More transgender news during 2017
2017-APR: The ACLU is suing a Catholic hospital because it refused to allow surgery to be performed on a transgender person:
Evan Minton, 35, was identified as a female at birth, is transgender, and now identifies as male. He sought sex transition surgery to be performed at Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center. They scheduled his surgery for 2016-AUG, but cancelled the appointment one day before the operation. His doctor eventually arranged to performed the surgery at another area hospital. 1
"We feel very clearly that they discriminated against me because I’m transgender, and that is against the law. ... It devastated me, and I don’t want it to affect my transgender brothers and sisters the way it affected me. No one should have to go through that." 2
The medical center arranged for Minton to have the operation at another nearby Dignity Health hospital: the Methodist Hospital of Sacramento. The original hospital's spokesperson said that they were unable to provide the service themselves because it conflicts with the anti-sterilization regulations in:
"... the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) and the medical staff bylaws."
The center's spokesperson, Melissa Jue, said:
"In general, it is our practice not to provide sterilization services at Dignity Health’s Catholic facilities."
She also said that sterilization procedures, such as hysterectomies or tubal ligations are permitted by Catholic hospitals only to cure or alleviate a:
"... serious pathology and [then only if] a simpler treatment is not available."
Although the Methodist hospital is part of the same Dignity Health chain of hospitals, it is not bound by Catholic beliefs and prohibitions.
Elizabeth Gill, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said:
"Given the national context, where legal protections for transgender people are under attack, it’s particularly important that in states like California the law is really clear. ... "
Dr. Lindsey Dawson of Sacramento performed Minton's operation. She said:
"I don’t blame the staff. I don’t blame the administrators. I blame the (Catholic) doctrines."
During 2015-SEP, the Conference of Catholic Bishops and nine other religious groups sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It said, in part:
"We believe, as do many health care providers, that medical and surgical interventions that attempt to alter one’s sex are, in fact, detrimental to patients. Such interventions are not properly viewed as health care because they do not cure or prevent disease or illness. Rather they reject a person’s nature at birth as male or female." 1
Minton has also had a double mastectomy and a phalloplasty (penile construction surgery). He said:
"It’s almost magical, just to be able to be congruent with who I am –- to have my outer body match my inner self. When I got my complete body, I said, 'The rest of my life starts here'." 1
Transgender persons often describe themselves as having a male brain in a female body -- or vice versa. This statement is literally true, because there are gender-related structures in everyone's brain that are one of two designs: male or female. Female to male transgender persons like Minton have male brain structures.
An article on the incident in KCRA-TV polled their visitors, asking them:
"Should hospitals be able to deny patients procedures on religious grounds?"
Results were: 67% of their visitors said "yes" while 33% said "no." 3
Visitors to the KCRA-TV web site posted some interesting comments that cover a wide range of beliefs:
Victor Brueggemann posted:
"They should be allowed to refuse to perform specific procedures unless the patient's life is put at risk."
Mark J Currier posted:
"Actually, if a 10 yr.old thinks he's 60 & demands cataract surgery, they should pay! My left leg is evil-cut it off! I was born a kitten & demand artificial claws be surgically added to my nails, I'm a vampire. I demand blood-sucking incisors be surgically added to I can suck blood...."
Kyle Rosellini posted:
"Nope. It's a place of medicine. Doctors take an oath to heal the wounded and the sick, no matter their beliefs. That's what comes with the job, you do your best to save those you can, no matter who they are."
Jim Fosnaught posted:
"When the hospital kneels and takes communion, it can have an input.., and even then, the decision would still be the patients.. If medicine has [been] surpassed [by] your faith, perhaps it's time to sell the hospital to someone who still believes in medicine, and will provide the needed procedures.. that your archaic faith can't accept." 3
It is still early in 2017. More transgender
news should be coming in the future.
Related essays on this web site that you might find interesting:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Claudia Buck and Sammy Caiola, "Transgender patient sues Dignity Health for discrimination over hysterectomy denial," Sacramental Bee, 2017-APR-20, at: http://www.sacbee.com/
Brandon Morse, "Catholic hospital being sued by ACLU for refusing to perform transition surgery," The Blaze, 2017-APR-26, at: http://www.theblaze.com/
Dana Griffin, "ACLU sues Carmichael faith-based hospital for denying transgender man hysterectomy," KCRA-TF, 2017-APR-19, at: http://www.kcra.com/
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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-APR-27
Author: B.A. Robinson