News of a troubling case reaches Steerpike. Earlier this month the Administrative Court handed down judgment in the case of R (AI) -v- London Borough of Wandsworth and Secretary of State for Education  EWHC 2088 (Admin). It’s a complex ruling on a complex case, not likely to catch the attention of the public. But that judgment does contain details that raise some striking questions about medical treatment as it relates to issues of sex and gender.
This relates to the claimant in the case, a 22-year-old with a heart-rending personal history and a string of serious problems. The claimant, named only as AI, was born female and now identifies as a transgender man. The judgment uses male pronouns for AI.
Here’s the court on AI’s background:
The circumstances of his early life are significantly distressing and can only provoke profound sympathy. Although he cannot yet read or write he has been able to make a statement through his solicitor. He records that his childhood was chaotic. His mother was a recovering drug addict, he saw her subjected to domestic violence and witnessed her taking drugs. He would go back and forth between her and his grandmother and when around 11 or 12 years old, AI went into his grandmother’s care. He records moving all the time, living in numerous different places in the South East and spending a lot of time with his grandmother, who is disabled, whom he cared for, and with whom he is in fact, once again, currently living, although he reports difficulties with that relationship. At about 13 or 14 AI went into the care system.
Here’s a summary of AI’s conditions:
He has a total of 14 diagnoses and continues to have complex needs. His difficulties have been medically described as Mild Mental Retardation, Attachment Disorder, Emotion Dysregulation, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (“ODD”) and (Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”), dyslexia, severe anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) and low self-esteem.