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Ethics – Pseudo-medicine

January 2018

Recent figures from the Tavistock Clinic, Britain’s only NHS gender identity service for under-18s, showed referral rates have rocketed from just 97 in 2009 to more than 2,000 in 2016-17, with 1,400 last year from girls.

One parent told the Mail on Sunday anonymously that, two years ago, she received a call from her 15-year-old daughter’s school requesting an urgent meeting, because the teenager was claiming she was ‘stuck in the wrong body’.

She discovered the school had referred the matter to the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, where a psychologist diagnosed the girl with early signs of depression. However, the girl was passed on to an NHS ‘family therapist’, who, after a 40-minute assessment, decided to refer her to a gender identity clinic. The girl’s mother demanded that the whole process be slowed down.

While accepting her daughter’s claims, she also was concerned about her daughter’s mental health, especially as a gay male friend had been bombarding her with hundreds of Instagram messages.

These messages said the daughter was ‘ugly’ as a girl, and encouraged her to take testosterone and bind her breasts. The therapist dismissed this bullying as a joke. Despite a complaint against him and a change to a new therapist, the daughter, now 17, has gone ahead with gender conversion medication.