Culture & Ethics
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits to the Rescue
I believe that one day the transgender moral panic will come crashing down. But not before thousands of minors are harmed by having their natural puberties blocked, breasts removed, and even worse. Indeed, “de-transitioners” — people who realize they really are the sex they were born — are already appearing and complaining about how they were abandoned or pressured by medical professionals to engage in medical or surgical “affirming care” as it is incorrectly called. Some, like Chloe Cole, are planning to sue.
The problem is that many medical-malpractice statutes of limitations are relatively short — two or three years. By the time the adult so treated as a child realizes the harm done, the allowable time to sue may have elapsed.
An Example from Arkansas
Several state legislatures are considering bills to remedy that problem by lengthening their statute of limitations for such lawsuits when the procedures were done on minors. Here’s the one from Arkansas that lengthens the statute of limitations to “15 years after the date on which the minor turned 18.” I have read it, and it seems well considered. First, the definitions:
“Gender transition procedure” means any medical or surgical service, including without limitation physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, or prescribed drugs related to gender transition that seeks to: (i) Alter or remove physical or anatomical characteristics or features that are typical for the individual’s biological sex; or ii) Instill or create physiological or anatomical characteristics that resemble a sex different from the individual’s biological sex, including without limitation medical services that provide puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, or other mechanisms to promote the development of feminizing or masculinizing features in the opposite biological sex, or genital or nongenital gender reassignment surgery performed for the purpose of assisting an individual with a gender transition.
That’s good specificity and it doesn’t include non-body altering interventions like pronoun use.
The bill also properly excludes interventions such as treating someone born with “ambiguous” external sex characteristics and treatment of side effects caused by gender-transition surgeries.
And it offers safe harbor if the child was followed for two years before medical interventions and:
At least two (2) healthcare professionals, including at least one (1) mental health professional, certified in writing that the minor suffered from no other mental health concerns, including without limitation depression, eating disorders, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, or psychotic disorders.
This is most wise because we have seen autistic children and others with mental-health issues hustled onto the trans train.
The bill also specifies the information that must be supplied to the child and parents to qualify as informed consent. For example:
The use of cross-sex hormones in males is associated with numerous health risks, such as thromboembolic disease, including without limitation blood clots; cholelithiasis, including gallstones; coronary artery disease, including without limitation heart attacks; macroprolactinoma, which:
1 is a tumor of the pituitary gland; cerebrovascular disease, including without
2 limitation strokes; hypertriglyceridemia, which is an elevated level of
3 triglycerides in the blood; breast cancer; and irreversible infertility.
The bill also protects medical conscience:
State law shall not require, or be construed to require, a healthcare professional to perform a gender transition procedure.
Clearly, the point of this bill is designed to chill the eagerness and speed at which some youth with gender dysphoria are medically transitioned and better ensure that legal remedies will be available for those harmed thereby. Chloe Cole, for example, says she was put onto the tran assembly line at 12, given puberty blockers after her parents where threatened by doctors that she would commit suicide, and had a double mastectomy at age 15.
The gender ideologues will howl. Some will create transgender sanctuary states — as California has already done. But if many states pass responsible legislation like this, countless children will be protected from irreversible harm.
Cross-posted at The Corner.