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British Medical Association criticised over support for transgender self-identification

(Photo: Pexels/Sharon McCutcheon)

A leading medical body’s support for transgender self-identification has been criticised as a betrayal of biological women.

The British Medical Association (BMA), at its annual meeting on Tuesday, backed the right of trans and non-binary people to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis.

Doctors also came out in support of healthcare for trans and non-binary people under the age of 18, and “in settings appropriate to their gender”. 

During the debate, a motion was passed that calls on the Government to allow transgender and non-binary individuals to provide a witnessed sworn statement instead of a medical diagnosis in order to change their legal gender.

The law currently requires a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before individuals can change their legal gender. 

Reforms to simplify the process were first proposed under former Prime Minister Theresa May, but recent reports have suggested that the Government no longer supports gender self-identification. 

Speaking during Tuesday’s debate, Angela Dixon, a GP from Scotland, said that the BMA should not support medical interventions for gender dysphoric children because they are “far from evidence-based” and could cause irreversible changes to the body, including infertility. 

“Nor should the BMA be supporting legal changes that conflict with women’s sex-based rights,” she said.

“If the BMA is saying that trans women should be treated as women on the basis of self-ID, it impinges on provisions to ensure that women can access healthcare safely and with dignity.”

Instead of gender self-identification, she said the BMA should support “safe and effective healthcare” for trans people. 

Tim Dieppe, Head of Policy at Christian Concern, said the BMA’s position ignored the science. 

“This decision displays an appalling lack of moral authority and a disregard for basic science,” he said. 

“The BMA are betraying biological women who want their status and spaces protected.

“Medics should not want to promote self-identification of gender, sex, or any other medical or biological status. Will the BMA support self-identification of age or species?

“Future historians will marvel at the way medics have moved away from standing up for basic medical principles.

“Medicine can only be based on unwavering commitment to telling the truth, and the integrity of medicine will suffer as a result of this decision.”

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