Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis is responding after the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) threatened legal action if the healthcare system does not reschedule the cancellation of surgeries for transgender and nonbinary patients.
According to its website, ACLU-TN works to “fight discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, working for fair treatment on the job and in schools, housing, public places and health care.”
In a letter to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, ACLU-TN states that the healthcare system’s cancellation of surgeries for transgender and nonbinary patients “discriminates against patients on the basis of sex and ability, in violation of federal non-discrimination laws.”
BREAKING: We are demanding that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare end its policy denying lifesaving medical care to transgender & nonbinary patients, which violates federal non-discrimination laws.
Our full statement: https://t.co/nNKojFszcL
— ACLU of Tennessee (@aclutn) November 30, 2022
ACLU-TN demands that the healthcare system reschedule the surgeries and “any necessary support services” by the end of the year or the organization will file a complaint with the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.
In a statement on Monday, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare confirmed that it had “paused” performing gender-affirming procedures on patients, however, clarified that its policies have “not changed” and is currently working on rescheduling patients for surgeries before the end of the year.
“In recent weeks, some care providers voiced questions about patients receiving gender-affirming procedures at a facility affiliated with our health system. This resulted in a temporary pause to review current practices,” Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare expressed in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
“We have not changed our practices regarding the treatment of transgender and/or non-binary patients. We have not wavered from our commitment as a health system for all. We understand the physicians are moving forward with getting the patients rescheduled before the end of the year,” Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare further clarified in its statement.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Surgery” by Jonathan Borba.