Gender-confused young people risk being misdiagnosed if their sex is changed on their medical records, a doctor has warned.
The paediatrician told The Mail on Sunday that she had seen at least six children, the youngest under ten years old, whose patient information had been altered to record a different biological sex, as well as new names and pronouns.
According to NHS guidelines, patients – including children – can change their ‘gender identity’ on official registration documents by simply writing to their GP.
The paediatrician, who wished to remain anonymous, told the paper: “Recording if someone is male or female is vital in their medical care. Without this information, all sorts of misdiagnosis could take place.”
By way of example, she explained: “If you have a 15-year-old girl who complains of abdominal pain, your first thought is, ‘I hope she is not pregnant.’
“But if that teenager is presenting as a boy, you would obviously not be thinking along those lines.”
She also said development problems could be misdiagnosed because vital measurements such as weight and height were “sex-specific because girls and boys grow at different rates and times”.
While the doctor had only seen children who had changed their biological sex with parental permission, The Mail on Sunday reported instances where this had happened without the consent of the parent.
One father contacted the paper to say that he had been unable to find his 15-year-old daughter after she had been taken to hospital following an overdose because the ward had admitted her as a boy.
A mother said she had difficulty making a GP appointment for her 14-year-old daughter when the surgery could find no record of her on their system – it emerged that the daughter’s name and gender had been changed without the mother’s knowledge.
An NHS spokesman told the paper: “Anyone – including under-18s with enough understanding and experience to consent – is legally permitted to request to change their name or gender on their medical records.”
NHS England’s gender identity clinic for children provides guidance on its website for young people who wish to change their “gender marker, pronouns and names” on GP records.
It concludes: “Trans patients have a legal right to change their name and gender on their NHS records and would be able to bring a civil claim against any GP or practice which refused to accede their request.”