How not to report on puberty blockers

The BBC has a shockingly bad and reckless article by LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte on the Tavistock ruling.

The NHS gender identity service is appealing against a High Court ruling that restricts children under 16 from accessing “puberty-blocking” drugs.

The NHS service says the move harms young people with gender dysphoria.

Doctors and parents have told the BBC the ruling could cause distressed trans teens to self-harm or even take their own lives.

And trans young people have been giving their reaction, with one calling the ruling “honestly terrifying”.

That’s the reckless bit. It’s widely agreed that it’s a very bad idea to report “X will cause Ys to commit suicide” this way, because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We get eleven paragraphs on a 14-year-old who attempted suicide, full of despair and preference for death, which is just the way journalists are told not to report on the subject. All this is to underline the claim that the ruling is a threat to children and that puberty blockers are not.

A clinician who currently works within the NHS GIDS, told the BBC her patients are now being left alone to deal with distress.

“The young trans people I’m talking to now are experiencing deeply distressing mental health problems,” she says.

“To be a young trans person nowadays requires a bigger fight than ever, but most of the trans people I see do not have any fight left in them.”

The clinician wanted to remain anonymous, because of the backlash that could come as a result of her speaking out.

She says: “I know of several young people who have tried to take their lives, some successfully, and that was before these legal challenges which will only slow down and block our services even more.”

There it is again. The clinician is not so much “speaking out” as making wild and reckless suicide threats on behalf of her patients.

Dr Adrian Harrop, a GP from Liverpool who has defended the right of children to begin transitioning, says trans young people have now had “the rug pulled from underneath them”.

“It makes me terribly worried that there is now nothing there for those children, and nothing that can be done to help them.

“Parents are being left at a point where they’re having to struggle to cope with these children who are in a real state of distress and anxiety. Sadly, there is a very real risk of seeing more suicides,” he adds.

Harrop is a GP but he doesn’t know better than to promote suicide this way. The whole article is one long suicide-promotion. The BBC seems to have lost its mind.

In a letter seen exclusively by the BBC, GenderGP – one of the only private healthcare providers for transgender people in the UK – calls on NHS England’s Medical Director for Specialist Services, James Palmer, to take urgent action.

The letter asks him to provide “interim solutions to prevent harm”. It adds: “The mental health implications of this cannot be underestimated, and the risk of self-harm and suicide must be acknowledged.”

That’s the last para; suicide is almost the last word.

Responses are rolling in.

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