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By Joshua Arnold

It’s the “House of Horrors” of gender ideology. The Tavistock Clinic in London, England is the only facility in the United Kingdom performing so-called gender transitions, and it has inflicted them on over 9,000 youth since the 1990s. In 2020, leaked transcripts showed staff concerns about the welfare of children who came through the clinic were suppressed — concerns like, “If I am not wrong, very many vulnerable children have been very poorly treated and will be left with, potentially, a lifetime of damage here.”

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One former patient, who was prescribed puberty blockers at age 16 and, to appear more like the opposite sex, had body parts surgically removed at age 20 (decisions she now regrets), has sued the clinic in the U.K.’s high court for not sufficiently challenging her desire to change her gender.

The number of children at risk is growing exponentially, from 250 in 2011-2012 to more than 5,000 in 2021-2022, a 2,000% increase.

Now, the National Health Service (NHS) has determined to shut down Tavistock’s “Gender Identity Development Service” (GIDS). (In the land of socialized medicine, the NHS runs Tavistock, too).

After the staff concerns were made public, NHS had commissioned an independent review of the facility by Dr. Hilary Cass. Cass’s interim report was published in February of this year. And the results were “damning,” according to The Daily Mail. The evidence indicates a pattern of slovenly record-keeping, spotty monitoring, poor diagnostics, and other marks of poor patient care, all seemingly aimed at placing children on puberty blockers as quickly as possible.

The following are excerpts from the interim report:

  • “Primary and secondary care staff have told us that they feel under pressure to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach and that this is at odds with the standard process of clinical assessment and diagnosis that they have been trained to undertake in all other clinical encounters.”
  • “Another significant issue raised with us is one of diagnostic overshadowing – many of the children and young people presenting have complex needs, but once they are identified as having gender-related distress, other important healthcare issues that would normally be managed by local services can sometimes be overlooked.”
  • “There has not been routine and consistent data collection within GIDS, which means it is not possible to accurately track the outcomes and pathways that children and young people take through the service.”
  • “There is limited evidence of mental health or neurodevelopmental assessments being routinely documented, or of a discipline of formal diagnostic or psychological formulation.”
  • “In the NHS, once young people are started on hormone treatment, the frequency of appointments drops off rather than intensifies …”

The report concluded that Tavistock was “not a safe or viable long-term option” to care for British youth who struggled with the transgender ideology. It proposed instead “a fundamentally different service model … more in line with other pediatric provision.” Instead of sending all children to a concentrated group of gender ideologues whose main ambition is to place them on hormone therapy, the U.K.’s health system will decentralize the treatment, so that normal pediatricians will have oversight.

The report also advised, “Any child or young person being considered for hormone treatment should have a formal diagnosis and formulation, which addresses the full range of factors affecting their physical, mental, developmental, and psychosocial wellbeing.” Children experiencing gender dysphoria often have other mental health problems as well. Under these recommendations, physicians will be required to actually treat those other conditions instead of glossing over it with some hormone therapy.

After 30 years of damage from overly affirming gender identity policy, the U.K. is finally unlearning its mistake, as are FinlandFrance, and Sweden.

So, why is the U.S. embracing what these other countries have abandoned?

It’s not like the secular, liberal regimes, often touted as paragons of progressive policy, are in danger of being taken over by right-wing, religious fundamentalists. No, concern over “gender transition” treatments for minors is coming from their medical communities, as they witness the way it causes harm and erodes standards of medical care.

But in the U.S., Tavistock-style affirmation is the norm. In fact, cities and states are making it a crime to do anything but play along with the reckless fantasy of a gender-confused child. Even as the FDA finds evidence that puberty blockers are causing brain tumors and vision loss, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suppressing debate about the topic that was never allowed to happen in the first place.

The U.K.’s interim report contains much that describes American gender transition treatment: unquestioning affirmation, misplaced diagnoses, tenuous science, shoddy reporting, commitment to ideology over care. The only difference is that the evil confined in the U.K. to a single facility is littered across America from sea to shining sea.

America has imported many ideas from across the pond, often with a couple decades’ delay. Some of the ideas may even have been good (We don’t mind interstates, for example). But American greatness is not based upon implementing Europe’s worst ideas more recklessly. If we must imitate European fads on transgender ideology, let’s wisely imitate their rejection of unquestioning gender affirmation. Their rejection is based upon decades of bad experience. Let’s learn from Europe’s mistakes, not repeat them.

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