A paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics argued that parents must not have rights to care for their children in the context of them undergoing transgender surgeries.
Dr. Maura Priest is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University in Tempe. In 2019, she argued in a paper published in the American Journal of Bioethics that the state should intervene if parents refuse to give consent to their children who wish to take puberty blockers as part of their gender transition. More recently, she published another paper that argues to strip away parents' rights to care for their kids when they decide to undergo gender-affirming surgery during their transition.
Christian Headlines argued that "gender-affirming surgeries" is in fact "gender-denying" as it is surgery that "changes the body in a mutilating and permanent way." According to the report, Priest published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics that goes against ethics to say that parents should not have rights to their children or have any right to interfere unless they fully support or affirm the gender-affirming surgery of their child. The paper argues that doctors should also be "free to treat minors without parental consent and parental influence."
Back in 2019, Priest argued in her American Journal of Bioethics paper that "transgender adolescents should have the legal right to access puberty-blocking treatment (PBT) without parental approval" and that "parental authority should not encompass denying gender-dysphoric children access to PBT." She also argued that the state should bear the responsibility of raising awareness about gender dysphoria among teens.
Now, Priest is taking it a step further by wanting to deny parents of their rights to their kids. But Christian Headlines argues that children's rights are often misconstrued. Katy Faust of What Would You Say argued that while children's rights are "absolutely crucial," it does not mean that "no one, not even their parents should be allowed to interfere with their sexual autonomy" and that "parents shouldn't be allowed to direct their children's education and medical care."
Faust argues that the term "children's rights" has been misused and that while children do have natural rights, parents also have natural rights that make them responsible to care for their children.
Natural rights are defined as "pre-government," which means these rights are naturally inherent in humans: no ong has to give these rights to anybody. These natural rights are also "distributed equally." Faust argued that parents have the "natural rights" to care for their children, which "requires making decisions on their behalf, even at times when they disagree, parental authority flows from parental obligations."
"Parental rights protect that authority, enabling parents to fulfill their obligations in line with the dictates of their consciences," Faust concluded.