The physicians' testimony that led a High Court judge to ban child puberty ...

The judges examined the experts' testimonies submitted in support of a judicial review launched by Keira Bell (pictured)

The judges examined the experts' testimonies submitted in support of a judicial review launched by Keira Bell (pictured)

The shocking evidence that convinced a High Court judge to effectively ban an NHS gender clinic from giving puberty-blocking drugs to children can be revealed for the first time today.

Until now a court order has prevented the testimony of eminent physicians being made public. But lawyers for The Mail on Sunday successfully argued there was a significant public interest in disclosing the material.

Among the devastating statements that can now be divulged is one from Professor Christopher Gillberg, an expert in child and adolescent psychiatry, who believes prescribing drugs to delay puberty – a first step in gender treatment – is a scandal and tantamount to conducting 'a live experiment' on vulnerable children.

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'In my years as a physician, I cannot remember an issue of greater significance for the practice of medicine,' he said. 

'We have left established evidence-based clinical practice and are using powerful life-altering medication for a vulnerable group of adolescents and children based upon a belief.'

In their statements, Prof Gillberg and other leading medical experts revealed:

Puberty-halting drugs can harm a patient's brain and bone development; Clinics are urging gender-changing teen girls to choose sperm donors to fertilise eggs before freezing them; Medics are failing to warn about the infertility risks posed by puberty blockers; Children who regret treatment find themselves 'locked' into new bodies; Internet sites persuade autistic children they are transgender when they simply have 'identity issues'.

The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic in London, also known as the Tavistock Centre, began prescribing puberty blockers to under-16s in 2011. There has been growing concern ever since about the irreversible, life-changing dangers.

Last month the clinic suspended referrals for hormone therapy after judges ruled it was 'very doubtful' youngsters could give informed consent.

The High Court also recommended that doctors should not prescribe the drugs to those aged 16 and 17 without seeking the consent of the courts. Anyone who continues to prescribe puberty blockers to under-16s without court authorisation now runs a higher risk of pursuit for clinical negligence.

The shocking evidence that convinced a High Court judge to effectively ban an NHS gender clinic from giving puberty-blocking drugs to children can be revealed for the first time today

The shocking evidence that convinced a High Court judge to effectively ban an NHS gender clinic from giving puberty-blocking drugs to children can be revealed for the first time today

Before reaching their decision – viewed as a victory for common sense by many parents – the judges examined the experts' testimonies submitted in support of a judicial review launched by Keira Bell, who was born female but began questioning her gender identity at 14 and began taking puberty blockers at 16 after referral to the Tavistock. Now 23, also had a double mastectomy, which she now regrets.

Prof Gillberg warned that the lack of clinical understanding of gender dysphoria – a mismatch between an individual's birth sex and the person they feel they are – is so acute that the profession is 'dealing with a live experiment on adolescents and children'.

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The court papers said the Tavistock had seen a 60-fold increase in requests for its services in the past 15 years. Judges were told there had been a sharp rise in the number of girls aged 12 to 17 requesting help and they outnumbered biological males wanting to transition by two to one.

Experts cited the influence of the internet and social media sites that 'disproportionately pressure girls' struggling with their sense of identity and body image.

Medics warned there was a 'disproportionate number' of children across the world claiming trans identities who were in care, adopted, autistic, anorexic or had psychiatric or mental illnesses.

Haunting stories of those scarred by sex change treatment

The court was given harrowing testimonies from dozens of young women who wrote of how their lives have been ruined by sex change treatments.

Judges heard how over the past decade there had been a huge rise in the number of girls identifying as male, and that 70 per cent of adolescent referrals to the Tavistock clinic were female.

Expert witness Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of parent campaign group Transgender Trend, compiled the accounts from online posts. They came from young women across the world who refer to themselves as 'detransitioners'. Ms Davies-Arai blamed the worrying rise on social media, 'selfie culture' and society's increasing sexualisation of young women. She said this was leading girls to become obsessed with their body image and 'fear' becoming women.

One woman who underwent sex change surgery, Lucy, said she felt 'mutilated' afterwards.

She wrote: 'I'm horrified that when I went for the hysterectomy they didn't emphasise to me how important these organs are. Now it's too late. I'm 23 and I am basically in menopause and all the health implications that come with that.

'I can't comprehend how doctors could let this happen.'

Another young woman told a news website that she was 'traumatised' by the sex change operation, saying: 'I had chest surgery. It was botched and I was left with terrible scarring.'

A detransitioner called Lee said on an internet blog post she was given powerful drugs by a doctor with

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