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After the Cass Review: Free Speech Lessons from the Tavistock and Beyond

July 9 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm BST

After the Cass Review: Lessons for Free Speech from the Tavistock and Beyond

Tuesday 9th July, 7.30pm until 9pm, followed by a drinks reception.

IN-PERSON tickets: The Council Chamber, Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ.

ONLINE: £5 using this link to purchase an online ticket. FSU Members can join free of charge using the link provided in member emails.

Speakers

Sue Evans, retired nurse and practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapist, first Tavistock Clinic whistle-blower in 2005.

Dr Michael Biggs, Oxford University, pioneering researcher into the Tavistock GIDS experiment with puberty blockers.

Dr David Bell, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, former staff governor and whistleblower at the Tavistock Clinic.

Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder and director of Transgender Trend, the first UK organisation to question the sudden rise in numbers of children who were identifying as ‘transgender’.

Professor Michele Moore, expert in Inclusive Education and Disability Studies, co-editor of two ground-breaking books on the phenomenon of ‘transgender children’.

When the Cass Report was published in April 2024, it was immediately recognised in the UK and abroad as a game-changing intervention in the debate over the treatment of children who express confusion about their gender. Led by eminent paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, the systematic review was the most extensive and thoroughgoing assessment ever undertaken of the ‘transgender care’ pathway provided by the Tavistock and Portman Trust’s NHS-funded Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). Devastatingly, Dr Cass and her team concluded that there was no robust evidence base for the ‘affirmative’ treatment thousands of children and young people have received, including the prescribing of ‘puberty blockers’ and cross-sex hormones.

The exposure of this medical scandal was fought for, long and hard, by many who suffered for their commitment to medical ethics and safeguarding children. The first member of staff to raise concerns about treatment at the Tavistock Clinic was Sue Evans back in 2005, but she, and others after her, experienced serious attempts to silence them within the clinic, across related professional bodies, in universities, publishing, the media and public life.

The Free Speech Union is honoured to bring together an expert panel, including whistleblowere Sue Evans and Dr David Bell from the Tavistock Clinic, who risked their careers and much more to pursue the truth. This is a unique opportunity for us to learn the lessons from the Cass Report and the Tavistock scandal: that open inquiry and freedom of speech are essential to protecting us from pernicious ideas.

About the Speakers

Sue Evans was a state registered nurse and psychiatric nurse and has worked in many areas of mental health. She was a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic and during her employment there, she spent a period of years working in the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). When Sue became concerned about the GIDS treatment approach, which she felt was rushing children into hormone therapies, influenced by the involvement of senior staff in charities such as Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence, she tried to raise concerns with GIDS clinicians. Eventually she became a whistle-blower, taking her concerns to the Tavistock Clinical Management. There was an internal inquiry in 2005, but the report published in 2006 was buried (only coming to light in 2019) and in 2007 Sue left the clinic. She and her husband Marcus Evans have played a crucial role since then in challenging activist-driven medicine and co-authored a clinical book on Gender Dysphoria. She was one of the original claimants in the Keira Bell Judicial Review, which allowed 3 high court judges to fully examine the Tavistock GIDS approach.

Dr Michael Biggs was the first to discover the experiment with puberty blockers conducted by GIDS and the first to publish its unfavourable results. His research on endocrinological interventions on children and adolescents who identify as transgender has been published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Journal of Sexual Medicine, and in two edited volumes: Inventing Transgender Children and Young People and Sex and Gender: A Contemporary Reader. He acted as an expert witness in the case of Keira Bell and Mrs A. versus Tavistock NHS Trust (2020) at the High Court of England and Wales, for a case in the Australian Family Court, and for Dekker et al. v. Weida et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. He is Associate Professor of Sociology and Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford.

Dr David Bell is a past president of the British Psychoanalytic Society and worked at the Tavistock Clinic as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst for more than 25 years. In his role as Staff Governor, David was approached by clinicians who were working or had worked within GIDS, raising very serious concerns about its approach and in 2018 he wrote a report to convey these concerns to Tavistock management but they responded by instituting proceedings against him. Dr Bell’s persistence in working alongside other whistleblowers to force a change in approach, eventually led to the Cass Review. He is also a leading psychiatric expert in immigration/human rights.

Stephanie Davies-Arai is the founder and director of Transgender Trend, the leading UK organisation calling for evidence-based healthcare for gender dysphoric children and young people as well as fact-based teaching in schools. She was shortlisted for the John Maddox Prize 2018 for publishing a schools guide supporting gender diverse and trans-identified students in schools. Stephanie was an intervener in the High Court in support of Keira Bell and Mrs A, who brought a landmark case against GIDS in a claim that under-18s are not old enough to consent to treatment with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Stephanie was awarded the British Empire Medal as founder of Transgender Trend for services to children in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list.

Professor Michele Moore has worked internationally for more than 30 years, building research-led expertise to support inclusive education and communities. She is the co-editor, with Heather Brunskell-Evans, of two books which first raised concerns about gender ideology and medicine that are at the heart of the Cass Review: Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body which the Tavistock wanted banned from its library, followed by Inventing Transgender Children and Young People which the Tavistock tried to block with threatened legal action. Because of the concerns she raises about the treatment of children experiencing gender confusion, she has been the target of vicious campaigns by activists for the last ten years.

In the chair will be Dr Jan Macvarish. Jan is Education and Events Director of the Free Speech Union. Before joining the staff of the FSU, she worked as an academic sociologist, studying parenting, family life, intimacy and reproductive health.

There will be an audience Q and A and plenty of time to socialise afterwards at a drinks reception.

In-person TICKETS: FSU Members £10 / Non-members £15 / Age 25s and under £12.

Online Tickets

FSU Members who wish to join the event online should use the link provided in member emails.

Join the FSU today for free speech support and discounted tickets to all events, membership from as little as £2.49 per month.

The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan, mass membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members. Find out more.

Details

Date:
July 9
Time:
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm BST
Event Categories:
,
Website:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/901929604727?aff=oddtdtcreator

Organiser

The Free Speech Union
Phone
020 3920 7865
View Organiser Website

Venue

The Council Chamber
Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street
London, W1W 6JJ United Kingdom
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