Carys Moseley comments on the dangerous practice of gender clinics prescribing puberty blockers to children and adolescents.
The mother of a 15-year old teenage girl who was referred to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) for children and adolescents is suing it over the administration of puberty blocking drugs, and, supported by a former clinician, is crowdfunding for support. Several critics have argued that the only way the practice of ‘transitioning’ minors will end is for people to sue the clinics responsible.
The mother, referred to in court as ‘Mrs A’, argues that the administration of these puberty blocking drugs should be stopped until a review has been conducted and more knowledge comes to light about their effect.
The truth is that there is knowledge available about the effect of these puberty blocking drugs, but information that has been collected in the UK by Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the GIDS, is being both misrepresented and ignored.
Tavistock study justifying puberty blockers is fatally flawed
As it happens, the Health Research Authority recently published a report on its investigation of a study conducted in 2010 on this treatment by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. That study was entitled ‘Early pubertal suppression in a carefully selected group of adolescents with gender identity disorders’. It was sponsored by the University College London Institute of Child Health.
The Health Research Authority found a large number of very serious problems with this 2010 study. Several are reprinted below from its report:
The study design did not provide a control arm to measure the effect of the treatment
Recruitment to the study started before ethics approval
Parents and children taking part in this study were not adequately informed of the risks of taking part …
No interim or final report produced as stated in the original research proposal
There was evidence that the study’s interim results were unfavourable, but that these had been downplayed
That all of the participants at the interim analysis had progressed to cross-sex hormones and therefore the puberty suppression was not acting as a ‘breathing space’
The findings from this study have not been formally published, neither as a final report, nor as interim data
Data for this study disclosed to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust at a board meeting on 23 June 2015 suggested that: natal girls had an increase in behavioural and emotional problems after treatment for one year compared with baseline; a significant increase was found in reported self-harm; no significant changes in gender dysphoria were seen
Taken together, these all clearly amount to fatal flaws in the 2010 study of puberty blockers. Nevertheless as Michael Biggs, Professor of Sociology at Oxford University, explains in his critical analysis of the report for the blog Transgender Trend, the Health Research Authority ends up rewriting history to rationalise this appalling experiment. Biggs explains that:
“the 2010 research protocol declared that one of its three aims was ‘[t]o evaluate persistence and desistence of the gender identity disorder and the continued wish for gender reassignment.’”
Such a study would have required a random sample of children referred to GIDS, yet the children who were included were not randomly selected.
Health Research Authority indulges in arrogant wordplay
Biggs draws attention to the fact that the Health Research Authority makes the following statement:
“It would have reduced confusion if the purpose of the treatment had been described as being offered specifically to children demonstrating a strong and persistent gender identity dysphoria at an early stage in puberty, such that the suppression of puberty would allow subsequent cross-sex hormone treatment without the need to surgically reverse or otherwise mask the unwanted physical effects of puberty in the birth gender. The present study was not designed to investigate the implications on persistence or desistence of offering puberty suppression to a wider range of patients, it was limited to a group that had already demonstrated persistence and were actively requesting puberty blockers.”
So all the Health Research Authority has to say is that the Tavistock should have been clearer as to what it was up to with regard to puberty blockers. Nowhere in its report does it suggest that the Tavistock should put a stop to administering puberty blockers to minors.
Should we be surprised at all of this? How could things have degenerated to such an extent that a mother has to take the Tavistock to court in order to protect her own daughter?
Tavistock hired lawyers to silence critics
Recently, the Mail on Sunday revealed that GIDS had hired lawyers DAC Beachcroft to try to force the publishers of a new book criticising gender change for children to reveal its contents to them before publication. The book, entitled Inventing Transgender Children and Young People, is due to be published on 1 November this year. It was serialised by the Mail on Sunday last July.
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust claimed that many of those who contributed to the book would have been employed by it and that it is possible that they had broken NHS rules on confidentiality. The Trust also expressed the fear that the book could contain comments that amounted to defamation of its staff. Finally, the GIDS claimed that it was doing this in order to ensure that debate on the controversy over children undergoing gender reassignment would be conducted in a ‘fair, accurate and positive manner’.
The accusation that the whistleblowers had broken NHS rules on confidentiality has been contradicted by one of the book’s editors, Heather Brunskell-Evans, who says that none were actually broken.
Whistleblowing is defined by the government as follows:
“You’re a whistleblower if you’re a worker and you report certain types of wrongdoing. This will usually be something you’ve seen at work…The wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public interest. This means it must affect others, for example the general public.”
NHS employees are protected by law if they are whistleblowers.
Workers generally are protected by law if they report on the following:
a criminal offence, for example fraud
someone’s health and safety is in danger
risk or actual damage to the environment
a miscarriage of justice
the company is breaking the law, for example does not have the right insurance
you believe someone is covering up wrongdoing
It’s very obvious that criticising decisions to put minors on puberty blocking drugs and to encourage them to live as members of the opposite sex is something that should make NHS employees blow the whistle. However given the way in which the Health Research Authority found very serious shortcomings in the 2010 study of puberty blocking drugs, only to then rewrite the history of the study, it is not hard to see how these whistleblowers might feel that there was a lack of credible support for their concerns within wider NHS bodies and the Department of Health.
Here it is important to say that the very enforcement of transgender ideology in law and public policy has undermined the integrity of whistleblowing by virtue of forcing everybody to lie on pain of losing their jobs. For whistleblowing is based on the moral duty to tell the unpalatable truth about unscrupulous activities despite the costs involved. Transgender ideology on the other hand depends for its very existence upon enforcing by law the lie that people can be ‘born in the wrong body’ and have a ‘psychological sex’ that is different than their biological sex.
Stop experimenting on children!
This is an extraordinary failure of children and adolescents by major healthcare bodies. Children and adolescents have been used in poorly-designed and immoral experiments on their bodies, experiments which are not truly reversible as transgender activists often falsely claim.
The very fact that children are in the GIDS to begin with is the real problem. Domenico Di Ceglie, the founder of the GIDS back in 1989, has written about its history. He admits that from the very beginning the GIDS resisted having a unified goal for children and adolescents referred. What this really means is that they always kept the door open to ‘sex-change’ treatment eventually, or at the very least, ‘social transition’ (i.e. crossdressing and insisting on preferred pronouns).
The war against God’s creation
In so doing, the GIDS has been at war with the way in which God has created and designed human beings as male and female from its very inception. Whistleblowing is not enough here. There needs to be a much deeper and wider searching of consciences among health care professionals, parents, and all who have responsibility for children. None of the whistleblowers are on record as objecting 100% to gender reassignment and social gender change for minors. None of them will admit that the reasons that puberty blocking has been allowed include the fact that ‘gender identity’ has been added to the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK. None of them question whether the passing of the Equality Act 2010, which made gender reassignment a protected characteristic in schools, has led to the sharp increase since then of minors referred to the GIDS.
Until everybody faces up to the reality that these policies were clearly designed to normalise transgenderism, and thus militate against professionals truly being able to help troubled children be reconciled to their bodies, the debate will continue to go around in circles.