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  • Courrier international

Transidentity. The Tavistock Clinic, the story of a British "medical scandal

In this north London institution, the specialist service for children in distress about their gender identity is to close its doors in the spring, after years of controversy. In a long-awaited book, BBC journalist Hannah Barnes traces the ethical battle surrounding, in particular, the prescription of puberty blockers.

It's the story of a "machine gone out of control", warns The Sunday Times, of a "medical scandal", for the Financial Times. It's the story of the Tavistock Clinic in North London. After three years of "non-judgmental" research, based on dozens of interviews with doctors and patients, journalist Hannah Barnes published a book on February 23 that has been reviewed by numerous newspapers across the Channel. The subject of her investigation: the controversial trajectory of this public institution where children "disoriented by their gender identity" have been cared for since 1994.

The Sunday Times explains: "The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) supports young people who do not recognize themselves in their biological sex." Set up in 1989, this entity attached to the NHS (the British public health system) joined Tavistock five years later. But as time went by, a feeling of unease gripped the carers, notes Hannah Barnes. "Did these children's malaise stem from their gender dysphoria?" she writes in Time to Think, the title of her book, one of the most eagerly-awaited literary releases of the new year. Or did their gender dysphoria come from their malaise?"



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