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NHS use of puberty blockers legal challenge begins

PUBLISHED

Legal action is being launched against the NHS over the prescribing of drugs to delay puberty. 

Papers have been lodged at the High Court by a mother and a nurse against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the UK's only gender-identity development service (Gids). Lawyers will argue it is illegal to prescribe the drugs, as children cannot give informed consent to the treatment.

The Tavistock said it had a "cautious and considered" approach to treatment.

The nurse, Sue Evans, left the Gids more than a decade ago after becoming increasingly concerned teenagers who wanted to transition to a different gender were being given the puberty blockers without adequate assessments and psychological work.

Ms Evans said: "I used to feel concerned it was being given to 16-year-olds. But now, the age limit has been lowered and children as young as perhaps 9 or 10 are being asked to give informed consent to a completely experimental treatment for which the long-term consequences are not known."

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Source: BBC News, 8 January 2020

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