and had allegedly begun identifying as both “non-binary” and “lesbian” at the age of 11. Although children are defined as minors under U.K. law until the age of 18, the judge denied the parents’ request for an injunction to prevent their daughter from having her breasts surgically removed because the girl would turn 18 shortly after the legal hearing and would thus be able to give consent to the surgery imminently. 

According to the daughter, identified by the court as E.E., her parents believe that LGBT people are “evil and satanic,” and she had not dared to tell them of her identity. The parents deny this claim. She ran away from home in November 2022, opting to live in government care. The parents had moved with their daughter to the U.K. “about 14 years ago,” although reporting in The Telegraph does not specify their native country, and no other reporting includes that information. According to The Telegraph, the parents produced a one-sentence report “from a psychiatrist in their native country who purported to diagnose a schizotypal personality disorder in the teenager.” They also cited a family history of mental illness as a contributing factor. 

Despite this, the Hon. Mr. Justice Macdonald also rejected the parents’ request for a psychiatric evaluation of their daughter. The parents told the court that their daughter “suffered from catatonic states, a psychotic episode, and was bipolar,” but the judge ruled that there was “no evidence” that EE was mentally ill. He said that EE had spoken of being compelled to take part in therapy in August and September 2022 and that this bore ‘some of the hallmarks of so-called ‘conversion therapy’’, which is set to be outlawed by the government.” Furthermore, based on the teen’s allegation that her parents opposed her identity, the judge ruled that it would be “wholly disproportionate” to permit a psychiatric evaluation and stated that she should be informed of the outcome of the court proceedings. 

The girl—who uses the “non-binary” pronouns “they/them,” told the court: “I was being emotionally abused by my parents constantly because they would make comments to me about how identifying as transgender means I am mentally ill and they would constantly make homophobic/transphobic comments towards me and say things such as the reason LGBTQ+ is normal in the UK is because they are trying to reduce the population.” She also stated that she believed her “real life” would only begin once she had her breasts removed but noted that the National Health Service waiting list was up to a decade long and private treatment was expensive. 

Justice Macdonald also rejected the parents’ characterization of multiple body piercings and their daughter’s use of a “breast binder” — a tight wrap that flattens the breasts to assist the wearer in “presenting” as male — as “self-harm.” As a matter of fact, the parents are correct — breast binders can cause back pain, shoulder pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fractured ribs. It can also permanently damage tissue, leaving breasts looking like deflated balloons, flat and wrinkled. Due to the transgender movement’s claim that such “treatments” and the subsequent surgeries as “gender affirming,” however, the surgical amputation and deliberate harming of healthy body parts has been reclassified as healthcare rather than self-harm.  


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