Medical experts are unwilling to give evidence in gender cases | The Times

Courts are struggling to find experts willing to give medical evidence in family law disputes about young people who want hormone treatment to change gender.

Judges in two High Court rulings this month in disputes over whether puberty blockers or gender-affirming hormones should be given to a person younger than 18 noted the lack of any medical expert in the UK willing to give evidence.
In the first ruling on transgender medical issues that considered the Cass review — which found there was “no good evidence” to support giving young people potentially life-altering hormone treatment — the judge blamed “the toxicity of the debate” for the fact that it had not been possible to get medical evidence.
“Whilst there is a paucity of experts in some disciplines … I have never encountered a case where there was simply no one willing to provide such evidence for the court,” the judge said.
Quoting from the Cass review, the judge said: “There are few other areas of healthcare where professionals are so afraid to openly discuss their views, where people are vilified on social media, and where name-calling echoes the worst bullying behaviour.”
A week earlier, Sir Andrew McFarlane, the most senior family court judge, said in a ruling that there was “very significant concern” over children “accessing cross-hormone treatment from any offshore, online, unregulated private clinic”.
Despite an “extensive” exercise, McFarlane said that it had been impossible to identify an endocrinologist in the UK who was prepared to give evidence.
Paul Conrathe, the solicitor at Sinclairslaw who represented Q’s mother, says that he has spoken to many potential expert witnesses, who express “concerns about being personally vilified and that the grief is not worth it”. In particular he argues that there is a “hostile and intimidating environment for anyone that seeks to question an affirmative approach to hormonal treatment”.

Source: Medical experts are unwilling to give evidence in gender cases

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