A Labour politician is backing a change to guidelines that stop young people who have Gender Identity Disorder being treated with drugs to forestall the effects of puberty.
Dr Lynne Jones, the MP for Selly Oak in Birmingham, has lent her support to calls for a change to the rules.
The Sunday Mercury has discovered that at least three children from the UK, one of whom is twelve years old, have travelled to the US for drug treatment.
Two of the children had attempted suicide.
Current guidelines from the British Society for Paediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes recommend that the drugs in question should not be administered until after puberty.
Dr Jones, who is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Children and has been a consistent advocate for gay and trans rights, told the Sunday Mercury:
“As long as halting puberty doesn’t cause irreversible changes for the young person, then we should adopt the procedures common in other counties, such as the Netherlands and the US.
“Each individual case should be treated on its own merit.”
Dr Simona Giordano, a lecturer in bioethics at Manchester University, is leading calls for a change to the rules.
“A US specialist has reported having seen three patients from Britain, all aged 12 to 14, not treated satisfactorily in the UK,” she told the Sunday Mercury.
“Two of the three British patients who have already travelled to Boston had made serious suicide attempts after and during their treatment in the UK.
“Neither have attempted self-harm since. By depriving youngsters this treatment in Britain, we are depriving them relief from extreme suffering and exposing them to the anguish and terror of growing in a body that is experienced as alien.
“The effects of the ‘hormone blockers’ are easily reversible.
“However, other therapies used at later stages, including masculinising and feminising hormones and surgery, are more difficult to reverse and are invasive.
“Current evidence on risks and benefits of ‘hormone blockers’ in children and adolescents does not justify the strong resistance of British specialists.”