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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 18 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 16
Lambda Legal sues doctor for refusing to treat Trans woman
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Lambda Legal sues doctor for refusing to treat Trans woman

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Lambda Legal filed suit in federal court on April 16 on behalf of a Trans woman whose doctor refused to prescribe hormone replacement therapy for her. The suit says that the doctor violated the Affordable Care Act.

Naya Taylor, the plaintiff in the suit, requested hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as part of her transition-related healthcare regimen. Her primary care physician, Dr. Aja Lystila refused to prescribe the therapy.

HRT is a medically necessary and often life-saving procedure used to treat gender dysphoria, a serious recognized medical condition.

Initially, the doctor claimed she was not experienced in providing hormone therapy. Later, her clinic told Taylor that it 'does not have to treat people like you.' According to Lambda Legal, Dr. Lystila's clinic receives federal funding and, therefore, may not discriminate on the basis of sex, which includes gender identity.

'When they said, 'we don't have to treat people like you,' I felt like the smallest, most insignificant person in the world,' Taylor told the Windy City Times. 'The doctor and office provide hormone replacement therapy for others at the same clinic, they just refused to do that for me.'

Lambda Legal's suit names Dr. Lystila and the Carle Clinic as defendants. Lambda also filed a separate complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

In a statement, Lambda Legal senior counsel Kenneth Upton said that the doctor was in clear violation of federal law.

'The provisions of the Affordable Care Act are clear: doctors receiving federal funds cannot discriminate in providing patient care just because a person is transgender,' Upton said.

'Patients such as Naya Taylor place their health and well-being in a doctor's hands. Ms. Taylor asked for her doctor to provide services similar to those provided to other clinic patients who are not transgender and the doctor and clinic refused, posing a significant risk to Ms. Taylor's health. The ACA's non-discrimination provisions were intended to ensure appropriate medical care for transgender people, a community that already faces a disproportionate amount of discrimination, violence and suicide rates.'

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