How has Mermaids escaped scrutiny for so long?

Sep 28, 2022 by

by Jo Bartosch, spiked:

Finally, serious questions are being raised about the charity’s ‘affirmation’ approach to gender identity.

It’s tempting to wonder what was going through the mind of Dr Belinda Bell when she told a packed court that Mermaids, the controversial trans children’s charity she chairs, ‘[doesn’t] give medical advice’. Because now, less than two weeks since she made it, this claim looks more than a little questionable.

Bell was giving evidence in a case launched by Mermaids against the government regulator, the Charity Commission, over its decision to grant the LGB Alliance charitable status. (Mermaids argues that the LGB Alliance, which advocates for the rights of same-sex-attracted people, is transphobic.) Yet now, it is Mermaids that finds itself under scrutiny from the Charity Commission, following a damning investigation by the Telegraph this week.

On Monday, the Telegraph alleged that Mermaids’ online help centre had, inaccurately, told children as young as 13 that puberty-blocking medication was safe and ‘totally reversible’. The NHS and other leading medical bodies across the world dispute this. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently slapped a warning on puberty blockers, noting a risk of serious side-effects, including brain swelling and vision loss.

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