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Expert Rings Alarm Bell: 'Experiments on Children' at Transgender Clinic

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Expert Rings Alarm Bell: 'Experiments on Children' at Transgender Clinic Britain’s Gender Identity Development Service clinic has come under fire for its approach to treating children with gender identity issues. The bottom line of the concerns by the former staff, whose names were not used in the report, was that gay children were being wrongly diagnosed as transgender. Because of that diagnosis, they were given hormone blockers and then, at the age of 16, irreversible cross-sex hormones. The staff members’ concern was that an irreversible course of action was being taken without a thorough understanding of the problems of the youths being treated. Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre of Evidence-based Medicine at Oxford University, was quoted by The Times as saying, “Given paucity of evidence, the off-label use of drugs (for outcomes not covered by the medicine’s license) in gender dysphoria treatment largely means an unregulated live experiment on children.” These are not the first questions aimed at the clinic, the only one in Britain solely devoted to gender identity. The clinic saw 94 patients in 2010, but that rose to 2,519 last year, The Times reported. It also reported that in the past three years, 18 clinical staff have jumped ship. Heneghan has said there needs to be a regulator to oversee the clinic, known as the Tavistock Centre, the BBC reported. He has said there is too little data on outcomes. Concerns were voiced by Marcus Evans, a psychoanalyst and governor of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust that oversees the clinic, when he resigned. In a follow-up report, The Times said that the Royal College of Psychiatrists would develop new guidelines for treating the gender identity concerns of young people.

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