Originally published in Lifesite News
Britain’s policies for giving gender-bending hormones to kids may get a makeover.
The National Health Service (NHS) has announced that an “independent review” of its “gender identity development services for children” will take place this year.
Dr Hilary Cass will head a group examining the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation’s policies related to hormone treatments for children. These include both “puberty suppressants” and “cross-sex hormones.” According to the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will also take part by doing “a thorough review of the latest clinical evidence to help inform the working group’s review.”
Cass told the UK’s Guardian that the group she is chairing will have both medical and non-medical experts. It will have up to 20 members, including members of the public.
The NHS’s decision to review its gender treatment policies for children comes after a well-publicised legal challenge from an ex-patient of the Gender Identity Development Service (“GIDS”), a former employee of the service, and a concerned parent.
Last month, Keira Bell, 23, joined former Tavistock psychiatric nurse Sue Evans and a gender-confused girl’s mother, known only as Mrs A, in bringing the action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS. This foundation runs the United Kingdom’s only specialist programme for children with gender dysphoria.
Bell and her fellow plaintiffs Susan Evans and Mrs A have raised almost £63 000 (R1.2 million) to fund a legal inquiry into the Tavistock Centre. Bell outlined her reasons for joining the suit on their webpage, hosted by fundraising site CrowdJustice.com.
“I have become a claimant in this case because I do not believe that children and young people can consent to the use of powerful and experimental hormone drugs like I did,” said Bell who as a child was assisted by the NHS to transition from being female to male.
“I believe that the current affirmative system put in place by the Tavistock is inadequate as it does not allow for exploration of these gender dysphoric feelings, nor does it seek to find the underlying causes of this condition,” she continued.
“Hormone-changing drugs and surgery does not work for everyone and it certainly should not be offered to someone under the age of 18 when they are emotionally and mentally vulnerable.”
Bell added that treatment for gender dysphoria “urgently” needs to change so it doesn’t put youngsters like herself “on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent and life-changing.”