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Complainant Name:
Jane Fae

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Sun


Jane Fae, a campaigner on issues of political and sexual liberty, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper's coverage of an individual's experience of gender identity disorder and her hopes for her impending gender transition surgery contained a number of alleged inaccuracies in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. Most significantly, she objected to the assertion by the subject of the story that the cost of gender re-assignment on the NHS is £25,000, and that the paper failed to make sufficiently clear that this was an opinion held by that individual.. In the complainant's view, this was well outside the typical expected cost to the NHS of such procedures. The complainant also raised a general concern that the reporting of NHS transition costs in the press has the potential to increase hostility towards transgender individuals. She expressed a hope that this matter would be considered in relation to any future editorial guidance produced by the PCC on how to report on transgender issues in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Editors' Code of Practice.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification alongside the online article:

We would like to clarify that although Ms Lee believes her surgery will cost the NHS £25,000, the costs can vary from patient to patient depending on the procedures they elect to have. While some estimates for GRS are as low as £11,000, individuals might spend tens of thousands of their own funds on cosmetic procedures to accompany transition.

Date Published: 01/08/2013

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