Self-Diagnosis, Changing Sex and Assisted Dying

The Scottish Parliament bill on assisted dying contains an important safeguard which requires two doctors to agree that anyone wishing to take life-ending medication is making an informed and competent choice - I presume a person's family would normally be involved as well.

Contrast this approach with the suggestion that people should be allowed to self-diagnose, self-identify and change their sex under the law without any medical oversight whatsoever.  

Safeguarding Children and Professional Medical Oversight (November 27, 2021)


I have written to one of my local MSPs, Kaukab Stewart, regarding potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

Retaining the current requirement for professional medical oversight of the process and safeguarding children are the two big issues at stake here. 

Dear Kaukab Stewart

Consultation on Potential Changes to the Gender Recognition Act

Thank you for the response to my letter which arrived via your office caseworker, Ailish McCafferty.

I am encouraged by your comment that the rights of women under will be protected in considering any changes to the Equality Act 2010 including the right to single sex spaces. 

I note, however, that you failed to address a crucial point about the importance of requiring a gender dysphoria diagnosis by medical professionals which, in my view, is essential to protect the interests of everyone involved and for the process to retain its integrity.

Women across the UK do not have the right to demand that a pregnancy be terminated, for example which, as you know, can only happen after a carefully considered medical referral, yet in terms of the GRA consideration is being given to removing the need for professional medical oversight and diagnosis of gender dysphoria. 

I am asking you to vote against any proposal based on a system of changing gender by self-identification, as this will inevitably make it much more difficult to resolve satisfactorily the current conflict between women's rights and the protection of trans people.

I also note your comment in relation to lowering the age of consent from 18 to 16 and, as I said in my original letter, it seems absurd to me that under 18-year-olds cannot lawfully consume alcohol (for good and obvious reasons), yet consideration is being given to allowing children to decide upon irreversible changes to their still developing bodies without parental guidance and/or proper medical oversight   

I hope you and other MSPs will be looking for ways to engage with the wider public on these issues going forward and I will be following the debate closely in the weeks ahead. 

Kind regards

Mark Irvine

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