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Lambda Legal sues doctor, clinic for denying care to transgender woman

Thursday, April 17, 2014
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URBANA, Ill. — Lambda Legal on Tuesday filed a lawsuit claiming that an Illinois health care services group denied medical care to a transgender woman after she requested hormone replacement therapy.

Naya Taylor

Naya Taylor

The lawsuit alleges a violation of the Affordable Care Act’s non-discrimination provisions that requires that clinics receiving federal funds treat transgender patients in the same manner as they would any patient under their care.

According to the suit, Naya Taylor requested to start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as part of her medically necessary, transition-related healthcare to treat her gender dysphoria, but was refused by Dr. Aja Lystila, her primary care physician.

Taylor asserts that Lystila first claimed she was not experienced in providing hormones to transgender people even though hormone therapy is regularly provided to non-transgender patients in a variety of settings every day. Later the clinic told Taylor that it “does not have to treat people like you.”

“When they said, ‘we don’t have to treat people like you,’ I felt like the smallest, most insignificant person in the world,” said Taylor. “The doctor and office provide hormone replacement therapy for others at the same clinic, they just refused to do that for me.”

The Affordable Care Act is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit health care providers that receive federal funds from discriminating against any individual on the basis of sex for purpose of providing health services.

That prohibition extends to discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived gender identity of the individuals involved, according to Lambda Legal.

The suit names Lystila and the Carle health care group as defendants.

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