Sam holds Dutch gender clinic liable for misdiagnosis: “Going into transition was not the solution to my problems”

Sam* is holding the Amsterdam UMC, which includes the gender clinic of the VU Medical Centre, liable because he feels a proper diagnosis was not made. And he is not the only one: his lawyer is now handling 10 cases surrounding transgender care, two of which involve misdiagnosis.

Sam was struggling with himself when, at 16, he thought he was transgender. “There was a broadcast on television with a trans boy sharing his story,” he looks back. “And that was when I was already feeling very unhappy, I was very confused with myself.”

During that time, Sam also discovered that he fancied men. The teenage boy found it difficult, which he “certainly didn’t want. Also, I had a lot of trouble with myself as a person: I found myself disgusting, I hated myself and thought I was a terrible person.”

Sam acknowledges that he wanted the transition himself and was clear about it to his practitioners. According to the Medical Treatment Agreement Act (WGBO), a person aged 16 and over can decide whether to undergo treatment.

But he now thinks that does not negate the fact that the psychologists in the gender team could have countered. “They should have helped me look at the whole picture and not just that transition,” he says. He also feels that his parents were not involved enough and that his mother was not listened to when she expressed doubts about the process.

When Sam was about to undergo more cosmetic surgery at 22, he came to the conclusion that transitioning to become a woman was not the answer. He decided to stop using female hormones and said “no” when he was later called by the hospital for gender-affirming surgery.

Sam has since been living as a man for 3 years and is gradually improving. “I was this close to having the sex operation. If I think about that, it can be very upsetting. I think I was very lucky to have narrowly escaped.”

*Sam is a pseudonym. His real name is known to the editor.

Source: Sam holds Dutch gender clinic liable for misdiagnosis: “Going into transition was not the solution to my problems”

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