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Case update 04 October 2021

Healthcare is for everyone

A coalition of civil society organisations has taken the first formal step in judicial review proceedings against NHS England in relation to its unlawful and discriminatory approach to health care for transgender adolescents.

The proposed judicial review is additional to that already commenced by two transgender adolescents and two transgender adults for the longstanding – and deteriorating – breach of the right to treatment within 18 weeks.

The coalition includes Good Law Project whose Legal Defence Fund is funding the judicial review. It also includes the world’s leading authority on hormones, the Endocrine Society; young people’s sexual health organisation, Brook; and trans-led charity, Gendered Intelligence.

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The judicial review makes two points.

First, qualified, expert doctors are forbidden from treating trans adolescents without being subject to a “review group”. However, this is discriminatory because no such procedure exists for the treatment of people who are not trans – and exacerbates the already lengthy delays. Second, the service specification is unlawfully based on the Bell decision in the Divisional Court – which was overturned in the Court of Appeal.

Everyone is entitled to health care.

That health care must serve the interests of patients – as determined by expert practitioners pursuing international treatment protocols in consultation with patients and their families – not the interests of ideologues.

The NHS must not turn the bodies of trans people into a political battlefield.

If you are in a position to support the Legal Defence Fund for Transgender Lives, you can do so here.