A transgender man is suing a Catholic hospital for cancelling his hysterectomy.
Jionni Conforti says his doctor deemed the surgery medically necessary for his gender dysphoria, as well as the possibly increased risk of cancer.
But St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, a Catholic health care provider in Paterson, New Jersey, canceled the procedure on the basis of its religious values.
In 2015, Conforti claims, a nurse initially confirmed scheduling the surgery would be okay, but he later received an email stating the opposite.
‘This is to follow up to your email inquiring about scheduling a total hysterectomy here at St. Joseph’s to remove all female parts based on the medical necessity for Gender Reassignment,’ the email, sent by Rev Martin D. Rooney, of the Paterson Diocese, reads, according to Yahoo.
‘This is to inform you that as a Catholic Hospital we would not be able to allow your surgeon to schedule this surgery here at St. Joseph’s.’
Conforti eventually found another surgeon and hospital to perform his hysterectomy, but told Yahoo Beauty the initial rejection ‘cost him emotionally’.
‘This is my neighborhood hospital. My whole family has been treated here and this is the hospital where I would be taken by ambulance in an emergency and they discriminated against me,’ he said.
‘I am shocked and saddened by the treatment I received and I am afraid of how I would be treated if I need medical care again. St. Joseph’s Healthcare who says it prides itself on a ‘patients first’ approach, completely disrespected who I am as a person and that is not how a hospital should treat people.’
Conforti now sued, citing the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination which states a person cannot be discriminated against on the basis of sex and gender identity.
The lawsuit also cites Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
It prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sex when federal funding is involved; this is the case for St Joseph’s.
‘No hospital should be allowed to decide who their patients are, particularly when they receive government funds,’ said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, and attorney with Lambda Legal who is on the case.
‘Denying care to someone at their time of need because of their sex or gender identity is not only dangerous and humiliating, it’s against the law.’