The testimonies of medical experts presented during the High Court case involving puberty-blocking drugs have been revealed by the Mail on Sunday.
The experts spoke out against the NHS’s use of puberty blockers on gender-confused children and teens, which led the court to state that most young people could not legally consent to taking the life-altering drugs.
A court order had originally prevented the statements from being published, but the newspaper’s lawyers successfully argued there was “significant public interest” in disclosing them.
Abandoning good practice
Prof Christopher Gillberg, an expert in child and adolescent psychiatry, said giving puberty-blocking drugs was tantamount to conducting “a live experiment” on vulnerable children.
He said: “In my years as a physician, I cannot remember an issue of greater significance for the practice of medicine”.
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
He added: “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.”
Clinical psychiatrist Prof Stephen Levine noted that the rise in demand for gender ‘treatments’ had grown “exponentially” in recent years, but lamented the lack of “critical oversight”.
No other field of medicine where such radical interventions are offered to children with such a poor evidence base
He branded using the drugs on gender-confused young people “experimental”, pointing out they have not been scientifically established as a “safe and effective intervention in the short or long term” for this purpose. He added that there is “no other field of medicine where such radical interventions are offered to children with such a poor evidence base”.
Prof Levine also criticised the shape of wider debate around how gender confusion should be handled from a medical perspective. He complained that discussions were taking place in a “toxic and febrile context” in which “critical and cautious voices are shouted down as transphobic, hateful and engaging in conversion therapy”.
He added: “Such a climate has created an intimidating and hostile environment where silence and acquiescence are the inevitable consequence. It is left to those of us at the end of our careers, who have nothing to lose, to voice our concerns.”
Such a climate has created an intimidating and hostile environment where silence and acquiescence are the inevitable consequence
The professors, as well as a number of other experts, warned the court of the risks of the drugs – which include infertility, reduced bone density, and potentially harming brain development. They explained that medics are failing to warn children and their parents about these risks.
a harrowing, physical destructive experiment on immature boys and girls
They also raised the issue of impressionable children and teenagers with autism who are being led to believe they are transgender by online resources, when in reality they may simply have other “identity issues”.
Conservative peer Baroness Nicholson, who worked for many years in child protection, said that puberty blockers are “a harrowing, physical destructive experiment on immature boys and girls”.
She added: “It closes normal development in favour of a painful life and a curtailed barren future – the NHS should never have allowed such unresearched use of public money on irremediable surgery on healthy bodies.”