Keira Bell is a name that will be remembered. Like Victoria Gillick before her, she argued in the High Court that minors could not consent to certain medical treatment. But that is where their paths differ. In 1983, Gillick lost when the High Court ruled that girls under 16 could be prescribed birth control without parental consent.
Some young people simply need to be reconciled to their biological sex
2020 will, of course, be remembered as the year in which Covid-19 was unleashed on the world. But it is one in which another menace – gender identity ideology – was put firmly in its place, in the UK at least.
The Keira Bell judgment, which said that children are unlikely to be able to give informed consent for taking puberty-blocking drugs, ‘puts trans people everywhere’ at risk. That’s the verdict of Grace Lavery, a professor of English, critical theory, and women’s studies at the University of California, Berkeley. From the other side of the Atlantic, Lavery described the case in an article for Foreign Policy as ‘an unprecedented juridical attack on the LGBT community in the U.K.’ It is, of course, nothing of the sort.
If the Keira Bell judgment did not sufficiently expose the shortcomings of the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) – the only NHS clinic in England for children presenting with gender dysphoria – then another recent study published after that key ruling must surely now trigger a full-blown inquiry.
Keira Bell has won her case against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. As a transgender person, I am delighted for her but I am also relieved for the thousands of children who are chasing the impossible dream that it is possible to change sex.