Doctor suspended for overprescribing trans hormonal drugs
A UK-based doctor has had his license suspended over allegations he prescribed cross-sex hormones to patients without properly assessing them first, one of whom took his own life a few months later.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal ordered the expungement of Dr. Michael Webberley’s license to practice medicine on Wednesday after a six-month suspension. Webberley allegedly ran an online clinic that prescribed puberty blockers to children as young as 9 without being evaluated by a doctor.
According to the General Medical Council, which works “to protect patient safety and improve medical education and practice across the UK”, Webberley’s erasure is “not yet in effect, pending a period call”. His erasure follows a suspension on November 14.
Allegations of wrongdoing against Webberley prompted the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, which makes “independent decisions on the fitness of doctors to practice medicine” in the UK, to investigate Webberley’s medical practices. A hearing was held on Wednesday.
In the decision ordering the revocation of Webberley’s medical license, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal determined that “the erasure of Dr. Webberley’s name from the medical register is the only sanction appropriate to achieve the overriding objective, which is to protect patients , to maintain public confidence in the medical profession and uphold appropriate professional standards.”
A group of volunteer citizen reporters created a Twitter account dedicated to Webberley’s misconduct court coverage.
The account, which goes by the handle @tribunaltweets2, live-tweeted the proceedings of Webberley’s trial. The group’s corresponding Substack account outlined the allegations against Webberley, who founded gender clinic GenderGP with his wife, Helen.
“The court will investigate the allegation that between April 2017 and June 2019, Dr. Webberley failed to provide good clinical care to 25 patients. It is alleged that Dr. Webberley’s failures related to consultation, history taking, examination, diagnosis, prescription, communication, follow-up, informed consent, assessment, working with colleagues, working within the limits of one’s expertise and working under direction” , said a summary of the allegations against him at the start of the trial.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal accused Webberley of a “wide range” of failures in relation to the many patients.
Webberley allegedly failed to conduct or obtain adequate psychological and mental health assessments and made “inappropriate diagnoses” without “accurate information”.
The doctor is accused of prescribing to patients “without clinical indication and/or sufficient information”. In addition, he is accused of not having obtained informed consent.
Webberley also allegedly failed to “adequately engage with other clinicians involved in a patient’s care”, fail to “provide adequate follow-up care”, and “dishonesty in obtaining consent”. .
“The Tribunal’s findings included findings of dishonesty regarding androgen patient consent,” the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Services order reads, according to the copy shared by the Twitter account.
Webberley allegedly misdiagnosed male patients with hypogonadism and prescribed them androgen hormones. Hypogonadism leads to a decrease in the production of sex hormones. Some of these patients “experienced androgen toxicity”.
The determination of facts compiled by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service revealed that one of the seven trans-identified patients he was treating “committed suicide” after “receiving hormonal treatment from a general practitioner”.
Court accuses Webberley of diagnosing gender dysphoria in trans-identified patient without conducting ‘physical assessment’ or ‘face-to-face video consultation’, relying instead on counselors who are not registered with a recognized regulatory body.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service also found that Webberley “prescribed estrogens and anti-androgens to Patient S without” adequately monitoring his physical and psychological response to treatment and without discussing “alternative treatments.”
The fact-finding noted that Webberley continued to prescribe “excessive” doses of estrogen to the patient even though the patient was at “known risk.” Webberley allegedly failed to consider the patient to be on the autism spectrum.
While treating another patient, identified as ‘Patient V’, Webberley provided parents with a leaflet which “erroneously stated that hormone blockers are fully reversible”.
He also allegedly provided false information to parents claiming that “testosterone could be prescribed to patients under the age of 16 in exceptional circumstances”.
In a statement, GenderGP said Webberley had not been involved in the practice for “some time”, but praised his “courage in putting everything on the line to provide the best possible care to his patients”.
“Gender Affirmation Healthcare has made great strides, producing better care outcomes for trans people around the world and providing protocols that are transforming people’s lives,” the May 19 statement read. “Dr. Michael Webberley’s patients have been united and unwavering in their support, feedback and thanks for his role in improving models of care that have helped them live like themselves.”
The expunging of Webberley’s medical license comes more than three years after his wife Helen was fined the equivalent of $15,000 for illegally smuggling Gender GP out of her home. Although Ms Webberley had her license to practice medicine suspended in 2018, it was reinstated earlier this year with conditions including a ‘ban on prescribing medication and a requirement to keep a diary detailing every consultation with a transgender patient.
GenderGP says that despite “equality in healthcare” advancing globally, “there is still room for improvement in the UK”.
“The conflicting findings of Drs Webberley’s cases demonstrate two things: the importance of having the opportunity to defend oneself, and the lack of key expertise, and a unified approach, in the provision of trans care in the UK”, adds the press release. .
“GenderGP, as an international provider, has continued the fight for equal access to healthcare, applying globally recognized protocols and standards, and will continue to do everything in its power to provide care and vital support to our patients and the trans community.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: [email protected]