'This is a case snagged in one of the thorniest controversies of our time.
A mother of a teenager with autism, born 'Katie' but who now prefers to be called 'Jon', has joined forces with a former nurse to take legal action against the NHS children's gender clinic, the Tavistock, over its use of 'experimental' puberty-blocking treatments for youngsters.
The mother, who is known only as Mrs A to protect her child's identity, and the nurse, Susan Evans — who herself worked at the Tavistock — believe the clinic is unlawfully administering hormone blockers which halt puberty in gender-confused children but whose long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown.
The pair are asking the clinic to stop treating children with these drugs unless a court decides in each case that it is in their best interests.
The two women have accused the Tavistock and Portman NHS trust, which runs the gender identity development service (Gids) in North London, of misleading families over the treatments, arguing that children and their parents are not adequately informed of the risks.
If their proposed action is unsuccessful, they are demanding a judicial review (where a judge examines the actions of a public body) into 'unlawful' hormone-blocking treatments at the clinic.
The Mother's story
My teenage daughter wants to be a boy, for us to call her Jon, and to wear male clothes. She hopes to take powerful drugs to stop the growth of her breasts, already flattened with a cloth binder worn night and day which she bought online.
In her quest to stop being female, she is to go to the Tavistock clinic, where thousands of children are referred for hormones which, I suspect, harm their fertility, future sex lives and developing brains. No one really knows the truth about these drugs, even in the medical world.
My love for my dear daughter is unconditional. But our family is in turmoil, torn apart over what to do next. Her nine-year-old cousin is so traumatised by my child's distressed behaviour that she has asked if she, too, has to become a boy when she reaches her teens.'
Read more: Sanity strikes back: When an autistic teen asked to change sex, the school, GP and psychologist agreed (of course) - but now the mother takes legal action against Tavistock Clinic with support from Tavistock nurse
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