The shocking evidence that convinced a High Court judge to effectively ban an NHS gender clinic from giving puberty-blocking drugs to children can be revealed for the first time today.
Until now a court order has prevented the testimony of eminent physicians being made public. But lawyers for The Mail on Sunday successfully argued there was a significant public interest in disclosing the material.
Among the devastating statements that can now be divulged is one from Professor Christopher Gillberg, an expert in child and adolescent psychiatry, who believes prescribing drugs to delay puberty – a first step in gender treatment – is a scandal and tantamount to conducting ‘a live experiment’ on vulnerable children.
‘In my years as a physician, I cannot remember an issue of greater significance for the practice of medicine,’ he said.
‘We have left established evidence-based clinical practice and are using powerful life-altering medication for a vulnerable group of adolescents and children based upon a belief.’
In their statements, Prof Gillberg and other leading medical experts revealed:
Puberty-halting drugs can harm a patient’s brain and bone development;
Clinics are urging gender-changing teen girls to choose sperm donors to fertilise eggs before freezing them;
Medics are failing to warn about the infertility risks posed by puberty blockers;
Children who regret treatment find themselves ‘locked’ into new bodies;
Internet sites persuade autistic children they are transgender when they simply have ‘identity issues’.
The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic in London, also known as the Tavistock Centre, began prescribing puberty blockers to under-16s in 2011. There has been growing concern ever since about the irreversible, life-changing dangers.
Last month the clinic suspended referrals for hormone therapy after judges ruled it was ‘very doubtful’ youngsters could give informed consent.
The High Court also recommended that doctors should not prescribe the drugs to those aged 16 and 17 without seeking the consent of the courts. Anyone who continues to prescribe puberty blockers to under-16s without court authorisation now runs a higher risk of pursuit for clinical negligence.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Sanchez Manning