A transgender man scheduled surgery at a Catholic hospital. However, just two days before the surgery was to be performed, the patient received an unexpected call from the hospital.
Evan Minton, 35, has worked hard to transform his body as much as possible to resemble that of a biological male. Aside from his boyish facade, he has made it his mission to rid his body of his uterus, ovaries, and other internal female organs.
After making this decision, Minton scheduled a hysterectomy at California’s Mercy San Juan Medical Center. Unfortunately for him, he soon realized that his plan to have the medically unnecessary surgery performed at a major Catholic health care facility would cause an issue.
Just two days before Minton’s scheduled hysterectomy, a nurse called to inform the eager patient that the hospital was canceling the procedure because he had failed to inform specialists that he has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, which isn’t an adequate reason for such an invasive surgery. Furthermore, the hospital adheres to the Catholic Church’s tenets, which would prohibit the deliberate mutilation of healthy reproductive organs, New Ways Ministry reports.
“Catholic hospitals do not perform sterilizing procedures such as hysterectomies for any patient regardless of their gender identity, unless there is a serious threat to the life or health of the patient,” read a statement released by hospital management. “Courts have repeatedly recognized the right of faith-based hospitals not to provide services based on their religious principles….In this case, Mr. Minton was able to quickly receive the sought-after procedure at another nearby Dignity Health hospital that is not Catholic-affiliated.”
Although the hospital directed Minton to another facility that would perform the surgery, he was adamant that the Catholic hospital pay for their age-old religious belief. On behalf of the transgender activist, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Dignity Health, the hospital’s corporation, for denying health care treatment based on alleged discrimination.
Incredibly, a San Francisco Superior Court ruled in favor of the hospital, concluding that Minton doesn’t have the right to infringe upon the religious rights of others. Although his case was dismissed, the court granted Minton the option to personally sue the hospital, according to Newsweek.
Minton and the ACLU have repeatedly accused the hospital of refusing health care services to transgenders. However, the hospital denies this, reiterating that its patients are of every different background and continue to receive care at its facilities. The only issue is that the Catholic Church does not allow certain procedures, such as sterilization or abortion, because they go directly against the Catholic fundamentals.
“Dignity Health has a legacy of providing care to all people regardless of their background, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Our services are available to everyone without discrimination and all are welcome at our care sites.”
Minton may still decide to sue the hospital once again for refusing to perform the medically unnecessary hysterectomy. Minton and his supporters continue to accuse the hospital of hiding behind religion as a means of discriminating against certain groups of people.
“This is a hospital that is open to the general public, so it’s illegal for them to turn away someone based on gender identity,” said Elizabeth Gill, senior senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. “They’re only excluding transgender people from this treatment because the Catholic Church, as a whole, does not recognize the existence of transgender people.”
Religious institutions are constantly under threat of a lawsuit for refusing to violate their core religious values. Unfortunately, some individuals believe that their rights supersede the rights of others, despite the fact that the Constitution clearly protects individuals from being forced upon by others. In Minton’s case, yes, he can do whatever he wants with his body, but he cannot force someone else to perform the procedure.