Medics fear losing their jobs for upholding the reality of biological sex, a Peer has warned.
In a House of Lords debate on the Health and Care Bill, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne said that radical LGBT ideology was exposing staff and patients to accusations of transphobia.
One doctor, she recounted, had told her that “he no longer feels able to make comments about sex and gender. He recently delivered a baby, said it was a girl, and was accused of transphobia.”
Lady Nicholson was speaking in support of an amendment to protect women-only spaces in hospitals.
Relating the first-hand experiences of staff, Lady Nicholson said: “Nurses tell me that they feel inhibited in doing their jobs and are afraid to speak out for fear of being called bigots or disciplined through loss of their job.
“I have met several nurses who have lost their jobs because of this.”
She told how a staff nurse had explained to her that “her NHS trust policy makes it impossible for her to do her job. She is obliged to advocate for the vulnerable, but trans rights supersede all other rights and concerns, and if she speaks out, she is challenged.”
The Peer gave several examples of how patient safety had been compromised: “A cervical smear test of a 14 year-old whose mother requested a female nurse could not be done.
“The child left because it was very clearly a natal male who came forward to offer the service.”
She also said: “recently, on a respiratory care ward, a male patient got into the bed of a female patient.
“The woman was so distressed that she refused to wear the necessary breathing apparatus in case it stopped her being able to escape a similar situation.”
She told the House of her “grave concerns” over the Bill’s proposal allowing men who self-identify as women to be accommodated on female-only wards.
“Surely”, she argued, “human rights are about the dignity of each person; they are not the privilege of the few to the detriment of the many”.
the privilege of the few to the detriment of the many
Lady Nicholson, however, feared that the current NHS “gender bias”, of favouring “mainly males in women’s settings”, was undermining the “privacy, dignity and safety” of vulnerable female patients.
She also contested the idea, on scientific grounds, that “sex is assigned at birth, when it is noted and recorded, and that sex can be changed through a mix of operations and continuous hormonal drugs”.