WHO Should Go Back to the Drawing Board
on its Transgender Health Guidelines

We, the undersigned, strongly object to the World Health Organization's (WHO) biased panel tasked with creating new transgender health guidelines. Of the 21 panel members, over three-fourths are transgender activists. The few physicians either specialize in HIV or are “gender doctors.” There is currently a worldwide explosion of teenagers wishing to undergo a sex change; WHO’s stated plan to promote hormones and “legal recognition of self-identified gender” will harm innumerable gender-dysphoric youth, gays, lesbians and other women. WHO must cancel this group's first planned meeting in February and go back to the drawing board.


WHO Should Go Back to the Drawing Board

We call on the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in, rather than preempt, an open and transparent dialogue about the scientific and societal implications of gender dysphoria treatments, the importance of biological sex, and the best way to protect trans-identified individuals without sacrificing protections for other vulnerable groups including women and children. Such a dialogue requires that a diversity of perspectives from experts and stakeholders be heard, that the public be given sufficient time to weigh in, and that the guideline development group (GDG) take the time and care necessary to understand all the risks, benefits, and unknowns involved, rather than arriving in Geneva with their minds already made up.

On December 18, 2023, WHO announced that it will be developing a guideline on "the health of trans and gender diverse people." WHO also published the names of the 21 guideline panel members who are scheduled to meet from February 19-21, 2024 at WHO's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. As part of that announcement, WHO opened a brief window for public comment, scheduled to close on January 8, 2024.

The signatories to this online Petition have many grave concerns about WHO's announcement. These concerns, addressed in greater detail below, include:

  1. Biased guideline development group (GDG). The current panel is highly biased in favor of "gender-affirming" approaches, with an absence of critical perspectives. The majority of the panel members have expressed strong views in favor of hormonal and surgical interventions for transition, dismissed known and potential risks associated with these interventions, and denigrated psychotherapeutic approaches as "conversion therapy". The panel does not include any experts in child and adolescent development or any critics of the affirmation model. Detransitioners and desisters are also excluded. Given the panel's composition, there is strong reason to believe that the guideline will be similarly biased.
  2. Perfunctory public consultation period. WHO opened a brief window (just three weeks) for public comment at a time of year when much of the world has unplugged to celebrate the holidays. This suggests a lack of interest in gathering the public's input.
  3. Rushed guideline development process overall. The group's meeting to make key decisions has already been scheduled for February 19, 2024. This does not provide sufficient time to create a balanced panel, commission independent reviews, and synthesize the evidence - let alone issue responsible recommendations.

A. Biased panel composition.

A cursory internet search into the positions and views held by the 21 guideline panel members finds that most have denigrated exploratory therapy as “conversion therapy" while promoting a highly medicalized “gender-affirming” approach. Three-fourths of these members are either trans-identifying individuals, members of advocacy organizations like Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE), or members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), including multiple former WPATH presidents and executive commmittee members supportive of that organization's medicalized approach to managing gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults.

Some members have failed to properly disclose conflicts of interest in their publicly shared profiles. For example, Teddy Cook served as Vice President of AusPath - a fact not mentioned in his biography contained within WHO's announcement. We also note with concern that WPATH endorses the so-called "informed consent" model of care requiring no psychological assessment whatsoever, and in its most recent Standards of Care (SOC-8) removed nearly all age restrictions for hormones and surgeries while promoting the unevidenced view that minors can identify as "eunuchs".

Given the highly polarized nature of gender medicine, conflicts of interest (COIs) are unavoidable, especially regarding intellectual positions held. However, WHO has a responsibility to fully disclose and balance such conflicts among members to ensure they produce unbiased guidelines. There should be as many pro-affirmation individuals on the GDG as there are members concerned about its potential harms. There should be a diversity of stakeholders, not just in terms of geographic location (which WHO did achieve) but also regarding their professional backgrounds and perspectives.

We wish to express our deep concern regarding the care of gender-questioning children, adolescents, and adults. Important questions remain unanswered, concerns regarding risks and unknowns are mounting, and the science is far from settled. The explosion of adolescents and young adults identifying as transgender and seeking life-altering interventions (and the concurrent shift in patient demographics) is poorly understood. These young patients are overwhelmingly female, typically have no history of childhood gender dysphoria, and often present with serious neurocognitive and psychiatric comorbidities. Rising numbers of detransitioners show that medical practice in this area is flawed and that some patients are being harmed rather than helped. Any guideline recommendations made by WHO must therefore address the needs of this complex and vulnerable group. The GDG as constituted, however, does not include a single detransitioner, desister, or expert working with these cohorts.

While a biased WHO guideline is likely to have little impact on countries with strong public health authorities already adhering to the principles of evidence-based medicine (e.g., England, Finland, Sweden), it will have a detrimental effect on other countries where the debate is just emerging (e.g., Australia, Germany, the United States). In addition, it will likely have a negative influence on public health in developing countries that do not have the resources or expertise to invest in a quality guideline development process, and who have come to rely on WHO guidance for defining and promoting best practices.

B. Brief and perfunctory public consultation period.

WHO provided a very short window for public comment (Dec 18th-Jan 8th) which falls over the winter holidays. During this period, most people are unable to engage with detailed documents and write responses. This is the second instance of WHO creating such a short window for response during a holiday period. The first time, when the original announcement was made in June 2023, coincided with a common summer holiday break and allowed a mere two weeks for public comment. The list of panelists WHO shared at that time was incomplete.

We are also concerned that WHO has already scheduled the panel group's meeting in Geneva in mid-February 2024 when the group will be tasked with making a number of important decisions and recommendations. This would seem to render the public comment period moot, for WHO would be unable to address public concerns about the panel's composition in such a brief timeframe.

This meeting must be postponed until the public has been given ample time to review and comment on the composition of the GDG and its charge to develop recommendations around hormonal and surgical interventions, as well as legal gender self-identification. WHO must address the conflicts of interest that are already apparent by rebalancing the panel's membership. Some members should not be allowed to participate due to extreme intellectual conflicts of interest (which the WHO handbook specifically calls out), while other members' participation may need to be confined to certain areas. In addition, WHO should consider hiring an independent methodologist to assist in the guideline development process.

C. Rushed guideline development process.

The final composition of the panel was only announced on December 18 but, according to WHO, this group will evaluate the evidence and formulate recommendations across a range of topics including healthcare, clinician education, health policies, and laws by February 21. To call this a rushed procedure would be a dramatic understatement. Compare this to the process embarked upon by the Cass Review in the UK, for example - a multi-year effort to address the health care needs of just one patient demographic (under 18s) within a single country (England).

This is lightning-fast speed for any organization, but especially for WHO, which must consult with various stakeholders, commission evidence reviews from third parties, and potentially engage independent experts to help oversee the guideline development process. None of this can be realistically accomplished within WHO's artificially constrained time frame.

* * *

For all the above reasons, the signatories to this Petition call on WHO to appoint individuals with a range of perspectives to the guideline development group and extend the period for public comment to ensure that all voices in this debate have an opportunity to be heard. We request that WHO cancel the upcoming February Geneva meeting for the guideline development group as currently constituted, and address the many conflicts of interest currently in play. We also ask for transparency regarding how participants in the GDG are selected, full disclosure of any conflicts of interest (financial as well as intellectual), and a clear plan for how WHO intends to balance strong opposing views and facilitate dialogue across differences of perspective.

Members must also represent a range of perspectives on the important question of legal recognition of gender self-identification. These issues have profound implications for both trans-identified individuals and society-at-large (particularly the rights of women and girls), and must not be rushed.

Finally, we request that WHO observe its own internal procedures for the development of guidelines, to ensure that such guidelines are trustworthy and credible. All WHO guidelines must rely on the best available evidence. Where evidence is weak, as it is in this area of medicine, guidance must clarify risks and unknowns. If recommendations are made, WHO must make clear whose values and preferences are driving the recommendations and specify what those values are. This is a requirement for any evidence-based guideline.

Deploying the language of evidence-based medicine without actually practicing it is not enough. Gender-dysphoric and gender-questioning patients of all ages deserve better; the unique needs of children, adolescents, and young adults demand particular care and attention -- as do women's rights to safety.

Sign The Petition


3,000 - 4,000 of 12,024

Ebony ODonnell


Eleanor Bowden

Retired high school teacher.

Sara Tyrrel

BSc, MSc

Birgitte Goetzsche

Retired psychologist

Cecilia Menna

medico chirurgo

Sue Laughlin

Retired NHS Manager

Sally Gatt

Clinical Psychologist

Caroline Nolan

Registered Nurse

Edward Drain

Software Development Engineer

Tai Armstrong

Health Visitor

Consuelo Vega Diaz

Empleada publica y escritora

Claire-Anne Wyler

Retired pediatrician

Kathrine Harstad

Senior advisor

Khaled Al Obaidli

MD, Family Medicine Specialist

Suzanne Walsh

Retired HCP & Trainer

Carol Bailey

Concerned member of the public

Floor Plikaar


Rosemary Sloan

Retired Scottish solicitor

Alice Bullard

Ph.D. & Esq.
historian of medicine and law (independent)

Maria Natividad Alvarez Lario

Educadora de menores

Varing Mariann

Disabled woman

Lesley Lye

Retired nurse.

Paul Cornford

Guitar Amp Manufacturer

Jennifer James

EdD Post Graduate Researcher

Silvia Isidro Contreras

Mujeres Abolicionistas de Rivas

Ivan Stevenson

Associate Professor
LGB Alliance Core Supporter

David Habib Martin


Patricia Robins


Sharon Baxter

Concerned citizen

Catherine Bonnet

Child and adolescent psychiatrist

Ana Hidalgo Urtiaga

High school teacher

Bonnet Catherine

Child and adolescent psychiatrist


Concerned professional


RGN/Clinical Nurse Specialist
Concerned professional

David Bertioli

University of Georgia, USA

Kate Souper

Dr (retired)

Cassandra Miller

Biomedical researcher

Miranda Morris


Arthur Newton

English Man

Lisa Sheinin

M.D. FRCP(C) Child Psychiatrist/Psychiatrist

Bonn Feuer

Parent with Klinfelters Syndrome

Yasemin Sannino

GenerAzione D

Patrizia Puccio

Programs Specialist
U.S. Government

Patrizia Puccio

Management Programs Specialist
US Government

Jane Power

Psychotherapist & Supervisor

Kara Dansky

Women's Declaration International USA

Alicia Boluda Albinyana

Public highscool teacher
DoFemCo (Feminist Teachers for Coeducation) ,

Christine Dellen

Retired social worker - mental health

Ginger Banyai-Riepl

Concerned parent

Alexis Krull

B.A. Developmental Psychology

Joanne Smith

Retired RN

Fleming Lizzy

Fleming Lizzy

Fleming Lizzy

Fleming Lizzy

Jacqueline Thomas

Women's Rights Network

Liz Parker

Retired teacher of English

Irene Kovacs

Retired Social Worker

Silvia Bonino

Emeritus professor of developmental psycholog
Department of Psychology, University of Torin

Stephane Mitchell

screenwriter and womens rights campaigner
Concerned parent

Rosa Maria Capo

Feministes de Catalunya

Liz Parker

Retired teacher




Parent and lifelong liberal

Jesper Udsen

High School Teacher

Matthew Train

Consultant Radiologist
Fellow of The Royal College of Radiologists

Mette Friis


Nina Wright

Retired Psychotherapist


Universitaire Emerite

Jeffery M. Cleghorn

Gay rights activist

Dr Jean Ann Ruane

Rtd Mental Health Nurse & Lecturer in Forensi

Didier Fleck


Howard Gutowitz

PhD, Biophysics

Victoria Hall

Nurse Practitioner

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton

University of Neuchatel

Saramichell stultz

Woman, mom, educator, critical thinker

Anna Stoll-Knecht

Universite de Fribourg

Lewis Ferris

Catholic Medical Asso.

Mirjam Waeffler

Dr. med. Kinder-und Jugendpsychiatrie
Psychoanalytikerin IPA

Ignacio Pelegri

Medecin, Specialiste FMH en Psychiatrie et
SSPsa (Societe Suisse de Psychanalyse), IPA

Liz Panton

Retired Speech & Language Therapist

Txupi Lerendi

Science Communications

Patricia Morgan

RI Representative

D Henderson

Youth Worker

Lisbeth kristensen

Lisbeth kristensen
Lisbeth kristensen

Lasse Soerensen

MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist

Nana Mallet

Lawyer LL.M

Estoppey Jean-Charles

MD, general practitionner

Marianne Driessen

VOORZIJ - for women

Beatriz Martinez Garres

Licenciada en psicologia

Biner Pierre

militant gay et membre AMQG geneve

Caroline Scherf


Dr. M.D. den Ouden

NIP-registered psychologist

Daniela Dago


Daniela Dago


Liliana Crepaldi


Marsha Inman

Friends and Family Director
Living Hope Ministries

Max Dashu


Ulrich Geisler

Pediatrician, Dr.med.

Gregorio Segovia

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Gregorio Segovia

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Lorraine Butcher

Lorraine Butcher
Lorraine Butcher

Beatrix Schwaiger

Dr. med. univ.

Einaudi Nicole


Einaudi Nicole

Observatoire la petite Sirène

Nicole Einaudi


Amalia Tesoro Amate

Psiquiatra jubilada

Amalia Tesoro


Nicole Einaudi

Child psychiatrist

Maria Grazia Pini

Psicologa psicoterapeuta infantile e adolesce

Ana Fernandez Rojo

Dirección Programas Formación

Maria Grazia Pini

Psicologa psicoterapeuta infantile e adolesce

Susana Sanz

Clinical Psycologist



Maria Grazia Pini

Psicologa psicoterapeuta infantile e adolesce

Susana Sanz

Clinical Psycologist

Julie sirois

Intervenante Sociale


HR Assistant

H. Hernandez

Radio libertaire Admission Femmes libres

Jane Henderson


Dominique Chatton

Private practice

Frank H Hilton Jr.

Retired attorney

Adele Realini


Francisco Carmona Herrera

University of Barcelona

Dr Marie Louise Irvine

General Practitioner

Tracy Sundlun

Womens Sports Policy Working Group

Victoria Go

Parent of a desister

Hervouet Chantal

lesbienne feministe

Piet Houtman

Drs in Theology (MTh), retired

Jane Thevenin

Teacher (ret)

Yesenia Celeste Pumarada Cruz

Ph.D. in Latin American History

Bleuzet Isabelle

Lesbienne feministe

Elise Collins

Remember - First, Do No Harm

Lysanne Couture


Marie Wright


Lysanne Couture


Carlos Vila Gorge


Margaret Ruth Johnston

Psychotherapist (retired)

Jens Jakob Riis


Mariah Burton Nelson

Womens Sports Policy Working Group

Maria Angeles Tiburcio Porras

Public Administrator and IT Manager

Mathis Medrano

Travail Social

Mathis Medrano

Travail Social Suisse

Regina Laguna



Department of Education

Guyonnet Corinne

Psychologue sexologue

Guyonnet Corinne

Psychologue sexologue

Charlotte Revely

Women's Rights Network

Hiba Daaboul

Regional Finance Head
Nestle Nespresso

Rosa Conde

Civil servant



Megevand Sophie

Bibliothecaire scientifique

Alexandra Penso

Clinical Psychologist

Heather Ketenci

Natural born female

Angel Hernandez

Medico pediatra

Amber Redish


Dorte Toft

own business

Jillian Hinds

Women's Rights Network, Derbyshire

Alain Nebout


Pilar Sola Asensi

Stage manager

Marco Leonti

University of Cagliari

M Mckenzie

Medical educator



Peter Norman

Translator and Reviser (retired)
Former Gay Liberation activist



Roman Tepner



Group of french parents of gender questioning

Gabrielle Clark

Desistance Coach
Affirming Reality

Katie Alcock

Lancaster University

Xavier Brachet

CEO and Father

Miriam Grossman MD

Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist

Jacques de Haller, MD

Past President, Swiss Medical Association FMH

Alison Moon


Karen Austin

Occupational Therapist

Daniel Halperin

Pediatre FMH
Ancien privat-docent a la Faculte de medecine

Nina Katrine Tryggvason

Federal Canada Government Regional Security O
Federal Government of Canada

Nina Katrine Tryggvason

Federal Canada Government Regional Security O

Fabio Cattaneo

Dr med - endocrinologue

Juana Gallego

University Professor

Louis Pretorius

Louis Pretorius
Louis Pretorius

Ricardo Fernandez


Ra Ha

Parent of a daughter with gender issues

Belissa Cohen

Journalist/LGB Activist

Patrick Parkinson

Emeritus Prof.
University of Queensland

Ela Ferris




Helena tejera puente

Emergency doctor

Iratxe Alvarez

Voorzij, The Netherlands

Rebecca King


Purificacion Lopez Velazquez

Licenciada universitaria

Naomi Greene


Arga Sentis


Pamela Garfield-Jaeger

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Cornelia Schum

MA Geografy BA Theology

George Halasz

Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Nancy Rubenstein

VP, The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (P

Nancy Rubenstein

VP, The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (P

Colin Bradley

Psychiatric Nurse

Colin Bradley

Psychiatric Nurse

Colin Bradley

Psychiatric Nurse

Patrick Parkinson

Emeritus Prof.
University of Queensland

Isis Alina Klinken

Student of Catholic Theology

Georgina Toye

Dr (Biomedical science research)

P. Schwarze

None, only the safeguarding of women, childre

Margo van der Voort van der Kleij

Retired Child Care Director
Member of Matrix Guild of Victoria

Ann Cuddy

Adult Human Female

Yanjun Wang

Mother; Software Engineer

Marie Picard

Health care / parent of 2 trans identified in

David Bolea

University Professor

Salonika Neupane

Psychologist, Lecturer

Zanne DAglio

Womens Declaration International

H. Morin


Carolyn Burjoski

Ontario College of Teachers

Carolyn Burjoski

Ontario College of Teachers

Angela Woodward

Occupational Therapist


Concerned and Vigilant

Robert Anderson


Nicholas Osmond-Jones

Small business owner

Chris Daniels

Managing Director
Healthcare Finance

David Hayes

Tetra Firma Teaching Alliance

David Hayes

Tetra Firma Teaching Alliance

Elliott Sarpy

Elliott Sarpy

Edward Foster

Concerned Father and Husband

Mary Ceallaigh


Vhey Benet

Writer/Feminist/Adult Human Female

Peta Melbin

Retired MH nurse

Max Christopher John Stenner

SDP Dorset Cooedinator

Dariana Ferre Artigas

Pharmacy technician.

Helena Monforte Calvo

Trabajadora Social

Susana Paz


Cristina Recio Diaz

Auxiliar administrativo

Catherine Anderson-Karena

Executive Director
Active Watchful Waiting Incorporated

Natasyha Miller

House wife

Elizabeth Vandy-Mines

Former Teacher and now an Artist
Concerned former teacher and parent

Elizabeth Vandy-Mines

Former Teacher and now an Artist

Luis Rodero

Teacher (retired)

Luis Rodero

Retired teacher

Tania Sturt

Standing For Women NZ

Myra Brown

Registered mental health nurse

Marli Dietrichsen

Concerned parent

Jane Bennetto

Retired children's nurse

Saskia Gildawie

Parents Watch Education Glasgow

Jill Livestre

adult female

Marie Weisz


Rachel Richards

Rachel Richards
Rachel Richards

Victoria Martleton

Registered Nurse

Terence Martleton

Concerned parent

Carmen Lanagran Haro

Trabajadora Social

Rose Medina


Rose Medina

Podcaster MSSW

Marie-Line Bretin

Professeur de philosophie


Associazione di Genitori

Victoria Rodriguez

Informatica de gestion



Eva Casero Armero

Psychologist and lawyer

Juan Fernandez


Nieves Sebastian

Civil servant

3,000 - 4,000 of 12,024


SIGN THE Petition


Email Address will not be displayed on list of Co-Signers.