Fenella Morris QC and Catherine Dobson to act for NHS England in a high profile judicial review challenge to the funding of fertility services for patients undergoing gender reassignment treatment.
The claim, brought by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, challenges the lawfulness of the current arrangements whereby the patient’s local Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for deciding whether to provide fertility services to trans patients. The Commission is arguing that NHS England has an obligation under the National Health Services Act 2006, as well as domestic and European equalities legislation, to arrange for the provision of gamete retrieval and storage for trans patients. NHS England’s position is that the claim is both misjudged and potentially unfair to NHS patients: a trans patient who seeks the retrieval and storage of their gametes before undergoing treatment that might limit their fertility is in the same position as any other patient who might undergo fertility-limiting treatment, for example, because of cancer.
The Commission has been given permission to proceed with its judicial review claim, which will be heard in early 2019.
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