A landmark test case to establish whether children can give informed consent to medical treatment for gender reassignment begins in the high court this week. Lawyers acting for Susan Evans, a former psychiatric nurse at the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust, which runs the UK’s only NHS gender identity development service (Gids), and “Mrs A”, the mother of an autistic 15-year-old girl who is on the Gids waiting list, will file papers to commence proceedings in a judicial review brought against the trust and NHS England. At the heart of the case is the provision of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to young people who wish to transition or are considering doing so. “We are essentially seeking to say that the provision at the Tavistock for young people up to the age of 18 is illegal because there isn’t valid consent,” said Paul Conrathe, a solicitor with Sinclairslaw, which is representing Evans and the mother. Providing this treatment – puberty blocking and cross-sex hormones – to any young person who wants them requires, he argues, “a specific order of the court on a case-by-case basis. [The treatment] cannot be delivered as a matter of general approach”. Conrathe suggested the… Read full this story
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