Upholding Justice For Detransitioners

Can your healthcare provider refuse to help you detransition?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Medical Malpractice And Detransitioning

When it comes to making decisions about your healthcare, it is important to understand your healthcare provider’s obligations. When it comes to detransitioning from gender-affirming care, though, it might not be clear what your provider’s responsibilities are.

In a worst-case scenario, your healthcare provider might even refuse to help with your detransitioning. This is a complex issue that requires careful examination.

Understanding detransitioning

Detransitioning is the process of reverting to the gender identity or presentation that aligns with one’s biological sex. After previously transitioning to another gender, you might express doubts about the decision. Your decision might also stem from a medical professional’s failure to disclose the full implications of the gender-affirming care they chose to provide to you.

The role of healthcare providers

Healthcare providers play an undeniable role in offering medical assistance to individuals seeking to maintain or transition their gender identity. However, the matter becomes nuanced when someone expresses the desire to detransition.

Legal obligations

Healthcare providers certainly have a duty to provide care. However, there are circumstances where they may refuse to assist with detransitioning. For instance, if the provider lacks the necessary expertise or resources to support the process safely, they may refer you to a specialist who can offer appropriate care. Additionally, if detransitioning poses significant health risks or conflicts with the provider’s ethical beliefs, they may decline to participate.

Communication and alternatives

Open communication between the patient and their healthcare provider is a must. If a provider is unable or unwilling to assist with detransitioning, they should clearly explain their reasons and explore alternative options. A healthcare provider’s decision to refer a patient to a professional who specializes in detransitioning is a valid course of action. Refusing to support a patient who wishes to detransition due to a medical error, however, is a questionable decision.

Some studies suggest that only 1% of those who received transgender surgeries expressed regret afterward. Though this figure represents a small minority, those who wish to detransition have a right to do so, especially if their regret stems from medical malpractice.