ACLU of Tennessee Demands Hospital Reinstate Medically–Necessary Surgeries
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2022
Lindsay Kee, (615) 320-7142
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee sent a letter to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare demanding that the hospital end its discriminatory policy denying lifesaving medical care to transgender and nonbinary patients.
The letter was sent on behalf of 19-year-old Chris Evans, who was informed just days before a medically necessary surgery that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare was cancelling their surgery because of the hospital’s new policy of denying healthcare to transgender and nonbinary patients.
“Growing up, I was taught to never let anyone touch my body, that my body is mine and mine alone. Right now, my body is not home to the way I feel inside, which is why, in consultation with multiple health professionals and my family over many years, I decided to schedule this medically necessary surgery,” client Chris Evans said. “I hope that the hospital acts quickly to reinstate my scheduled surgery, because no one else should be able to make decisions about my body but me.”
Multiple studies have shown that providing gender-affirming and supportive care saves young people’s lives by dramatically reducing depression and suicidal ideation.
ACLU-TN’s letter asserts that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s new policy and cancellation of surgeries solely for transgender and nonbinary patients discriminates against patients on the basis of sex and ability, in violation of federal non-discrimination laws.
“All people should be able to access necessary medical care without fear of discrimination because of who they are,” said ACLU-TN Staff Attorney Lucas Cameron-Vaughn. “Denial of healthcare results in life-threatening situations for all patients. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is risking the lives of its patients by jumping into culture wars. Discrimination does not belong in healthcare.”
ACLU-TN has demanded that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare reschedule Evans’ surgery, including any necessary support services, no later than December 31, or the organization will file a complaint with the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.
The letter sent today can be found at: www.aclu-tn.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/ACLU-TN-Demand-Letter-to-MLH-11.30.22_final.pdf