Upholding Justice For Detransitioners

When is gender-affirming care an example of medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Medical Malpractice And Detransitioning

When medical professionals fail to provide appropriate care to transgender individuals, it can lead to harmful consequences. When mistakes occur during gender-affirming care due to negligence, it may be an example of medical malpractice.

Gender-affirming care includes treatments such as hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries. These treatments require diligence and respect for the patient’s needs. Knowing when a medical professional’s behavior is wrongful can help patients seek justice.

Lack of informed consent

Failure to obtain informed consent is a particularly common form of malpractice. Informed consent means that the patient understands the risks and alternatives to the treatment. Medical providers must inform patients about the potential risks of gender-affirming procedures. Failure to do so can constitute medical malpractice.

Negligent diagnosis and treatment

Misdiagnoses and mistreatment are still unfortunately common regarding transgender patients. This can include prescribing incorrect hormone regimens and performing unnecessary surgeries. Negligent diagnosis and treatment can harm patients and undermine their trust in medical professionals.

Discrimination and bias

Discrimination and bias against transgender individuals can also lead to medical malpractice. Some medical providers might allow personal beliefs or prejudices to influence their treatment decisions. These biases often result in poor care. This may even include refusing to provide gender-affirming care altogether.

According to a study conducted by the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the number of gender-affirming surgeries in the United States nearly tripled from 2016 to 2019. Many of these examples of gender-affirming care were perfectly valid and responsible. It remains the case that malpractice is a definite possibility in this still-emerging sector of healthcare.