Court rules transgender man can sue Catholic hospital for canceling hysterectomy

Court rules transgender man can sue Catholic hospital for canceling hysterectomy September 18, 2019


Here’s a story you don’t see every day, from Sacramento: 

The 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco ruled that a Sacramento-area transgender man can sue Mercy San Juan Medical Center over the last-minute cancellation of his hysterectomy, overturning a lower-court ruling that dismissed the case.

Dignity Health, which operates Mercy San Juan, arranged for Evan Minton to have the procedure at Methodist Hospital in south Sacramento within 72 hours of the denial, court records state. The procedure was canceled, the lawsuit stated, after Minton mentioned to a nurse that he is transgender.

In his appeal court decision, Judge Harold E. Kahn stated: “Without determining the right of Dignity Health to provide its services in such cases at alternative facilities, as it claims to have done here, we agree that plaintiff’s complaint alleges that Dignity Health initially failed to do so and that its subsequent rectification of its denial, while likely mitigating plaintiff’s damages, did not extinguish his cause of action for discrimination.”

In a statement sent to The Bee before the appeal court ruling, Dignity Health stated: “We do not provide elective sterilizations at Dignity Health’s Catholic facilities in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) and their medical staff bylaws. We understand how important this type of surgery is for transgender individuals and are pleased that Mr. Minton was able to quickly receive the sought-after procedure at one of Dignity Health’s non-Catholic community hospitals.”

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