A transgender man [biological female] is suing St. Joseph Health of Northern California, alleging that he was refused care at the Roman Catholic health system’s hospital in Eureka because of his gender orientation.
In the lawsuit filed in Humboldt County Superior Court on Thursday, Oliver Knight says he was told just minutes before his scheduled hysterectomy that the hospital would not allow the procedure to happen. He says hospital staff told him that the surgery was called off because he was transgender.
Knight was able to reschedule the hysterectomy — a procedure in which the uterus and cervix are removed — four days later at a hospital a half-hour’s drive away that was not part of the St. Joseph network. But the initial denial caused him severe anxiety and emotional turmoil, Knight’s attorneys say.
The lawsuit claims that St. Joseph was in violation of state law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity. It asks for unspecific damages. Knight declined to comment on his case.
St. Joseph Health is a nonprofit organization that runs five hospitals in Northern California, including medical centers in Petaluma, Napa and Santa Rosa. It is owned by Providence St. Joseph Health Network, which operates 51 hospitals nationwide.
Knight’s is the second lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of a transgender man who was denied a hysterectomy. The first case, involving a man in Sacramento who sued the Catholic Church-affiliated Dignity Health, was filed two years ago. Dignity Health won that case and it is being appealed. Similar lawsuits have been filed in other parts of the country.
Full story at San Francisco Chronicle.
Story updated with new headline 3/23/19