02.03.2024

Anger flares at the controversial Tavistock Clinic over a sex change operation for a young person who cannot read or write

Fresh questions were raised last night about a controversial NHS clinic after it emerged that a young person with 14 mental health conditions and who cannot read or write has been approved for gender surgery.

Conservative peer Lord Goldsmith branded medics at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust ‘utterly barbaric’ and said they should be ‘locked up’ for carrying out procedures akin to ‘lobotomies’.

The case of the troubled 22-year-old emerged in court papers as it was argued that ‘misgendering’ had contributed to the failure of their education. Known only as AI to protect their identity, the individual who is transitioning from female to male took Wandsworth Council to the High Court, through solicitors, for allegedly failing to cater for transgender young people with special educational needs.

The judgment in the case revealed that AI cannot read or write following a ‘chaotic’ childhood with a mother who was a ‘recovering drug addict’ whom he saw ‘subjected to domestic violence’.

AI was looked after by his disabled grandmother, went into the care system as a teenager and had a ‘long history of disrupted schooling’.

A former governor of the trust that runs the Tavistock, quit in 2019, saying it should not be ‘hurrying’ young people ‘down the path of no return’

A former governor of the trust that runs the Tavistock, quit in 2019, saying it should not be ‘hurrying’ young people ‘down the path of no return’

The judgment continued: ‘He has a total of 14 diagnoses and continues to have complex needs. His difficulties have been medically described as Mild Mental Retardation, Attachment Disorder, Emotion Dysregulation, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder, dyslexia, severe anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and low self-esteem.

‘In 2021, he was diagnosed with disturbance of activity and attention, minimal impairment of behaviour and reactive attachment disorder of childhood.’ AI was referred to the Tavistock – whose gender clinic for young people was rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors and earmarked for closure last year – aged 14 and has now been approved for body-changing surgery.

The judgment added he would need ongoing support.

Fears have been raised in recent years that vulnerable teenagers have been rushed into taking puberty-blocking drugs and undergoing irreversible surgery at the Tavistock. Lord Goldsmith wrote on social media: ‘This young person has been diagnosed with 14 mental health disorders.

‘The response from these ghouls is to chop up her body and fill her with hormones. How is this different to lobotomies? These professionals are utterly barbaric and need locking up.’

Pictured is a general view outside The Tavistock Centre on July 29, 2022 in London, England

Pictured is a general view outside The Tavistock Centre on July 29, 2022 in London, England

Marcus Evans, a former governor of the trust that runs the Tavistock, quit in 2019, saying it should not be ‘hurrying’ young people ‘down the path of no return’.

AI accused Wandsworth Council of breaching its duties by failing to secure him special educational provision, and failing to consider his placements may have broken down because of gender discrimination.

The judge concluded that the town hall had ‘paid careful attention to AI’s requirements’, rejecting his claim.

But Judge Mrs Justice Foster wrote: ‘The circumstances of his early life are significantly distressing and can only provoke profound sympathy.’

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