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Trans woman on hunger strike after treatment refused

PinkNews Staff Writer May 12, 2009
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A trans woman from Nottingham has been on hunger strike for a week, saying she will die if the NHS does not fund her gender reassignment treatment.

Debbie Davies was born male but has lived as a woman for 18 months. She says she has bought her hormone therapy pills online until this month but cannot afford to buy them anymore.

She alleges she was told by Notts County Primary Care Trust that the NHS would not fund her treatment, the BBC reports.

“It is the only way I can get the message across to the PCT about how important this is to me,” she said.

“By no means do I want to end my life – it’s not a suicide attempt. I don’t have a life if I don’t do this, if I don’t become complete – there is no life to live.

“It just feels like the onset of a cold at the moment. I get tired easily, I would kill for steak and chips.”

“I’ve paid £25,000 out of my own money and I haven’t got anything else – the health authority have some responsibility to support and treat me,” she added.

Amanda Sullivan of Notts County PCT said: “We are sorry and concerned to hear Debbie is on hunger strike.

“We have offered to meet with Debbie and we would prefer to resolve this through communication.

“We’ve asked for a review across the whole of the East Midlands.

“We have a body of clinical experts who are reviewing in detail the way in which we treat people who want gender reassignment – we are keen to have a consistent approach.”

The outcome of the review is expected at the end of this month.

Trans groups in Yorkshire are to lobby MPs next week over “draconian” patient rules at Leeds Gender Identity Clinic.

Trans Yorkshire and Press for Change claim that the clinic insists on “complete compliance” during treatment, rather than promoting an atmosphere of health and wellbeing, and such requirements are in breach of human rights laws.

Related topics: England

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