Dr Helen Webberley’s MPTS tribunal hearing began in July 2021 with nearly 30 days of witnesses for the prosecution. The General Medical Council’s witnesses sought to present evidence and expert testimony against Dr Webberley. This evidence often contradicted one another or failed to produce evidence.
Following this are the witnesses for the defence, who will provide expert testimony alongside Dr Webberley’s own witness statement. These witnesses are expert witnesses, meaning that rather than providing testimony relating to the physical events of the case, they will provide expert opinion based on their own professional experience and knowledge. We have provided bios here to check the credentials of these expert witnesses for the benefit of those following the case.
Dr Daniel Shumer is a paediatric endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, where the major focus of his clinical and research work pertains to transgender adolescents.
He completed his residency in paediatrics at the University of Vermont in 2011, going on to a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Harvard. As a fellow, he was mentored by Dr Norman Spack in the Gender Management Services Clinic (GeMS) at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr Spack, a pioneer in transgender medicine, has cultivated three decades of experience treating transgender youth since the 90s. Established in 2007, GeMS was the first multidisciplinary paediatric gender program based at a US-based academic institution and paved the way for similar clinics across the country.
Through his work at GeMS Dr Shumer became a clinical expert in the field of transgender medicine, specialising in paediatric endocrinology. He sought to expand the field, publishing research on the evaluation and management of transgender children and adolescents, and particularly focusing on reducing mental health disparities. His expertise led to his recruitment by Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, in order to establish a program similar to GeMS.
He is now both founder and clinical director of the Child and Adolescent Gender Services clinic at Mott, an international centre of excellence for the care of trans and non-binary young people. Since its foundation in 2015, the clinic has provided gender-affirming care to over 600 young people, of whom over 300 were personally evaluated and treated by Dr Shumer.
He is also the medical director of the Comprehensive Gender Services program for the University of Michigan Health System and director of the Transgender Medicine elective for the University Of Michigan Medical School. He continues to be actively involved both as a care provider and a researcher, and is a strong advocate for patient-centered, individualised care. He has presented his own research on the current state of transgender research in a public lecture, available here.
Dr Walter Bouman is a psychiatrist and consultant in trans health. Having initially trained in psychiatry in the Netherlands and the UK in the 90s, he went on to specialise in sexual medicine and sexology, becoming a consultant psychiatrist at the Nottingham Centre of Transgender Health (previously the Nottingham Gender Clinic) in 2007.
The Nottingham Centre is one of the most well-regarding Gender Identity Clinics in the UK, with around 1,500 active trans and non-binary patients. He continues to work full-time as a consultant at the Nottingham Centre while publishing research in and around the field of transgender medicine, including cutting-edge research into the inclusion of non-binary identities in transgender healthcare. He is a vocal advocate for transgender rights and access to healthcare around the world.
At the Nottingham Centre Dr Bouman is involved with assessment, psychological and hormonal treatment, and surgical referral for people with gender dysphoria and gender incongruence. The Centre is internationally renowned for its international influence on research and education around transgender healthcare, a reputation to which Dr Bouman has contributed substantially.
In 2013 he was invited to join the WPATH/WHO in developing diagnostic parameters for gender incongruence in ICD-11. He has provided the frameworks for developing programs of transgender healthcare as far ranging as the first gender clinic in China and the participation policies of the Rugby Football Unions.
He was chair of the Clinical Reference Group for Gender Identity Services from 2012 until 2013 – the same position held subsequently by Dr Dean. He is also a founding member of both EPATH (European Professional Association of Transgender Health) and BAGIS (British Association of Gender Identity Specialists), the latter of which Dr Dean has referred to on numerous occasions during his testimony.
He is the current president of WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health). WPATH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, interdisciplinary professional, and educational organisation devoted to transgender health. It has approximately 2,800 members across 45 countries. The WPATH Standards of Care is one of the most highly regarded professional guidelines for the management and treatment of gender dysphoria and gender incongruence. Dr Bouman is actively working on the development of version 8 of the Standards of Care, as part of which he co-chairs the WPATH Working Group on Non-Binary Genders. There are few individuals who are so closely involved with the most recent and important developments in transgender healthcare.
Dr Vickie Pasterski is a psychologist, psychotherapist, and gender specialist currently working in private practice in the UK. She has over two decades of experience in the field of gender identity services, having initially studied psychology at Loyola Marymount University, LA, before pursuing a doctorate in behavioural neuroendocrinology at the University of London and a postdoctorate in the diagnosis and management of gender dysphoria at Columbia University, New York. As part of her doctoral training she worked with specialists in paediatric endocrinology at Great Ormond Street, and from 2008 to 2016 she was a clinical research psychologist in paediatric endocrinology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Dr Pasterski is officially recognised by the UK Ministry of Justice as a gender specialist and has helped over 500 individuals transition. She continues to actively develop her clinical and academic knowledge, maintaining working relationships with surgeons and gender specialists from all around the world. She is also an active contributor to research and education around transgender healthcare, having guest lectured at King’s College London and Warwick University, and holding a post as Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Her research output continues alongside her private practice, with her articles appearing in international peer-reviewed journals like The Lancet and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Her impressive scholarship has given her a global reach, with over a dozen countries around the world inviting her to speak and teach. Despite this, she remains committed to the provision of high-quality gender-affirming care, a commitment which stands out in the reviews of her practice.