Help force the NHS to provide appropriate safeguards to adults suffering from gender dysphoria
Adult Gender Identity Clinics routinely place young people on a pathway towards irreversible lifelong treatment after just two appointments. Many of these young people are vulnerable with poor mental health and co-morbidities such as autism. There is no requirement for psychological input and should it be requested clinicians have to adopt an affirmative approach to the young person’s beliefs about their gender. These life changing decisions are made against a backdrop of immature brain development and gender fluidity which is not usually settled position until a young person is in their mid-20s.
The brain does not reach developmental maturity in being able to undertake risky decisions until a young person is in their mid to late 20s. Young people on the autistic spectrum have additional vulnerabilities as they often have inflexible thinking, obsessionality and difficulty comprehending nuance. This makes them more vulnerable when they make significant and risky decisions that have lifelong consequences.
We believe that the model of care for young adults with gender dysphoria is profoundly unsafe and urgently in need of additional protective measures and independent review. The concerns raised in the CASS review about the innovative and life changing nature of medical treatment, its inadequate research basis , an affirmative model of treatment and diagnostic overshadowing do not simply cease to become a problem because a young person reaches 17 years old and transfers to adult services. With an increased lack of parental involvement and a shortened and more limited assessment basis these problems are only magnified and safeguards minimised.
An Update on the Judicial Review
Without your help, and financial aid this would not have been possible. Thank you so much for sharing, donating and supporting our initial claim. Since our launch in June there has been significant developments, which I can now share with you.- New claimants have come forward.
- Parent A and myself will no longer act as claimants.
Due to these developments, our team has decided that a new judicial review will be the most effective route forward, placing us in a much stronger position.Gary,rp
Recap on the Case
The concerns raised in the CASS review about the innovative and life changing nature of medical treatment, its inadequate research basis, an affirmative model of treatment and diagnostic overshadowing do not simply cease to become a problem because a young person reaches 17 years old and transfers to adult services.
With an increased lack of parental involvement and a shortened and more limited assessment basis these problems are only magnified and safeguards minimised.
We are asking for the same considerations, safeguards and protection for vulnerable adults, which have since been adopted for under 18’s. These concerns remain and are central to the subsequent legal challenge.
Since launching the action, others have come forward, deeply concerned for their young adult children.
Anna Castle and Ms C have daughters aged 16 and 17 years old who are on the waiting list for treatment and will be set to be seen by the adult clinics. Their case mirrors our concerns that young vulnerable adults, with comorbid conditions are not granted the same protections as under 17s.
Since we sent out our pre-action letter to the NHS on 2nd June it has issued a new service specification for gender dysphoria for children and young people on 9th June. That specification is much more cautious. Puberty blockers are only prescribed in a research protocol. Psycho-social approaches are the primary approach to treatment.
These guidelines apply to paediatric clinics for young people up to 18 years old. But 17 year olds can alternatively receive treatment at an adult clinic under the specifications we seek to challenge – no mandatory psychological intervention and treatment after 2 appointments.
Why should vulnerable adults receive less protection and safeguards just because they have passed the magic age of 17 years old? Not only is this deeply concerning, but is quite plainly bizarre, irrational and discriminatory.
Parent A has had an extraordinarily difficult time due to recent events. Because of this and the response received from the NHS’s lawyer, he as decided that to step back as a claimant. He will continue to support the other parents and emerging claimants that come forward.
The response received from Blake Morgan, the legal firm represented the NHS have rejected my position as a claimant, on the basis that the guidelines have now been changed.
“Mr Heron's complaint appears to be twofold.
Firstly, he considers - in essence - that he did not receive correct medical assessment and advice at the time of his surgery in 2018, such that he was persuaded to undergo a procedure he later regretted.
Secondly, he describes painful and distressing physical consequences of his surgery. He may, depending on the wider circumstances, have a claim for clinical negligence in respect of his treatment but he has not put forward any position that would suggest he has grounds for bringing a public law claim against NHSE.
It is notable that the approach for assessment and diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and the subsequent surgery of which Mr Heron complains, were concluded before the service specifications challenged in the Letter of Claim came into operation.”
In short, this means I don’t have a standing to challenge the NHS existing guidelines, as I underwent medical interventions under now obsolete guidelines. Because of that, there is no basis for me to bring a judicial review as an individual claimant. That is questionable as the approach adopted for me is similar to that in the new service specification.
Nonetheless this is an important procedural objection. I do not want to lose the opportunity to raise my concerns because of procedural objections.
However, the NHS have emphasised that a medical negligence claim is the appropriate course of action for me. This would also be the case for those who underwent treatment under the old guidelines, and have faced harm; they may have a claim.
My own medical negligence action, separate from this is continuing.
What does this mean going forward
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, without you we couldn’t have done any of this.
Your contributions made that possible, and we have raised nearly £12,000. Thank you! All those contributions have been used to pursue the legal process.
Please consider sharing, donating and raising the profile of the new action.
Together, we are standing strong to bring much needed change for vulnerable adults with gender dysphoria.
With you all the way. Good luck from Aberdeen Scotland
NHS is a medical industrial complex that is designed to wash tax money into private hands. But you are asking the
Thank you for doing this. Stay strong.
Good Luck Ritchie
Ritchie I can’t express how brave you are. What a hero.
Admire your courage - stay strong both of you!
Thankyou for doing this! Good luck!
I've seen Ritchie on the Benjamin Boyce podcast, but ive never once heard him mention donations for this legal case. Don't be shy in asking, its going to take money to beat these bastards.
Scandalous and criminal!
Following on from the Cass Report it is clear that our vulnerable adults also need protection when referred to GIDS. Evidenced based, multi-disciplinary approaches to therapy and truly informed consent have to be the bedrock of any such service. Will donate more when I can. From the Mum of a ROGD autistic young person joining the adult waitlist after several years on the children's list.
A much needed review. We need to keep young, vulnerable adults safe from harm and regret.Sally
Thank you for bringing this review. Good Luck
This is extremely important !
Such an important case, this barbarism has to stop. Proud of you, Ritchie.
Good Luck Richie
Well done Ritchie
Good luck, Ritchie. So important.
Thank you for bringing a JR over this important and urgent issue. Our vulnerable children and young adults need protection.
So sorry for the harm done to you, thank you for bringing the case and hope it will protect others coming through the system now.
So much harm has been done by affirming, not checking. I work for the NHS and am ashamed we got it so wrong for people so young
Thank you, Ritchie and Mr A, for your courage in bringing this case. It is time for the NHS to stop commissioning and conducting medical malpractice unevidenced by research, paid for by taxpayers.
Good luck. We need this Judicial Review.
Stop damaging our children!
Thank you. I am so glad you're doing this. You are helping vulnerable young adults by raising awareness of what is a safe and appropriate standard for diagnosis and treatment. And not just in the NHS. This case will raise questions that apply to standards for private care too.
It's time for proper, independent scrutiny
All the best Ritchie and ‘Parent A’. I hope you are successful.
For evidence-based care
The new case law from this case will be important across the world.
Giving here in the hopes that the same will happen in Canada soon. I don't want to see any more young people harmed.
Fully support Ritchie and everyone who has been affected by the poor the practices of gender affirming ‘care’. All vulnerable people need safeguards and protections. We have to stop this experimental ‘treatment’ on vulnerable child and adults. Give em hell!!!!
Thank you for doing this.
Thank you for doing this--it is so important and so generous of you to try to help people to be treated better than you were!