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18 May 2010

Russell Reid (1943 - ) psychiatrist.

Russell Warwick Stedman Reid was born in New Zealand. He trained as a doctor at Otago University in Dunedin (where John Money had taught psychology). He served as a captain with the NZ army in Vietnam. He then completed his training as a psychiatrist at Maudsley and Bethlehem Royal Hospitals in London. He was also an exchange resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with John Money.

From 1982 he was a consultant at the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic, and also ran a private practice as an alternate route to the NHS path for transsexuals. He worked with surgeons Peter Philip, James Dalrymple & Michael Royle. He was a member of the parliamentary forum on transsexuality, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ expert committee on transsexuality.   He helped and guided hundreds of transsexuals.

Like John Money and Ray Blanchard, Dr Reid became interested in apotemnophilia, and referred two such patients to Robert Smith, surgeon at Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary who amputated their legs at their request. Then the hospital Trust stopped the procedure. Dr Reid was featured in the BBC2 program Complete Obsession about apotemnophilia.

In 2004 as the Gender Recognition Bill was proceeding through parliament, Reid faced an complaint to the General Medical Council that he too easily accepted patients for hormone therapy and surgery. The complaint was brought by four of his colleagues at the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic, psychiatrists James Barrett, Richard Green, Donald Montgomery and senior registrar Stuart Lorimer on behalf of four of his former patients. A fifth patient filed a separate complaint. (For more on the five patients see Batty, 2007). The patients included a convicted paedophile who thought that being female would get him closer to her boyfriend’s children, but lost interest in a sex change when that did not work out, and a woman with manic depression who thought that she was turning into Jesus and becoming male would help. In addition Charles Kane, Claudia and four other former patients started legal claims for damages against Dr Reid.

Reid retired from his NHS post in 2005, and in 2006, trans man and doctor, Richard Curtis, took over Reid’s private practice.

The complaints were formally addressed in 2007. The charge was that he did not adhere to the HBIGDA (now WPATH) Standards of Care in that he prescribed cross-gender hormones and recommended gender surgery without adequate assessment. Many of his professional peers spoke in his defence, as did more than 250 of his former patients who posted to a blog. He was found guilty of Serious Professional Misconduct, mostly for failing to communicate fully with patients’ family doctor (a rule that many doctors are unaware of) and not documenting his reasons for departing from the HBIGDA Standards of Care guidelines sufficiently. However, the panel "determined that it would be ... in the public interest as well as your own interests if you were to return to practice..." and allowed him to return to practice, subject to some normal, by GMC Fitness To Practice panel standards, restrictions on his practice and hormone prescriptions for the next 12 months.

* Not the Chicago plastic surgeon, nor the editor of The Sunday Post, nor the Liverpool graphic designer, nor Russell Reed, the impersonator, nor Russell Reid Ortiz the baseball player.

Russell Reid has kept his private life very so.  There is no mention of a wife or civil partner or anything.

I am one of hundreds who passed through Dr Reid's gatekeeping and have never complained to the GMC or taken him to court.


    Anonymous said...

    if you are a consenting adult, not a ward of the state like some people described in this article should be, and went through all the time, trouble, expense, and effort to get SRS, then discover it wasn't the right decision.

    your unfortunate situation should not influence my having unfettered access to these services, which is my right, or cause me to incur unnecessary expense in order to gain access to them, which is a racket.

    if you are one of theses people, a supporter of one of theses people, or a WPATH devote...
    thats just tough luck for you, live with it, and STFU.

    "Strength and Happiness"
    "La fuerza y la felicidad"

    Polly said...

    WPATH is convenient for the medical profession to appear to be professional -- but WPATH is for guidance and is NOT LAW. WPATH seems to be more or less set up based largely upon social and professional lifstyle in the USA which is not even slightly the world of all humanity. Dr. Reid used his professional expertise very professionally. Because of his approach, many of us stayed alive, frankly!
    Doctors make regular mistakes in less headline-grabbing fields and rarely get the awful treatment that took Dr. Reid away from many who needed him.
    WPATH has become law by default and it is a route to social destruction for some people and an expensive way of making poor progress for the patient and good profit for the USA's medical profession in so many cases.
    I consulted Russell Reid first at the time when he was facing this investigation and he was very up-front about it and asked if I really wanted to continue with him under those circumstances -- he was the best, so of course I stayed with him and I am very glad I did so. I had previous experience of a much less professional approach elsewhere and consulted Dr. Reid after that earlier experience of "automated compliance with WPATH" which gave me the medication but without much in the way of helpful diagnosis. Compared to that other option (yes, also in the UK) Dr. Reid was absolutely professional and very helpful.
    Now we are left with some medical experts in this field who still are so helpful but who have the shadow of this persecution over their guidance. I am lucky that my own GP pointed me in the direction of another good man to "keep an eye" on my gender health.