A transgender man 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 identity.
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.
“When we think about hospitals, they provide care, and you believe you will be taken care of in a certain way by the medical professionals that work there. There’s something so disorienting and upsetting when that’s ripped away from you,” said Elizabeth Gill, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which along with Oakland law firm Rukin, Hyland & Riggin filed the lawsuit on behalf of Knight. Read more via San Francisco Chronicle