Catholic hospital says it refused surgery to trans man over religious directives
A Catholic hospital which refused to give a trans man a hysterectomy has said it follows religious directives.
The plaintiff in the case, Jionni Conforti, alleges that the St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, refused to allow him to have a hysterectomy on medical grounds.
The lawsuit states that Conforti didn’t expect to experience any issues until he was told by an administrator in the hospital that he could not undergo the surgery.
He says the administrator told him that because it is a “Catholic hospital”, the hysterectomy could not take place.
The hospital has now responded to say it “follows ethical and religious directives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops”.
According to the Associated Press, the hospital states that any treatment deemed “morally wrong” by the Catholic Church can be refused.
“Being humiliated and rejected by a hospital because of who you are as a person is not okay,” Conforti, 33, told TIME magazine.
“My goal is to make a change for the up and coming trans people so they never have to go through this,” he adds.
But the hospital allegedly denied the request for surgery despite having a “patients bill of rights” which is intended to guarantee medical treatment without discrimination based on “gender identity or expression.”
Despite Conforti finding a hospital to perform the surgery three months later, he says he was negatively affected by the experience at St Joseph’s.
The plaintiff says he wants to avoid other trans people going through similar issues, noting high suicide rates among trans people.
Represented by Lambda Legal, Conforti seeks monetary damages and wants to ensure that other trans people are not treated in the same way by the hospital.