Press Release 01/2020

Transgender identity in children and adolescents

At the public evening event "Bioethics Forum" on 19 February 2020, the German Ethics Council will discuss the ethical aspects of an appropriate social and medical approach to transgender identity in children and adolescents.

According to information from counselling centres in Germany, the number of children and youths who feel that their gender identity is at odds with the sex assigned to them has risen sharply in recent years. There is public controversy about what conclusions should be drawn from this and, in particular, which medical and psychotherapeutic options are appropriate.
The event will focus on the disputes over different approaches and the challenges for the children and adolescents concerned as well as their parents from a medical, psychological, ethical and legal perspective.

Lectures and a panel discussion will present the knowledge and experience of experts in child and adolescent psychiatry, medical ethics and medical law as well as of persons concerned and relatives.

In addition to the scientific evidence that recommends or advises against specific treatment options, the benefits and harms of action or failure to act will be discussed from an ethical perspective. Furthermore, the particular vulnerability of children and adolescents requires a specific legal consideration. How are the welfare and will of the child to be interpreted in this context? Under what conditions are minors legally and ethically entitled to decide on the administration of puberty blockers or counter-sex hormones?

The German Ethics Council cordially invites the public to follow the event via video livestream at

The lectures and contributions to the discussion including recordings will be available on the same site shortly after the event.