A U.K. clinic that prescribed puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children for years now faces the possibility of lawsuits from upwards of 1,000 families.
The United Kingdom’s only “dedicated gender clinic”—that is, a clinic that does nothing but transgender procedures—for youth was ordered to close following allegations by a whistleblower and an independent review of the facility.
The BBC reports that the health staff at the facility “felt under pressure to adopt an ‘unquestioning affirmative approach'” to children with gender dysphoria, and that the clinic failed to consider other mental health problems that these children might have.
BBC highlighted the case of 25-year-old Keira Bell. As a teenager, the clinic prescribed her puberty blockers and testosterone shots. At 20 she underwent irreversible transgender surgery. Since then, she has changed her mind and argued that the U.K.’s gender clinic “should have challenged her more over her decision to transition.”
Now the Daily Mail reports that the clinic could face lawsuits from upwards of 1,000 patients and families “who claim they were rushed into taking life-altering puberty blockers.”
The Daily Mail reports,
Dr. Hilary Cass told NHS England there is no way of knowing if the medication may ‘disrupt’ the process of children deciding on their gender identity, rather than ‘buying time’ for them.
She also raised concerns that the drugs could interrupt the process of the brain maturing, affecting children’s ability to exercise judgment.
Her findings raise the prospect that patients treated at the [transgender clinic] and their parents may now sue the NHS for compensation.
They could try to prove they were damaged by the medication, which staff at the centre are said to have claimed was ‘fully reversible’ despite a lack of evidence.
The patients may also claim they could not have given informed consent to take the drugs given the lack of knowledge about their long-term effects.
Last year Karolinska Hospital in Sweden, one of the world’s most renowned medical establishments, decided to stop prescribing puberty-blockers to minors.
The hospital noted that giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children “should be regarded as experimental.”
Finland’s Council for Choices in Health Care has reached the same conclusion as well, writing, “In light of available evidence, gender reassignment of minors is an experimental practice.”
In July the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added a warning label to puberty blockers after six girls developed symptoms of tumor-like masses in the brain.
In 2021 the Arkansas Legislature passed the Save Adolescence From Experimentation (SAFE) Act. The law protects children in Arkansas from puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-change procedures.
Unfortunately, the ACLU and others filed a lawsuit against the SAFE Act last summer, before the law officially took effect.
U.S. District Judge James Moody temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the law while the lawsuit progresses.
Arkansas’ Attorney General asked the Eighth Circuit to lift his order so that the state can start enforcing the law right away. Earlier this summer a three-judge panel heard arguments in that case.
Evidence is mounting that puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-change procedures are dangerous for children.
With that in mind, we believe our federal court system ultimately will uphold the SAFE Act and let Arkansas protect these children.
Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.