Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 17:21 UK

Reading transsexual to wait for NHS breast op ruling

A transsexual who started a High Court battle for the legal right to NHS funding for breast augmentation surgery will have to wait for a judgement.

The woman, of Reading, and referred to as C, is fighting a test case against a continuing refusal by West Berkshire PCT to fund the £2,300 procedure.

She is arguing that it amounts to a violation of her human rights and unlawful sex discrimination.

The judge said he would hand down his ruling "as soon as I can".

The PCT said there were no health reasons for the procedure.

She has been living as a woman for more than a decade.

'Physical limbo'

Stephanie Harrison QC, appearing for C, said she should not be compared with a woman unhappy with her body image and wanting an operation "for cosmetic reasons".

She was suffering from gender identity disorder (GID), a recognised medical condition, and experiencing real distress as "a woman living in a man's body".

Ms Harrison told Mr Justice Bean that an operation would help complete her transition from male to female and put an end to the "physical limbo" which was currently affecting her health.

There was medical evidence that, without effective treatment, her condition would deteriorate, with the risk of self harm and depression, it was heard.

The PCT has argued that breast surgery was not an essential part of GID treatment and there was no good evidence that it would be cost effective or improve C's health status.

'Called names'

C started living as a woman and began hormonal therapy in 1996, but the treatment failed to produce breasts "appropriate to her size and frame".

The court heard a statement in which she said she had faced problems of hostility and abuse in public.

"Youths have called her all kinds of names because they perceive her not to be a woman," said Ms Harrison.

Judgment has been reserved until a later date.

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Transsexual wants NHS breast op
11 May 10 |  Berkshire

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