A transgender man filed a lawsuit against a Catholic hospital Thursday after the institution refused to perform her hysterectomy.
Jionni Conforti, a woman who identifies as a man, accused St. Joseph’s hospital in Paterson, New Jersey of “discriminatory actions” that violate state and federal anti-discrimination laws, reports The Washington Post.
The hospital would not allow the relevant surgeon to perform the hysterectomy on Conforti at their facility. The lawsuit, filed on Conforti’s behalf by Lambda Legal, seeks monetary damages and wants the hospital to perform any surgeries a transgender might need.
“My goal is to make a change for the up and coming trans people so they never have to go through this,” Conforti told Time.
Conforti began taking hormone therapy in 2014 after getting a gender dysphoria diagnosis, the lawsuit said. Doctors warned her that her risk for cancer could rise with the therapy, the lawsuit maintained. Conforti made the decision to undergo a hysterectomy to remove the risk associated with the hormone therapy.
Conforti subsequently called St. Joseph’s to confirm that her hysterectomy would be performed there with a previously requested surgeon, the lawsuit said. Father Martin D. Rooney, director of pastoral care and mission services, emailed her to say that the hospital would not be able to perform the surgery.
The lawsuit claimed that Conforti suffered from emotional distress and humiliation because of the hospital’s decision.
“As a result of Defendants SJHS and SJRMC’s discriminatory acts, Jionni has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, degradation, embarrassment, emotional pain and anguish, violation of his dignity, loss of enjoyment of life, and other compensatory damages,” the lawsuit alleged.
The St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center said they adhere to the standards made by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They also referred to themselves as “a leading Catholic healthcare institution serving one of the most diverse and under-served populations in New Jersey.”
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