Hungarian Conservative

The Tavistock Files: the Age of Transgender Lawsuits is Here

As the UK’s largest gender clinic is being forced to shut down while it faces a giant class-action lawsuit on behalf of angry parents, the very future of medically assisted gender transition is being questioned. Douglas Murray called it three years ago.

When news broke that the Tavistock Centre, the UK’s largest and oldest gender reaffirming clinic, operated by the National Health Service (NHS), is being shut down, and over a thousand families are suing it for medical malpractice that caused irreversible damage to their children, the first thing that came to my mind was that Douglas Murray was right. In his book titled The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, Identity, he explored the social, cultural and historical antecedents that gave birth to and have been fuelling some of the most unhinged woke movements of our age and theorized about their possible consequences that can affect our societies as a whole. In one chapter of the book–which was published in 2019–he examined several cases of young people regretting their transition and attempting to return to their original sex, albeit the drugs and surgeries had changed their bodies permanently.

One of the things that were common in the stories of all the broken men and women interviewed by Murray was the feeling of contempt for the medical “professionals” in the field of gender transition. The regretful young people told the same story over and over again: how psychologists and doctors relentlessly encouraged them throughout their journey (never once questioning the validity of their gender dysphoria), and how they were all told that hormone-assisted transition is easily reversible at any time of their lives. A recurrent theme in the testimonies was that, in retrospect, the victims felt it had been utterly absurd to expect a naive child to give “informed” consent to a life-altering decision, especially since they had not been properly informed of all the horrible side effects that were likely come with it. In his book, Murray penned the following prediction, which turned out to be chillingly correct considering what is happening to Tavistock: ‘Among the most hard-nosed but likely arguments for an eventual slowing of the current trans stampede is the growing possibility of an avalanche of lawsuits…The UK, including the NHS, has opened itself up to this eventuality…’

An avalanche of lawsuits could slow down the current trans stampede

Not only was Murray unequivocally right, be he foretold what was going to happen three years before the Tavistock controversy. Back then, of course, he was criticized by left-wing legacy outlets as a ‘right-wing provocateur, blind to oppression’, and many essentially implied that critiquing Murray is a waste of time anyway, since he’s on the wrong side of history. This is the same non-argument we hear over and over again when people justify radically new social trends by pointing out their real or perceived popularity, as if any social progress was an inherently positive force. Well, it seems “history” was wrong this time and now seeks to correct itself. The current mass legal action against Tavistock might only encompass a small portion of transgender cases in the UK, but one can hardly imagine the process will stop now.

To be clear, the lawsuit itself is not the cause of the clinic’s closure, but one of its first consequences. The Tavistock Centre is being shut down because of a quite damning internal report published last month, that shed light on a years-long tendency of medical malpractice within the facility. The report, written by Dr Hillary Cress, uncovered, among other things, that the puberty blockers the hospital staff commonly prescribed for children awaiting gender reaffirming therapy could have the effect of interrupting the process of the brain’s maturing, affecting the victims’ ability to properly exercise judgment even years later, when they have to decide about going forward with more intrusive, life-altering decisions such as gender reaffirming surgeries. The full extent of the possible damages to brain development are unknown, but previous studies have concluded that puberty blockers can reduce the IQ of children by as much as 11 per cent. Furthermore, the children and parents could not have given informed consent to taking these potentially harmful drugs, as they had never been informed about the adverse side effects. The most serious finding of the report is that the professionals of the clinic did not follow any strict guidelines for diagnosing gender dysphoria, instead, accepted the vast majority of cases referred to them by teachers, parents or psychologists at face value and started treatment right away, encouraging and celebrating the possibly mistaken choices of the victims and not once questioning it all throughout the journey. In addition, as I already noted above, despite lack of any actual medical proof that hormone therapy is reversible, patients of the clinic were repeatedly reassured that it was.

The drugs not have been subject to clinical trials

Of course, the report promptly led the NHS to shut down the clinic for now, and is expected to be permanently closed next year. A subsequent police investigation has also been raised as a possibility. But to those who will never stop regretting that they transitioned naïvely at a very young age, the damage has already been done. When the victims understood that they were not alone, as what they had gone through was standard practice at Tavistock, based on the report, the lawsuits started pouring in by the hundreds. As of now, the class-action lawsuit comprises over a thousand individuals and families, all of whom came to regret their transition or certain aspects of it and are seeking reparations. Why wouldn’t they? To say that the clinic operated in a negligent way is a gross understatement. As Simon Myerson, the legal representative of several petitioners, put it, the ‘drugs prescribed to children as safe and reversible appear not to have yet been subject to clinical trials in respect of the purpose for which those children received them. There is thus unlikely to be informed consent to taking them.’

As for what effects these developments will have on the future of medically assisted gender transition is speculative at best. Nonetheless, we can expect positive changes in the field, such as a gradual decrease in the demand for hormonal or surgical treatments for gender dysphoria (and the exploration of other, non-invasive therapy methods), as well as medical professionals being put under stronger social, political and legal scrutiny, not just in the UK, but in other countries in the West, too. The truth–which many conservatives have warned about for years–is finally out, and it can no longer be swept under the carpet. Albeit a painful one, this is a lesson worth celebrating, because it might save countless children from going down the same futile path, led on by the Pied Pipers of progressivism dressed in gleamy white scrubs. More lawsuits are also likely to follow, as awareness of the issue is rising. Tavistock may be just a tiny snowball on the Everest of all those harmed by malpractice in gender-reaffirming clinics, but it can easily bring about Murray’s avalanche in the coming years, changing society’s perception of the whole trans issue at last. For the sake of future generations, I hope it will.

As the UK’s largest gender clinic is being forced to shut down while it faces a giant class-action lawsuit on behalf of angry parents, the very future of medically assisted gender transition is being questioned. Douglas Murray called it three years ago.