A British man is planning to sue the United Kingdom’s National Health Service for granting him transgender, body-altering surgery without — in his view — considering his mental illness.
As the anesthesia from his 2018 surgery wore off, the now-35-year-old Ritchie Herron recalled immediately thinking, “Oh, God, what have I done?” He opened up about the procedure — which removed his penis and testicles — in a vulnerable interview with the Daily Mail.
Herron, who is homosexual, said he has battled depression much of his life and, as a young person, dealt with feelings of gender dysphoria and ultimately decided, with significant prompting, that physically altering his body was the only answer to his problems. That surgery, which rendered him sterile and incontinent, was the “biggest mistake” of his life, he told the news outlet.
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Many of his problems stem back to two 30-minute appointments with a psychiatrist at the Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service, a branch of the NHS. In 2014, he was diagnosed as “transexual” and was prescribed medication to block his natural testosterone development in preparation for surgery.
Soon thereafter, Herron began dressing as a female and going by the name “Abby.”
He was actually referred for the irreversible surgery in July 2015, just mere months after he had been speedily diagnosed as “transexual.” Unsure, Herron turned it down. He was referred for surgery again in 2017, but, once more, declined it. He was allegedly told then that, if he didn’t accept the referral, he’d be discharged altogether from the NHS Newcastle gender clinic, where he’d received care since early 2015.
The therapy he’d been receiving, he said, was a “lifeline.” So the ultimatum sent him into a “tailspin” and left him feeling as if he had been painted into a corner. He even had family members urge the clinic to consider his history of mental illness, but those warnings reportedly went unheeded.
Feeling as if he had no choice, Herron yielded to the NHS clinic. He went under the knife on May 23, 2018.
“I didn’t even see the surgeon,” he told the Daily Mail. “I was very much in the mindset of, ‘I’m here now, there’s no stopping it, even if I wanted to.'”
Herron believes his harrowing story should serve as a cautionary tale, telling the news website the transgender craze is “an avalanche waiting to happen,” noting there are many more de-transitioners like him — those who regret their body-altering surgeries and treatments — waiting in the wings.
“Transition is now being sold to people on a mass scale,” Herron said, calling it “sinister.” He added, “In a few years, I’m sure we’ll have law firms asking people if they transitioned and would like to claim compensation.”
He is planning a legal case against Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust. His attorney, Peter Harthan, said patients like his client face “a lifetime of medical care and consequences” and “cannot be put back together again.”
“My concern is clinicians failed to identify red flags and change direction,” Harthan said. “Proper consideration needs to be given to issues such as OCD, internalized homophobia, depression, drug use, sexual abuse, and childhood trauma as potential reasons for patients’ rejecting their sexed body.”
As for the NHS Trust, a representative declined to speak to the specifics of Herron’s case. However, a spokesperson claimed, “Care plans are collaborative and tailored to each patient’s needs and goals, and treatment decisions are made following a thorough assessment in line with national recommendations.”
For Christians, proper human sexuality is outlined in Scripture. In Genesis 1:27, it is written God created human beings in His image and designed them to be male and female — an immutable binary — and created sexuality to be expressed solely between one man and one woman in marriage (Hebrews 13:4). Any other expression is considered sexually immoral and outside God’s perfect design (Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
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