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Woman sues doctors who she says rushed her into gender surgery at 16

This is the 5th lawsuit of its kind

SHARE Woman sues doctors who she says rushed her into gender surgery at 16
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is seen in this Feb. 18, 2020, photo in Omaha, Neb.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center is seen in this Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, photo in Omaha, Neb.

Josh Funk, Associated Press

Luka Hein, 21, is suing her health providers in Nebraska over the medical transition performed in her childhood.

The medical professionals at the University of Nebraska Medical Center rushed 16-year-old Hein into getting a double mastectomy after two visits to the gender clinic and didn’t offer her counseling or prescribe hormone therapy, the complaint alleges.

“I was going through the darkest and most chaotic time in my life, and instead of being given the help I needed, these doctors affirmed that chaos into reality,” Hein, who has since detransitioned, said in a press release.

This is the fifth lawsuit of its kind. The Center for American Liberty is representing Hein and two other women, Chloe Cole and Layla Jane, while Campbell Miller Payne began representing Prisha Mosley and Soren Aldaco in April this year. These women transitioned as young girls and have opted to reverse their surgeries, like Hein.

In recent years, detransitioning has become a part of the public discourse around gender reassignment procedures, especially for minors. Some advocates say the conversation around detransitioning portrays it “as much more common than it actually is, fueling misconceptions about the gender transition process and painting trans people as just temporarily confused or suffering from a misdiagnosed psychological disorder,” according to NBC News.

At least 19 states in the country have restricted minors from accessing gender reassignment surgery.

Utah was the first state to ban transgender surgeries for minors in January. At the time, Marina Lowe, the policy director at Utah’s LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Utah, said the bill is “essentially a ban on access to medical care for transgender youth,” as the Deseret News reported.

“Everywhere where one has been passed, there is litigation because it’s the government stepping in between parents and children and their doctors,” Lowe said.

A Reuters report that analyzed private and public health insurance data between 2017 and 2021 found that the diagnoses for gender dysphoria nearly tripled in the U.S., as more than 14,000 minors began taking hormones. A majority of diagnoses were made in female patients.

A study in The BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal, found that existing research and guidance about gender transitions focuses on initiating treatment rather than reversing it — something that the World Professional Association of Transgender Heath considers should be equally important.

“There’s a real need for more long-term studies that track patients for five years or longer,”  Dr. Kinnon MacKinnon, a gender studies professor at York University, told Reuters in 2022. “Many detransitioners talk about feeling good during the first few years of their transition. After that, they may experience regret.”

Shifts in identity may occur following transition, but these outcomes don’t represent the majority, the BMJ study said.