changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

trans choices January 9, 2013

Filed under: trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 6:03 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Oh go on… we’ve not had a trans blog, and certainly not a political trans blog in a while.

The ‘community is up in arms at present (well they were last night but today most have probably gone back to concentrating on nail varnish and hating all the other trans factions) over the witch hunt of a certain Dr Curtis.

Now… there arent many gender specialists in the country and as far as I know Dr Curtis is the only privately operating gender specialist….. so if you can afford to… if you are disillusioned with the NHS grinding painfully towards your transition… you can go and see Dr Curtis (just off Harley Street).

He will treat you according to internationally approved guidelines… that is… he will treat you as an individual and your transitional path will meet your personal needs – more than can be said for the one size fits all route littered with gatekeepers in the NHS.

Unfortunately…. some complaints have been made. One a ‘child’ of 17 who attended an appointment sans parents -though I can think of no other medical situation where parents MUST be present at that age (Gillick principle and all that).

Another on prescribing.

And a third… an unfortunate regretter…. though given just how many forms you have to fill in to have a double masectomy and how many times you are asked ‘are you sure?’ -it takes a certain sort of mentality to become a real regretter…. but it happens and it’s unfortunate.

For this Dr Curtis is being investigated by the General Medical Council.

Compare his position (which is basically equivalent in someones transition to a GP) to many many other GPs around the country…. the stories of GPs refusing to treat, denying money is available for, laughing at, blocking trans individuals (bear in mind how much courage it often takes to just get into a GPs to talk about it)…. those GPs very rarely get hauled up before the GMC.

In fact most people daren’t complain about the treatment they get on the NHS becuase they fear their treatment will be jeopordised or stopped.

It makes me realise how lucky Jane has been with our GPs who have been brilliant, theyve been patient centred and led in all the contact they have with us and had that carried on to specialist level Jane would have had very little need to go private and see Dr Curtis at all.

If Dr Curtis loses his license then that leaves a gaping hole in the treatment of trans people in this country and certainly not one that can be filled by the lowest common denominator system about to be embarked on when funding disappears with PCTs.

You’d think the likes of the Daily Mail (any excuse to bash da trans) and Charing Cross (self appointed centre of da trans universe) would be happy some people taking their money and shopping around outside the NHS purse.

But no…. obviously not… as god forbid ALL trans individuals would want to be treated as erm…individuals if some of them are.


2 Responses to “trans choices”

  1. Lucy Melford Says:

    I hear that it’s essentially a personal matter behind the scenes, with someone in the NHS camp ensuring that the boot is put in. Professional jealousy, in other words.

    I turned to Dr Curtis, and found him sympathetic and obviously very understanding of my feelings. But I didn’t expect him to be a specialist psychologist, and I was prepared to be referred to one if there was any sign that other things were at work within me apart from gender dysphoria. At the time (late 2008), a three-month minimum period of counselling was mandatory before commencing hormone treatment, and I voluntarily made the counselling carry on, lasting nine months in the end, just to explore all avenues.

    I never thought that I was being rushed into anything, nor that Dr Curtis was taking my money regardless of my actual state of mind. And as you say, there are consent forms to sign. And a pre-op second opinion to be got. And along the way, plenty of opportunity, through umpteen excruciatingly painful laser and electrolysis sessions, to question whether this is really, really what you want.

    Dr Curtis can recommend surgery, but not guarantee it.

    Only the totally sure and toatlly convincing will actually get near the operating theatre. That could mean of course ‘totally sure, but self-deluded’, and if so they will get their op along with the ones who will not regret a thing. The regretters must be convincing enough to fool experienced surgeons and clinical nurses. I can’t really see the surgeons risking their professional standing by operating on anyone who hasn’t already been advised orally and in writing about the expected outcome to the point of boredom. I’m sure would apply the brakes if something didn’t seem right.

    All this said, Dr Curtis faces a formidable problem here, with serious medical politics in the mix.


  2. There are two questions:
    Am I transsexual?
    Will I be happier if I transition?
    It is quite possible for the answers to be Yes, No: but the answer to the second is not a medical question, and the doctors take far too much responsibility on themselves if they answer it.

    And- as transition is the appropriate route for trans folk, the doctors are far too careful to make absolutely and entirely certain that No-one, even responsible adults, get it where it is inappropriate. They find doubt where no reasonable doubt is.

    Far more people are hurt by refusal of treatment than by wrong treatment. But the ones hurt by refusal [Irony ALERT!] don’t matter. They are only trannies, after all.

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