NO CATHOLIC RIGHT TO TRANSGENDER SURGERY
Catalyst March Issue 2008
A person claiming discrimination, after being denied breast enlargement surgery following a transgender operation, sued Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California. The hospital, which is run by the Daughters of Charity, said that the requested surgery violated Catholic teaching and was outside the procedures of the hospital. The man-turned-woman desired breast enlargement surgery so that he would appear more feminine.
The man told the media that he believed God had plans for him to receive this surgery. He also said that he felt “violated” by the hospital’s decision. When commenting on the situation, a spokeswoman for the hospital said, “Catholic values form the basis of our identity and set the parameters for our ethics and standards of behavior in health care.”
Following the hospital’s denial, the transgender person refused to look elsewhere for plastic surgery. He knew full well that there were other hospitals that would have gladly performed breast augmentation on a transgender person—especially in the San Francisco area.
Here is what we told the media:
“Catholic hospitals are not required to perform abortions, and neither should they be forced to perform transgender operations. There are some medical procedures that run counter to Catholic moral teaching, and they include direct euthanasia, embryonic stem cell experimentation and cloning. If Catholic hospitals are denied the right to proscribe such operations, it effectively nullifies their right to remain Catholic.”
Not to be overlooked, the IRS ruled in 2005 that a woman’s transsexual sex reassignment surgery is not allowed as a deductible medical expense. Moreover, consider what Johns Hopkins professor of psychiatry Paul McHugh has concluded: “I have witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment.” In other words, the government sees the requested surgery as elective in nature and experts like McHugh see it as destructive. Why, then, should Catholic hospitals be forced to cooperate with this objectionable venture?
What this case represents is nothing short of vengeance against a Catholic institution simply because it practices Catholicism. Such intolerance, and such complete disdain for the diversity that Catholic institutions offer, has no legitimate place in our society.