Science, Abortion & the Effectiveness of Adolescent Medical Transition

Florence Ashley

It is sometimes argued that adolescent medical transition is ineffective and unethical because its mental health benefits are unproven. Drawing an analogy to reproductive healthcare, Florence Ashley (they/them) argues that this misrepresents how we justify definitional medical interventions — that is, interventions that are sought for their own sake as an instrument of self-definition and autonomy over fundamental aspects of personal identity. Understood as definitional medical care, adolescent medical transition is effective if it brings about the desired physiological changes and is ethical unless proven overwhelmingly harmful.