A landmark legal case at the High Court in London ended today with a panel of senior judges ruling that the NHS acted in a ‘discriminatory manner’ by not offering a cervical smear test to a 32-year-old man from Essex.
Nathan Grange-Vulva, a fairtrade coffee shop owner and men’s rights activist from Leigh On Sea, was awarded £150,000 in compensation and legal costs in a case that has rumbled on for more than five years after he was denied the procedure at Southend Hospital in 2012.
It is thought that the ruling will mean that every NHS trust in the country will be forced to offer the test to men over the age of 25 across the United Kingdom.
While summing up, Chief Judge the Lord Honourable Justice Custis said that the hospital’s original refusal was an ‘incredibly attack on the right of the individual to self-align in terms of gender.’
He added: ‘A number of doctors have given evidence over the last four weeks to argue the case that it is biologically impossible to have a cervical smear test when you are not in possession of a cervix.’
‘However, it is the judgement of this court that such a cavalier attitude by the NHS is a direct attack and insult towards anyone who is campaigning for gender equality in the United Kingdom.’
‘We hope that this ruling will enable every hospital in the country to take a more considerate and reasoned approach to such requests in the future.’
According to Southend Hospital’s Chief Clinician of Clinical Clinics Sir Henrietta Fuch-Weet, there will now be ‘practical guidelines’ in place for any male who requests a cervical smear screening.
He added: ‘We have issued guidance to all relevant practitioners that a cervical smear screening can be simulated in men by making full use of the rectal cavity.’