The Tavistock Centre in north London treated thousands of young kids, and in many instances, strong medicines were recommended to postpone the start of puberty.
However, the NHS has ordered its closure after a devastating investigation that indicated kids were suffering as a result of having to wait for treatment.
The review’s expert also warned of potentially dangerous adverse effects of ‘puberty-blocker’ medications.
She also expressed worry that the medications might disrupt the maturation of the brain, impairing children’s capacity to exercise judgment.
Her results raise the possibility that people treated at the Tavistock may potentially sue the NHS for compensation.
They might attempt to show that the medicine caused them harm, something clinicians at the center are believed to have said was ‘totally reversible’ despite a lack of proof.
Patients may also argue that they could not have provided informed permission to take the medications since they were unaware of its long-term consequences.
Keira Bell, who transitioned after being administered puberty blockers but then regretted it, previously initiated a high-profile legal action against the Tavistock.
Judges first concluded that children under the age of 16 could not agree to the therapy, but the decision was reversed on appeal.
‘I have been approached by a number of detransitioners who are contemplating legal action,’ said James Esses, co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists.
‘Parents of children administered puberty blockers are already filing class action lawsuits in the United States. It will only be a matter of time until we see similar activity on our beaches.’
‘Gender dysphoria is a mental health disorder that should be treated as such,’ he said, rather than with irreversible medication and surgery.
‘Far too many children have suffered physical and mental wounds as a result of choices we should never have allowed them to make.’
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers’ president, John McQuater, said that there is a “potential for claims,” but only in certain instances.
‘A patient may only seek recompense if he or she has been wounded,’ he said. The legislation does not compel physicians to deliver excellent treatment; rather, it requires healthcare practitioners to exhibit reasonable care and expertise.
‘A colleague professional decides what level of care is fair, and when that standard has gone below that benchmark, that patient has every right to complete redress to help set things right.’
‘I would expect that parents who did not agree with the treatment or attitude may now contemplate a challenge,’ said Stephanie Davies-Arai, creator of Transgender Trend, who expressed concerns on behalf of Tavistock patients’ parents.
‘It’s really difficult for parents because their goal is always to keep a healthy connection with their children,’ she said, adding that in many instances parents were eager for their children to be treated.
According to Barrister Simon Myerson QC, the incident might possibly result in a criminal probe.
He had said that the “next wave of legal action would be in terms of gender identification and children,” and now feels that “closing the Tavistock will speed that process.”
‘It will be interesting to observe which law firms complete the task.’ ‘By June 2023, I foresee a police probe into the Tavistock,’ he stated on Twitter.
‘We’re in the unusual situation where medications supplied to children as safe and reversible do not seem to have been subjected to clinical studies for the reason for which those children got them.’ As a result, informed consent to take them is doubtful.’
‘It is entirely likely that we will see a wave of compensation claims as a consequence of the closing of the Tavistock clinic,’ said Laura Preston, a principle lawyer in clinical negligence at Slater and Gordon, one of Britain’s largest law companies.
‘This is certainly an emerging field of medicine that requires further study and regulation in order to better assist the potentially vulnerable individuals who use the service.’
‘We support the use of independent evaluations to ensure that medical institutions adhere to the high standards that are expected of them.’
‘In this case, the Tavistock clinic was not up to par, possibly putting patients at danger, which calls for an inquiry and the necessity to recompense affected victims.’
Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust stated that the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) was being terminated due to the Cass review’s recommendation for a regional model rather than a single national service, not due to safety concerns.
‘We are not aware of any compensation claims made against the Trust by GIDS sufferers,’ said a spokeswoman.
‘The Trust is proud of its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), which has been supporting children and young people encountering issues with their gender identity development for 30 years. It is a thoughtful and kind service.’
Any claims against the Tavistock would be handled by NHS Resolution, a national organization that handles clinical malpractice claims. According to the most recent numbers, it paid out £1.7 billion in damages to patients in the previous year.