Main | Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ILLINOIS: Lambda Legal Sues Doctor For Refusing Medication To Trans Woman

Lambda Legal yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against an Illinois doctor for refusing to prescribe hormone replacement therapy for a transgender woman. The suit alleges that such a denial is a violation of the Affordable Care Act. Lambda writes:
Kenneth Upton, Senior Counsel for Lambda Legal, said: "The provisions of the Affordable Care Act are clear: doctors receiving federal funds cannot discriminate in providing patient care just because a person is transgender. Patients such as Naya Taylor place their health and well-being in a doctor’s hands. Ms. Taylor asked for her doctor to provide services similar to those provided to other clinic patients who are not transgender and the doctor and clinic refused, posing a significant risk to Ms. Taylor’s health. The ACA’s non-discrimination provisions were intended to ensure appropriate medical care for transgender people, a community that already faces a disproportionate amount of discrimination, violence and suicide rates."

Naya Taylor is a transgender woman living in Mattoon, Illinois. Dr. Aja Lystila had been Ms. Taylor’s primary care physician, but when Ms. Taylor requested to start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) aspart of her medically necessary, transition-related healthcare to treat her gender dysphoria, Dr. Lystila refused. Dr. Lystila first claimed she was not experienced in providing hormones to transgender people even though hormone therapy is regularly provided to non-transgender patients in a variety of settings every day. Later the clinic told Ms. Taylor that it “does not have to treat people like you.” HRT is one of the vital life-saving treatments used to treat gender dysphoria, a recognized, serious medical condition.
The suit names the doctor and his clinic, which receives federal funding. A separate complaint has also been filed with the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

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