Children are unable to give informed consent to medical interventions for gender dysphoria, a former psychiatric nurse has said, as she launches a landmark legal challenge.
Susan Evans says the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) is rushing children into life-altering decisions. Many of these are often autistic.
She says she is concerned that gender-confused children are being offered “experimental treatment”.
Evans, a former employee at the clinic, is bringing the case to the High Court alongside the mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is waiting for hormones from the clinic.
They say providing puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors is illegal because under-18s cannot give valid consent.
“children as young as perhaps nine or ten are being asked to give informed consent to a completely experimental treatment for which the long-term consequences are not known”
The psychotherapist said there was “tremendous pressure” on GIDS staff to intervene and that certain “‘support’ groups and charities” seemed to be having undue influence.
She pointed out that some senior staff at GIDS “have also been on ‘teams’ at certain charities such as Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence”.
Nine or ten-year-olds
Speaking to the Today programme, Evans explained how she was uneasy about the drugs when they were being given to 16-year-olds.
“But now the age limit has been lowered and children as young as perhaps nine or ten are being asked to give informed consent to a completely experimental treatment for which the long-term consequences are not known”.
She also pointed out that, without medical intervention, the large majority of children “convinced they are the other sex” come to accept the body they were born with.
In the past three years, around 35 clinicians have resigned from the clinic.