Thursday, January 10, 2008

Man sues over new breasts

This story is only loosely relevant to this weblog, as it only involves a Catholic hospital, and not really anything but freedom, but it really caught my attention.

Headline, CNA: Catholic hospital sued for refusing breast implants to “transgendered”.

Someone who is genetically and was born a male is suing a Catholic run hospital in California (big surprise) because they refused to give him breast implants.

Hastings has already had major sex-change surgery to make his body resemble a woman’s. He chose a plastic surgeon with privileges at Seton to perform the augmentation surgery. According to Hastings, the surgeon, Dr. Leonard Gray, told him that Seton no longer allowed such operations to be performed on transgendered patients.

Seton Medical Center was previously owned by a large hospital conglomerate, Catholic Healthcare West, during which time it apparently allowed the surgery to transgender people. The Daughters of Charity Health System took ownership of the hospital in 2002, and halted the surgeries in 2006 after learning they were taking place.

Kristina Wertz, legal director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco, claimed Seton and other area hospitals put up “significant barriers” to care. Wertz believed the hospital’s policy violates the Unruh Act, a state law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. “There's simply no religious exemption in the Unruh Act," Wertz said. "We're talking about a type of care that's OK for one class but not another.”

Since when did sex-change and even breast augmentation become a "type of care". I can see in the case of a breast cancer patient who had to have a mastectomy or some similar situation that this could be considered a "type of care" but when did it become an entitlement for any man or woman?

It really touches on a deeper issue. How did it become acceptable to be "transgendered"? If I wanted to say I was actually a black man stuck in a white man's body, I'd be labeled as nuts. And, race is poorly defined. Gender is not poorly defined for most people, including most "transgendered" people. There's the physical equipment, the genetic karyotype, and I suppose the birth certificate. Why is it that all it takes is to say "I want to be a woman" if you are a man, and you are, or can be? After all you can't discriminate against gender identity, which is independent of gender. How is this not a mental illness?

No comments: