Doctors “forced to carry out sex change ops”, says the Daily Mail

I’m coming a couple of days late to this as the Daily Mail thoughtlessly published their piece whilst I was offline at the weekend, but it’s still worth a blog post to clarify the issues. According to an article they’ve run, (Caution: Daily Mail Link) Doctors are being “forced to carry out sex change ops” under “new guidelines” by the General Medical Council. (GMC)

(Edited to add: The GMC guidance is available on their web site. (PDF Link). The relevant piece is the footnote to paragraph 5 on page 3)

Firstly, these are very specialised surgeries and you can’t just rock up to an operating theatre and carry one out without quite a bit of training and it’s not an area one accidentally stumbles into. I only know the surgeons practising vaginoplasty (I.e. for transwomen) but there are perhaps two or three who do any significant number in the whole of the UK – Phil Thomas, James Bellringer and possibly if he’s still practising, Tim Terry.

The idea of being “forced” to carry out such an operation is ludicrous. The guidelines are there simply to prevent GPs from blocking patients who want to access these services, not push people into specialisations they don’t want to pursue.

Secondly, this is not new but just clarifying the GMC’s existing view. The GMC made it clear at a meeting in January that they regard this as bad practice already. (I do not entire agree with this stance, as getting care for Trans people often requires a GP willing to fight on the behalf of their patients and go that extra mile)

Oh, there’s some random bleating about how the marginalises Christian medics. They need to get over that obsession that followers of one particular incarnation of the gods are being persecuted, as Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on being transphobic. You don’t even need to be religious to be prejudiced.

So pretty much the usual level of accuracy we’d expect from a Daily Mail post on Trans issues, really.

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