Detransitioned UK man, parent of trans child take legal action against NHS Adult Gender Clinics to demand more safeguards

Detranistioner Ritchie Herron, 36, announced on Twitter that he and the father of a 21-year-old trans-identified male are bringing a judicial review against the UK's Adult Gender Clinics. The two are trying to get a judicial review into the safety of the National Health Service (NHS) treatments for gender dysphoria in those under 25-years-old. 

"The review aims to challenge the failure of the NHS to provide appropriate treatment and safeguards for adults suffering from gender dysphoria," the post said.

Legal papers are being served to the Secretary of State for Health Steve Barclay, the Minister for Equalities Kemi Badenoch, and Dr. Hilary Cass who conducted a review of the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). The Cass Review led to the total reevaluation of gender clinics for minors, and a shut down 

According to the Sunday Times, the father, who wishes to remain anonymous, is hoping to stop the genital-removal surgery that his child has been booked to undergo. The two claim the care provided is "unsafe," especially to those on the autism spectrum, such as Herron and the father's child. 

Those with autism are more likely to be treated at gender clinics they wrote in the legal action. The report also noted that more than 8,000 young people are currently on the waiting list for the Tavistock Clinic. Which is England's only NHS gender clinic for children. 

The two set up a fundraising website for legal funds that says, "Adult Gender Identity Clinics routinely place young people on a pathway towards irreversible lifelong treatment after just two appointments." 

"Many of these young people are vulnerable with poor mental health and co-morbidities such as autism," the report continues, "There is no requirement for psychological input, and should it be requested clinicians have to adopt an affirmative approach to the young person’s beliefs about their gender."

"We believe that the model of care for young adults with gender dysphoria is profoundly unsafe and urgently in need of additional protective measures and independent review," it concludes. 

Herron, now 35, was 25-years-old when he decided that the struggles he was facing were from gender dysphoria. He said, "After years of coping with a plethora of crippling mental health issues, stemming from being unable to accept myself as a gay man and living with undiagnosed autism; in my early twenties I appealed to the NHS for help. I was quickly diagnosed with depression, and a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as addiction issues."

"The moment I was diagnosed with OCD, I was also hit with a new obsession," he said. "the idea that all my struggles were due to Gender Dysphoria. I found an online community that agreed, celebrated, and venerated every step of my transition. I believed my body was being poisoned by testosterone." 

In 2018, at the age of 31, Herron underwent a penile inversion vaginoplasty surgery. "Today, despite multiple follow-up surgeries, my scar lines still weep, occasionally becoming inflamed and causing crippling pain," he said of the complications he suffers since the surgery. 

"We deserve a safety net, we deserve to be challenged in our beliefs before we make irreversible decisions that have huge lifelong consequences, we deserve to be caught and cared for," He said. "We do not deserve to be punished for asking for help, by being castrated and gaslighted into a way of thinking that isn’t our own. It is a matter of urgency that the treatment offered by adult services is reviewed and that safeguards are put in place."

Herron wrote for Human Events that he was, "captured by the idea that I was less than perfect." He continued, "The solution to my imperfection was to be laid on a path that would lead to a degree of unimaginable self-destruction, through irreversible surgeries that have turned me into a lifelong medical patient, reliant on synthetic hormones, as well as being under constant supervision for ongoing complications related to the deeply invasive surgery."

He described the "Gender Utopia," which is promised so much by online spaces as a "group-led psychosis," that "ignores objective reality."

Referred to as "parent A" on the fundraising site, the Father describes how his son informed a mental health professional out of the blue that he was trans at 13 years old. He was prescribed puberty blockers as soon as he turned 16. 

Feeling hopeless after being threatened with losing custody of his child he said, "This is the path of affirmation. As a parent, I am deeply concerned to protect my son. I am shut out. A system with such limited safeguards, providing a radical experimental treatment with life-long consequences and driven by an aggressive ideology, is deeply broken." 

"It is structurally unfair to people like my son, whose autism makes him more likely to seek the answer to his problems in this radical treatment. He needs more protection not less," he concluded. 

In response to the actions, a spokesman for the NHS said, "NHS England has received a pre-action judicial review challenge letter, which we will respond to accordingly."

They continued, "The NHS published service specifications for adult gender dysphoria services in 2019 following a three-month public consultation. The final version of the specifications were informed by advice from various UK medical bodies including royal colleges of medicine, health regulatory bodies and NHS Trusts.”

The Tavistock Gender Clinic in London is set for closure after a review of care conducted by Dr. Cass showed their model of treatment leaves young people "at considerable risk." 

Image: Title: Ritchie