Doctors, clinics sued for ‘misdiagnosis’ after sex-change treatments – Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly

Medical professionals have cast aside the traditional guardrails of prudent clinical practice in their haste to put young patients confused about their sexual identity on the path for gender-changing treatment and surgery, according to two lawsuits recently filed against local health care clinics.

Now, July R. Carlan realizes that he was born a male homosexual. But in a medical malpractice suit filed on Oct. 12 in federal court in Massachusetts, Carlan claims he can never live the homosexual lifestyle he was meant to live because medical professionals at Fenway Community Health Center in Boston misdiagnosed him as transgender, recommending irreversible hormone therapy and surgery to make him a woman.

Rather than stating a claim of medical malpractice, Carlan’s suit is brought under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Carlan’s lawyer, Mitra N. Forouhar of San Francisco, grounds her client’s case on the theory that Section 1557 creates an implied private right of action by incorporating by reference the enforcement mechanism of other civil rights statutes that permit a private cause of action.

“The defendants took an apathetic attitude toward [my client’s] sexual orientation, which is a protected status,” the civil rights lawyer says. “That is what serves as the basis for filing a legal claim under [the Affordable Care Act’s] nondiscrimination provision.”

The plaintiff alleges that medical professionals at Fenway “willfully abandoned” established, evidence-based, and generally accepted clinical guidelines in providing transgender health care.

“In its decision to abandon evidence-based care, Defendant exclusively relied on those who are in distress and without medical knowledge and those who were satisfied with their transition, and overlooked the experience of regretters, thus knowingly disregarded a safety risk to its same sex attracted patients,” the plaintiff’s complaint states. “Exclusive consideration of positive outcomes in medical research is known as ‘survivorship bias’ and renders any resulting conclusion unreliable and erroneous.”

Doctors at Lifestyle Medical Group at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence face a similar lawsuit filed in Bristol Superior Court on Oct. 23.

In Ayala v. American Academy of Pediatrics, plaintiff Isabelle M. Ayala claims co-defendants Dr. Jason Rafferty and Dr. Michelle Forcier advised her to undergo testosterone therapy as a puberty blocker when her father took her to Lifestyle Medical Group in 2016 for treatment of depression and anxiety associated with a past sexual assault.

In addition to asserting claims for medical malpractice, Ayala states a claim for civil conspiracy involving the doctors at Lifestyle and co-defendant American Academy of Pediatrics. The plaintiff lays a large part of the blame for her injuries on gender transition guidelines issued by the AAP in 2018.

Jordan Campbell of Campbell, Miller, Payne in Dallas represents Ayala. Campbell says he foresees a “wave” of similar lawsuits being filed around the country.

“We’ve already brought four of these cases, and we have a lot more in the pipeline,” Campbell says.

Source: Doctors, clinics sued for ‘misdiagnosis’ after sex-change treatments – Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly

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