Psychiatrist Rushed Me Into Having Sex Change, Says Patient
A former patient of the UK’s best-known expert on transsexualism yesterday told an inquiry that she bitterly regrets changing sex and feels unable to live as either a man or a woman. The male-to-female transsexual told the General Medical Council disciplinary hearing into gender psychiatrist Russell Reid that she wanted to go back to living as a man but felt this was impossible following genital surgery.
The patient, identified only as B, said Dr Reid was “too nice a person” and had been too ready to encourage her to have a sex change operation. She said: “I find life very difficult because – how can I explain it? – I don’t want to be female any longer. I’m not gay and I will never be able to have a full relationship with a female again and don’t want a relationship with a male. I get very confused when it comes to even simple things such as choosing which conveniences to use. It is very hard.”
The patient told the panel she blamed Dr Reid for her unhappiness and gender confusion, claiming he had failed to investigate her history of severe depression, which included attempting to kill herself in a car crash, before approving her sex change.
Patient B said she first saw Dr Reid in January 1988 following a series of traumatic events in her life, which included the breakdown of her two marriages, the death of her mother, and redundancy.
But the patient said the consultant psychiatrist never addressed these issues, nor obtained a second opinion. She had been an occasional cross dresser when she was a man, but had enjoyed a normal sex life with her two ex-wives. She said Dr Reid prescribed her with sex changing hormones at her first appointment and never checked that she was living full-time as a woman prior to her surgery in 1989. The sex change “fantasy” was shattered two days after the surgery when her father died, and she began to feel “ashamed”of what she had done.
Over the next few years she saw several other doctors and counsellors, who noted that she was not happy living as a woman. The hearing heard that the death of her male partner in 1992 prompted her to ditch trying to live as a woman.
The GMC is investigating a charge of serious professional misconduct against Dr Reid relating to five of his ex-patients, including Patient B. He is accused of breaching international guidelines on treatment of gender disorders by rushing patients into sex changing treatments.
The inquiry has heard that Dr Reid told one patient that he should work as an escort to pay for his sex change, and continued to treat a paedophile even after it emerged the patient had concealed his conviction for gross indecency against a 15-year-old boy.
Dr Reid, who had a private gender clinic in west London until his retirement in February, has denied providing inappropriate care in relation to the patients and also denies a charge of serious professional misconduct.