Intended for healthcare professionals


Gender dysphoria researchers did not veer from research norms, says ethics review

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 15 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6034
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

The UK Health Research Authority has concluded that the team carrying out a controversial study offering puberty blockers to adolescents with gender dysphoria worked in accordance with recognised practice for health research and, in some areas, such as patient involvement and transparency, were ahead of normal practice at the time.1

The arm’s length body of the Department of Health and Social Care for England found no cause for the study to be reviewed further by a research ethics committee or to be considered for suspension or termination. It also found no cause for concern about the oversight of the study by the sponsor or chief investigator.

Several concerns had been raised about the study “Early pubertal suppression in a carefully selected group of adolescents with gender identity disorders” undertaken at London’s Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.23

The study, which started recruitment in 2011, involved the use of gonadotrophin releasing hormone analogue (GnRHa) to suppress puberty in 44 people aged between 11 and …

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