IN A landmark judgment that will have repercussions around the world, the High Court ruled on Tuesday that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are experimental treatments which may not be given to children in most cases without application to the court.
The judgment concluded that it is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would ever be competent to give consent to being treated with puberty blockers and very doubtful that children aged 14 and 15 could understand the long-term risks and consequences of treatment in such a way as to have sufficient understanding to give consent.
The court also ruled that it would be appropriate for clinicians to involve the court in any case where there may be any doubtas to whether the long-term interests of a 16- or 17-year-old would be served by the clinical interventions of blockers and hormones.
The judgment is vindication for Sue Evans, who raised concerns about the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust more than fifteen years ago, and the claimants, Mrs A and Keira Bell.
The judgment is also vindication of Transgender Trend, which intervened in this case particularly on the issue of the recent unprecedented rise in the referral rate of teenage girls and the specific cultural context within which the most vulnerable young people are now suddenly adopting a transgender identity. The judgment reflected some of the concerns they raised about the failure of the Tavistock GIDS to ground medical intervention in evidence and objective science.
It is a damning indictment of clinical practice at the GIDS. The case was decided on facts and evidence known to the Tavistock, and ultimately on the lack of facts and the weakness of the evidence in the Tavistock’s defence. The GIDS lacked even basic data on children who had been given puberty blockers. In the court judgment the judges expressed ‘surprise’ in the following areas:
· In respect of the ages of children treated with puberty blockers between 2011 and 2020, the data has not been collated for each year.
· In respect of the number or proportion of young people referred by GIDS for puberty blockers who had a diagnosis of ASD or any other mental health diagnosis, the data has not been collated and there has been a lack of investigation or analysis.
· In respect of the proportion of those on puberty blockers who progress to cross-sex hormones there is no data available, even for those who commence cross-sex hormones within the GIDS itself. Children were not tracked into adult services.
The GIDS puberty blocker ‘trial’ did not even track outcomes.
The judgment established the salient facts about puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones:
· Puberty blockers are not ‘fully reversible’;
· Puberty blockers do not ‘buy time’, they are the first stage of a medical pathway very few children come off;
· There is no evidence that puberty blockers alleviate distress;
· The pathway of blockers and cross-sex hormones has serious physical consequences, including the loss of fertility and full sexual function, with profound long-term risks and consequences;
· The treatment is experimental.
The most damning evidence of complacency in the service is the fact that the GIDS offers troubled adolescents no alternative therapeutic treatment pathway. Far from being a last resort treatment, blockers and hormones are the only treatment for children with complex histories and mental health conditions. This is the result of a service that operates on the basis of ideology in place of clinical standards.
This case has shone a light on the worst and most unforgivable result of the institutional capture throughout society by the gender lobby: the medical experiment on children’s healthy bodies, with serious irreversible and lifelong consequences.
It raises serious questions not only about the Tavistock’s service, but about the transgender lobby groups that have influenced the NHS and pressured the Tavistock into providing these treatments for children at ever younger ages.
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust is a Stonewall Diversity Champion, as is the Care Quality Commission which judged the Tavistock service ‘good’. A senior clinician at the GIDS was a member of Gendered Intelligence, a lobby group the GIDS has worked with. GIRES (Gender Identity Research & Education Society)
has produced training resources for the Royal College of General Practitioners. All these groups promote the ideology of ‘gender identity’, none are qualified doctors or clinicians.
On the basis of Tuesday’s landmark judgment, the government needs to take action to remove all transgender guidance and resources from schools and social services departments to safeguard children and prevent any further teaching of this ideology to children as ‘fact’. The Health Secretary must take steps to curb the influence of these lobby groups and eliminate ideology from medical theory and practice. Government departments, health bodies and schools must cancel their membership of the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme.
Proper therapeutic pathways need to be developed within a psychoanalytical model that can be delivered by professionals already trained in counselling troubled young people. Children must be treated as children, not as political mascots for an ideology. ‘Gender identity’ must be removed from the UKCP Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy, and therapists and counsellors must be given back their freedom to do their jobs properly and offer children a normal duty of care.
As a society we must ask ourselves how we allowed this to happen. The threats, bullying and the silencing of alternative views must stop here. The right judgment has been handed down in the High Court. But we should never have had to learn about the dangers of institutional capture in this way.
We are indebted to Transgender Trend’s reporting of this verdict. https://www.transgendertrend.com/keira-bell-high-court-historic-judgment-protect-vulnerable-children/