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News & Politics News & Politics

Illinois Transwoman Refused Medical Care Because Religious Freedom

Posted by on Apr. 21, 2014 at 7:34 PM
  • 30 Replies

Naya Taylor found out that her primary care physician, Aja Lystila, considered her to be less than human.  When Taylor requested the start of hormone therapy in order to treat her gender dysphoria, Lystilla first claimed that she was not experienced enough to supervise the hormone therapy of  transgender person.  But the clinic in which Lystilla works provides hormone therapy to non-transgender patients every day.

Later the truth of the matter came out, when clinic staff told Taylor,

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

—Naya Taylor

The Affordable Care Act is partially a civil rights law in that it prohibits health care providers that receive federal funds from discriminating against any individual on the basis of sex for the purpose of health care.

Taylor is being represented by Lambda Legal in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday charging Dr. Lystila and the Carle health care services group which operates the clinic with denying medical care.  Lambda Legal claims that discrimination based on sex extends to discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity, as per Title IX.

 photo Naya-Taylor_zps68e3f711.jpgTaylor requested HRT from Lystila in early 2013 but was rebuffed.  So Taylor purchased hormones online and began self-administering the drugs.  That is risky behavior.  In the fall of 2013 Taylor asked Lystila to perform blood work to check her hormone levels, but the doctor again refused.  When Taylor straight-forwardly requested a prescription for transition-related hormones in October of 2013 and was refused again, she contacted Lambda Legal.

Carle Group justified the actions because the clinic has Middle Eastern doctors with religious beliefs that inform them that they do not have to interact with transgender people because "religious freedom.".

The case is Taylor v Lystila.

Summary

Naya Taylor is a transgender woman living in Mattoon, Illinois.  Dr. Aja Lystila had been Ms. Taylor’s primary care physician, but when Ms. Taylor asked to start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as part of her medically necessary, transition-related health care to treat her gender dysphoria, Dr. Lystila refused.  Dr. Lystila first claimed she was not experienced in providing hormones to transgender people even though hormone therapy is regularly provided to non-transgender patients in a variety of settings every day.  Later the clinic told Ms. Taylor that it “does not have to treat people like you.”  HRT is one of the vital life-saving treatments used to treat gender dysphoria, a recognized, serious medical condition.

The Affordable Care Act is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit health care providers that receive federal funds, such as Dr. Lystila’s medical practice, from discriminating against any individual on the basis of sex for purpose of providing health services.  That prohibition extends to discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived gender identity of the individuals involved.

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.  Patients such as Naya Taylor place their health and well-being in a doctor's hands.  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.

—Kenneth Upton, Senior Counsel for Lambda Legal

Studies have revealed that 19% of transgender people have been refused health care on the basis of our gender identity.  Half of us have had to teach our medical provider how to provide our care.  And 28% of us have postponed health care when sick or injured for fear of being discriminated against.

ORIGINALLY POSTED TO TRANSACTION ON FRI APR 18, 2014 AT 04:00 PM PDT.

ALSO REPUBLISHED BY VOICES ON THE SQUARE AND LGBT KOS COMMUNITY.

by on Apr. 21, 2014 at 7:34 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Schauseil
by Silver Member on Apr. 21, 2014 at 8:09 PM
5 moms liked this
Didn't I say shit like this was going to happen if you started letting people discriminate in the name of religion?
-Celestial-
by Platinum Member on Apr. 21, 2014 at 9:29 PM
1 mom liked this
It begins or continues.
grandmab125
by Platinum Member on Apr. 21, 2014 at 9:37 PM
1 mom liked this

 The woman (?) should have picked up on their attitude the first time her dr didn't want to give her (?) hormone replacement therapy.  She certainly wasn't very bright.  Buying hormones on line is f**king nuts.  The smart thing would have been to find a new dr the first time she was turned down....not wait, treat herself, then sue because they won't come in a fix things for her (?).

Analeigh2012
by Silver Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:42 AM
3 moms liked this
Agreed. But then this person would not have been able to push legal action. Litigious society we live in. Very sad.

Quoting grandmab125:

 The woman (?) should have picked up on their attitude the first time her dr didn't want to give her (?) hormone replacement therapy.  She certainly wasn't very bright.  Buying hormones on line is f**king nuts.  The smart thing would have been to find a new dr the first time she was turned down....not wait, treat herself, then sue because they won't come in a fix things for her (?).

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blueforewolf
by on Apr. 22, 2014 at 1:19 AM
1 mom liked this

sooooo if your religion says that women should be in pain when giving birth as punishment for their innate evilness and you refuse to give pain killers to laboring women that would be ok?  nope don't think so - and if you keep up nonsense like this and discriminate in your practice,  than you just don't get the govt's money - I'm completely ok with that - 

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 1:52 AM
2 moms liked this

How hard is it to change your primary care physician? People do it every day.

If you're not comfortable with a doctor and feel you are not being treating you the way you should, CHANGE DOCTORS. It's way easier than getting hormone replacement therapy. Or trying and not getting it.

No one is forcing a transgender patient to go to a Muslim doctor. This isn't Iran, where gay and transgender people are executed. Good Lord.

No, we are in the US, where you can change doctors if you want, and where you can hire photographers and bakeries and ministers you like to share in your marital festivities if both parties agree to do so. 

mcdun
by Humboldt California on Apr. 22, 2014 at 1:57 AM
1 mom liked this

You must be very lucky with your insurance if you think changing your primary care physician is easy i've been trying since I got my current insurance but they just won't let me. The doctor they picked for me (yah I didn't get to pick him) has no experience with my auto-immune disease the jerk even proscribed me something I was allergic too even after I told him "I can't take that." I have spent over 10 hours on the phone and email trying to get my insurance to let me keep the doctor I had before him. 

Insurance companies are the worst. I am just a name on a paper to them and so is the trans*woman in this article. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

How hard is it to change your primary care physician? People do it every day.

If you're not comfortable with a doctor and feel you are not being treating you the way you should, CHANGE DOCTORS. It's way easier than getting hormone replacement therapy.

No one is forcing a transgender patient to go to a Muslim doctor. This isn't Iran, where gay and transgender people are executed. Good Lord.

No, we are in the US, where you can change doctors if you want, and where you can hire photographers and bakeries and ministers you like to share in your marital festivities if both parties agree to do so. 


“If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.” 

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 2:07 AM

So- did the Dr confirm it was because of religion? I didn't quite see that clearly. I only saw it in a statement from the woman's attorney. If it came from the MD then I'd understand her argument, but I don't see that.

I do though understand if the dr didn't want to provide HRT for that specific diagnosis, even though it is provided for other diagnosis. Even if it is the same treatment, wouldn't the patient want someone experienced in providing that therapy, for that same condition?

Plus, if she went rogue and purchased the hormone herself, what physician in their right mind would order bloodwork for it?

I don't gather that her intentions were out to get this dr, but I would expect someone to seek an MD who has experience in what they need. Hormone therapy isn't the same across the board. She had a unique and specific need, that obviously wasn't done in this clinic.

Its.me.Sam.
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 2:38 AM
3 moms liked this

didnt everyone with any sense in their head or humanity in their conscious.
people that dont care wont care until it affects THEM personally.   the kind of people who didnt see this coming wont even care that it did.  it is a sad testament to how too many people think

Quoting Schauseil: Didn't I say shit like this was going to happen if you started letting people discriminate in the name of religion?


Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

gender dysphoria, -

if we would stop making nonsense like this up, we wouldn't have these problems.

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