Today Lambda Legal announced it has filed a federal lawsuit against St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Paterson, New Jersey, after the hospital refused to allow Jionni Conforti’s surgeon to perform a routine hysterectomy because Jionni is transgender.
The lawsuit cites the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which clearly prohibits discrimination because of sex and gender identity, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
“No hospital should be allowed to decide who their patients are, particularly when they receive government funds. Denying care to someone at their time of need because of their sex or gender identity is not only dangerous and humiliating, it’s against the law,” said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan. “In the United States, one in six hospital beds are in Catholic hospitals. These health care providers must comply with federal and state anti-discrimination laws so that the health of LGBT people who walk through their doors is not endangered.”
On the advice of his doctor, Jionni decided to undergo a hysterectomy as medically necessary treatment for his gender dysphoria and based on his possibly increased risk of cancer.
Although hospital personnel initially confirmed that scheduling a hysterectomy as treatment for gender dysphoria would be no problem, Jionni later learned there might be an issue with scheduling the procedure and sought confirmation from hospital leadership.