Catholic hospital refused to perform hysterectomy on transgender man.
Jionni Conforti, a transgender man, has filed suit against Paterson's St. Joseph's Hospital on January 5, after hospital authorities refused a hysterectomy at its premises. This incident at the New Jersey hospital highlighted the battle faced by the Obama administration in its effort to push forward transgender rights.
Conforti had originally scheduled his surgery to be held at St. Joseph's in 2015. According to him, a hospital administrator told him the procedure to remove his uterus was not possible because it was against the Catholic establishment’s beliefs. He said he felt utterly disrespected and believed no hospital should treat any person like this, regardless of their identity.
St. Joseph's said it followed religious and ethical directives from the U.S. Conference of Bishops when it came to treatment and care. As per the directives, any procedure deemed to be morally unacceptable may not be performed.
Conforti, now 33 years old, told a media house he felt disrespected by the rejection and such actions cannot be justified by any means. It is to be mentioned the hospital denied him surgery even after it pledged to follow the “patient's bill of rights” which guarantees medical service sans any discrimination centered on categories like gender expression or gender identity.
— DP_Denman (@DPDenman) January 5, 2017
Conforti has taken the assistance of Lambda Legal, an organization which filed the suit for him. The non-profit issued a statement which said he was saddened and shocked by way the hospital treated him, and he is afraid of the attitude of the medical establishment if he needed a repeat medical treatment.
The suit comes in the wake of a growing debate over regulations on transgender discrimination, which the United States government regards as a form of sex discrimination. A few faith centered groups have vehemently objected to such interpretation, having argued the new federal regulations are a direct violation of religious freedom. This debate became well known in 2016 when letters were dispatched by education officials to all public schools. The letter instructed students to use the restroom which matched their gender identity. Controversy erupted when health officials issued new rules barring hospitals that receive federal funding from denying any kind of gender-related services, particularly for transgender people.