A prominent UK psychiatrist is facing legal action after the General Medical Council ruled that he inappropriately rushed six patients into hormonal and gender reassignment surgery. Dr. Russell Reid (called "Uncle Russell" by his patients), widely considered to be the top British authority on transsexuals, faces disciplinary action over allegations that he failed to meet minimum guidelines of care set down by the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association with respect to the patients at the centre of the investigation. In addition to receiving sexual hormone treatment, several of the patients were fast-tracked into gender reassignment surgery despite concerns that such surgery was unnecessary in their cases. The Council is expected to meet later this week to determine whether Dr. Reid shoudl be removed from the professional register.
Legal representatives for the six patients are seeking damages in a group claim that is likely to be considerable given the extent to which their lives have been affected. Other former patients of Dr. Reid welcomed the ruling and indicated their willingness to seek damages. Despite the Council's ruling, Dr. Reid continues to have widespread support from the UK transsexual community.