Current Affairs

Gender reassignment doctor still allowed to practice

Rachel Charman May 25, 2007
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The UK’s leading gender identity psychiatrist has had charges of serious professional misconduct against him upheld.

The General Medical Council found 63-year-old consultant Dr. Russell Reid guilty, but chose not to bar him from the medical profession.

The GMC disciplinary panel declared on Monday that Reid had rushed transsexual patients into treatment inappropriately.

Since then the panel has been debating as to whether this amounted to serious professional misconduct, and what penalties should be exacted.

Reid was accused of giving five patients hormones too soon, and of referring them for surgery before correct assessment of their health or proof had been given that they were transsexuals.

In one case, Reid had prescribed a patient with male hormones despite advice from another psychiatrist.

The patient had wanted a sex change in order to fulfil a fantasy that she was transforming into Jesus.

She narrowly escaped having both breasts removed due to the fact that she had been diagnosed with manic depression.

The patient later claimed that she was not transsexual and had been misdiagnosed by Reid.

Panel chair John Shaw explained that he did not believe that striking Reid off was the appropriate course of action.

According to Guardian Unlimited he said: “The panel does not think it would be in the public interest to deprive the country of an experienced and otherwise well-respected doctor.”

Reid can now only continue to practice under strict supervision in NHS hospitals or GMC-approved clinics.

He faces a possibly multi-million pound claim for damages from six of his former patients for negligence.

Reid is currently retired, but may return to work at a later stage.

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