The government-run health system in England has shut down its only youth transgender clinic in response to an independent probe that found health professionals were pressured to unquestioningly affirm a child’s “gender identity” rather than go through the normal process of clinical assessment.
The National Health Service will close its Tavistock clinic by next spring and replace it with regional clinics that take a more “holistic” approach that considers the mental health of children, the Telegraph newspaper of London reported Thursday.
The review, led by pediatrician Dr. Hillary Cass, concluded
the Tavistock clinic was “not a safe or viable long-term option.”
Significantly, NHS England said it is committed to following Cass’ recommendation that it conduct “rapid” research on the use of puberty blockers by young people because there is “insufficient evidence” on their impact.
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The review was launched in 2020 amid concern that there is “scarce and inconclusive evidence to support clinical decision making” in which children as young as 10 were being given puberty blockers.
In contrast, the Biden administration is advocating life-altering “transition” surgery and puberty blockers for youth amid an FDA warning that the hormones can cause brain swelling and vision loss in minors.
The assistant secretary for health, Rachel Levine – a man who now identifies as a woman – has claimed surgeries and puberty blockers are “lifesaving, medically necessary, age appropriate, and a critical tool.”
In an interview with MSNBC this month, Levine said the the Biden administration wants to “empower these youth” to participate on sports teams of the opposite gender and get the surgeries and drugs.
President Biden, meanwhile, spoke directly to “parents of transgender children” in an address in March, telling them that “affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy.”
‘A broad clinical perspective’
In 2021 and 2022, there were more than 5,000 referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust compared to 250 a decade earlier.
Among the Cass review’s recommendations are that “staff should maintain a broad clinical perspective in order to embed the care of children and young people with gender uncertainty within a broader child and adolescent health context.”
A spokesman for NHS England said the ongoing review “will help shape the development of the new model of care, national standards and a new national service specification against which regional services can be commissioned.”