Woman who lost body parts due to sex change sues doctors who rubber-stamped her sex change

Woman who lost body parts due to sex change sues doctors who rubber-stamped her sex change

We predicted that the skyrocketing numbers of sex changes would lead to malpractice lawsuits, and we were right. The Post-Millennial reports:

A detransitioned Ontario woman who was prescribed testosterone and underwent both a bilateral mastectomy and a hysterectomy during a mental health crisis in which she believed herself to be a man is suing the healthcare providers who allegedly facilitated her medical transition. Michelle Zacchigna, 34, of Orillia has filed legal action against a total of eight doctors and mental health professionals who treated her during the years that she identified as transgender. Zacchigna alleges that each failed to address her complex mental health needs and instead allowed her to self-diagnose as transgender and undergo irreversible procedures that she now deeply regrets.

The Statement of Claim filed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice documents a series of what Zacchigna said are failings spanning years of treatment. Zacchigna began pursuing medical transition in 2010 when the affirmative model of gender care was still in its infancy. Under this model, clinicians affirm a patient’s self-diagnosis of a transgender identity and provide medical interventions such as hormone therapy and surgeries rather than the traditional exploratory psychotherapy.

Zacchigna endured severe bullying as a child and experienced serious mental health issues throughout her teenage years as a result…In 2009, at the age of 21 and after years of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and a suicide attempt, she discovered the concept of gender identity on Tumblr, and became convinced that all her problems were because she was transgender….Zacchigna also became convinced that embracing this new identity was the solution to all her problems and in spring of 2010 attended a support group at the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto called “Gender Journeys.”

Here she met Defendant Rupert Raj, who was one of the therapists running the group…The claim states that Raj referred Zacchigna for male hormone therapy after just one appointment lasting under an hour….Dr. Rick Lindal, also a defendant, signed the July letter in his role as Lulu’s supervisor recommending Zacchigna for hormone therapy even though he had never met her. After three appointments at St. James Town Health Centre with Defendant Dr. Pamela Leece, Zacchigna was prescribed testosterone. Neither Leece, nor her supervisor, Defendant Dr. Cavacuiti consulted with a psychiatrist or psychologist prior to initiating the powerful male hormone.

In 2012, Cavacuiti and/or Leece wrote a letter recommending Zacchigna for a medically unnecessary bilateral mastectomy….Zacchigna chose a surgeon in Florida and paid out of pocket to have her healthy breasts removed….In 2015, 9 years after her suicide attempt and 8 years after coming out as transgender, Lulu finally referred Zacchigna for a full psychological and diagnostic assessment, and the resulting 25-page document revealed ADHD, tic disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and traits of PTSD….In 2017, Turner referred Zacchigna to Defendant Dr. Rajiv Shah to explore a potential hysterectomy procedure. Noting her history of depression and ADHD, and the fact that she was identifying as non-binary and not on any hormones, Shah removed Zacchigna’s uterus in May 2018…Two years after her hysterectomy, Zacchigna realized that her mental health diagnoses and her developmental disabilities explained everything she had been through “much more succinctly than identifying as transgender ever had.” She then made the decision to detransition.

Zacchigna alleges that all the defendants failed to address her serious mental health issues and developmental disabilities and instead only offered her irreversible medical interventions. She alleges that her desire to become transgender was never challenged, and alternative treatment options were never offered. “The Defendants permitted Michelle to self-diagnose as transgender and prescribe her own treatment without providing a differential diagnosis or proposing alternative treatments,” reads the claim.

Zacchigna has struggled to come to terms with the permanent changes from her hormone treatments and hysterectomy surgery have caused: a low voice, male-pattern balding, facial hair, an enlarged clitoris, a flat chest, and the inability to ever become pregnant.

The staunchly progressive American Academy of Pediatrics supports puberty blockers and gender-transitions for young people. But in Europe, doctors are raising questions about the propriety of those treatments. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service recently released draft guidelines that endorse a more cautious, wait-and-see approach, rejecting sex-change surgery for minors and rejecting the use of puberty blockers outside clinical trials.

The London Daily Telegraph reports that Britain’s National Health Service says that transgenderism is just a ‘phase’ for most kids who claim to be transgender:

Most children who believe that they are transgender are just going through a “phase”, the NHS has said, as it warns that doctors should not encourage them to change their names and pronouns.

NHS England has announced plans for tightening controls on the treatment of under 18s questioning their gender, including a ban on prescribing puberty blockers outside of strict clinical trials.

In light of this finding, NHS is no longer going to give minors sex-change surgery or puberty blockers. It is also cautioning against even social transitioning:

NHS England says that the interim Cass Report has advised that even social transition, such as changing a young person’s name and pronouns or the way that they dress, is not a “neutral act” that could have “significant effects” in terms of “psychological functioning”.

The NHS describes a staggering 40-fold increase in use of “gender identity services” over the last ten years. Because many using these services are just going through a phase, and will not benefit from a sex change, the NHS will take a different approach to treating minors, noting “evidence that in most cases gender incongruence does not persist into adolescence” which is a reason that “doctors should be mindful this might be a ‘transient phase.’”

Yet, in America, gender clinics are giving teenagers double mastectomies and other sex-change operations in many states. The Biden administration has promoted puberty blockers, even though the FDA says puberty blockers can cause brain swelling and permanent vision loss.

As the New York Post notes, many girls who get sex changes will “struggle for the rest of their lives with the irreversible medical consequences of a decision they made as minors.” They temporarily identify as transgender boys, then get sex changes before realizing they are really just girls.

The number of girls temporarily identifying as “transgender” has skyrocketed. Dr. Lisa Littman, a former professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University, coined the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria” to describe this subset of transgender youth, typically biological females who become suddenly dysphoric during or shortly after puberty. Littman believes this may be due to adolescent girls’ susceptibility to peer influence on social media.

A variety of studies suggest that as many as 80% of dysphoric children could ultimately experience “desistance”— or coming to terms with their biological gender without resorting to transition. Which is why many professionals like Evans think it’s wise to hold off on potentially irreversible medical intervention for as long as possible….All these treatments run the risk of side effects that critics argue are too serious for children to fully understand. In the short term, puberty blockers can stunt growth and effect bone density, while the long-term effects are still unknown since they were only approved by the FDA in 1993. Side effects of testosterone include high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blood clots and even infertility.

Being “gender affirming” shouldn’t be an excuse for a doctor to commit medical malpractice. But that may be happening in many cases.

The National Review provided a possible example. Doctors affirmed a man’s false belief that he had a female gender identity, and then mutilated his body by giving him a sex change he came to regret.

Plagued by self-hatred, he “heard about transgenderism” in college, and “seized on it as the solution.” A gender-affirming free clinic “immediately affirmed” his female gender identity. He was then given an “incomplete informed consent document to sign.” Later, his doctor told him that he “should really get surgery.” He was given an orchiectomy, but not told that it was castration. After being castrated, he “developed a drug habit” and began “ejaculating blood.” He said that “the gender clinic kept telling me, ‘Oh, it gets better.’” But it didn’t.

He says he was never given an independent psychological evaluation before getting surgery. After surgery, a different therapist diagnosed him with a different condition than gender dysphoria. But by then, he had already been castrated.

Getting a sex change caused havoc in the lives of thousands of people. The National Review gave an example of a woman who transitioned to being a man, and ended up with negative health consequences, “no hair,” and a “body mutilated.”

It’s not just doctors and psychologists who have made mistakes in their zeal to be “gender affirming.” So have judges.

Jamie Shupe gave an example in “I was America’s first ‘nonbinary person.’ It was all a sham.” Shupe is male, as he noted in the Daily Signal. But he wanted in vain to be a woman, due to a condition known as “autogynephilia.” When his therapist expressed skepticism about whether he would actually benefit from trying to change his sex, he filed a “formal complaint” against her, and found a new therapist, who affirmed his new “identity as a woman.” But eventually he changed his mind and declared he was nonbinary, not female:

When the fantasy of being a woman came to an end, I asked two of my doctors to allow me to become nonbinary instead of female to bail me out. Both readily agreed….To escape the delusion of having become a woman, I did something completely unprecedented in American history. In 2016, I convinced an Oregon judge to declare my sex to be nonbinary—neither male nor female.

As a result of this ruling, a “nonbinary option” now exists in many states, even though Shupe’s “sex change to nonbinary was a medical and scientific fraud.” The judge’s ruling was not based on any evidence. As Shupe observes, “the judge didn’t ask me a single question. Nor did” the judge ask “to see any medical evidence….Within minutes, the judge just signed off on the court order,” even though he did “not have any disorders of sexual development.” But three years later, “unable to advance the fraud for another single day,” he “reclaimed” his “male birth sex.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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