The largest youth trans clinic in the world is closing because its methods and results have been found to be deeply harmful to young people’s health.
The U.K.’s Tavistock Centre in North London is being shuttered after being “accused of rushing teenagers into life-altering treatment on hormone-blocking drugs” according to major media reports. This closure comes after an independent in-depth review of the clinic’s practices by Dr. Hilary Cass and leading British pediatrician and former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Dr Cass was asked to conduct this careful, in-depth review by England’s National Health Services (NHS).
Dr. Cass reported to NHS on July 19, 2022 that the current science on adolescent puberty development simply does not support current practices that are being performed on tens of thousands of British children,
We do not fully understand the role of adolescent sex hormones in driving the development of both sexuality and gender identity through the early teen years, so by extension we cannot be sure about the impact of stopping these hormone surges on psychosexual and gender maturation. We therefore have no way of knowing whether, rather than buying time to make a decision, puberty blockers may disrupt that decision-making process.
A further concern is that adolescent sex hormone surges may trigger the opening of a critical period for experience-dependent rewiring of neural circuits underlying executive function (i.e. maturation of the part of the brain concerned with planning, decision making and judgment). If this is the case, brain maturation may be temporarily or permanently disrupted by puberty blockers, which could have significant impact on the ability to make complex risk-laden decisions, as well as possible longer-term neuropsychological consequences.(emphasis added)
The list of concerns demonstrated by current practices at The Tavistock Centre, like many such clinics in the United States, come under the heading of fashionable and unquestioned groupthink dominating clinic practice. There was also a regular practice of inadequate assessment of incoming patients, poor data collection, wholesale acceptance of patient self-diagnosis, insufficient research and intimidation of staff who raised concerns about ideological institutional capture by trans ideologues.
As Quillette correctly reported on what lead to The Tavistock Centre closing,
In plain terms, the verdict against the Tavistock is that its staff allowed gender ideology and experimental drugs to crowd out prudent medicine and exploratory psychotherapy that ought to be open to the full range of possible reasons for a troubled child’s distress. An American-style “gender affirming” treatment model zeroed in on a dysphoric child’s supposedly immutable trans soul, and gave too little weight to a patient’s more earthly issues such as psychiatric disorders, struggles with same-sex attraction, autism, or family trauma.
This clearly is not how science nor medicine is to be practiced. But it is what happens when fashionable and baseless ideology rules the day, which is the fact of the matter with nearly all trans therapy.
The fall of The Tavistock Centre started with a major lawsuit by a young woman named Keira Bell who went through the medical process of transitioning to the “boy” she believed she was. Bell was shocked at how quickly and easily medical professionals just accepted her claim to want to be a man and medicalized that process at age 16. The process was a disaster, and no one would listen to Bell’s concerns as she underwent the supposedly compassionate therapy. She brought a major suit against the clinic and won. As a young adult today, Bell explains,
The consequences of what happened to me have been profound: possible infertility, loss of my breasts and inability to breastfeed, atrophied genitals, a permanently changed voice, facial hair. When I was seen at the Tavistock clinic, I had so many issues that it was comforting to think I really had only one that needed solving: I was a male in a female body. But it was the job of the professionals to consider all my co-morbidities, not just to affirm my naïve hope that everything could be solved with hormones and surgery.
These medical professionals, too absorbed by fashionable theories on gender, seriously failed Bell and tens of thousands of other young people with major psychological issues or co-morbidities. Thankfully, other medical professionals in England took note of the travesty and took action. The Tavistock Centre will be shutting down in the spring of 2023.
That is very good news.
The plan is to replace Tavistock with smaller, localized gender centers anchored in more professional mental health facilities. These new centers will be scrutinized much more closely. And at least serious questions have been raised about the so-called “affirmative model” pushed by gender activists that all claims of gender dysphoria should be fully accepted without question.
Hopefully, this will mark the beginning of hundreds of other such clinics that have sprung up in recent years being forced to shut down.
Photo from Getty Images.