A Texas surgeon could face up to 10 years in prison after allegedly handing over information that showed Texas Children’s Hospital had performed transgender medical interventions on minors after saying they stopped.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department unsealed its four-count indictment of the surgeon named Eithan Haim. Haim was indicted for allegedly obtaining protected health information of patients under false pretenses and without authorization.

“I have maintained from day one that I have done nothing wrong,” said Haim to CBS News. “We’re going to fight this tooth and nail, stand up for whistleblowers everywhere.”

In response to a 2022 opinion from the Texas Attorney General’s Office and an order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Children’s Hospital said it “paused hormone-related prescription therapies for gender-affirming services. This step was taken to safeguard our health care professionals and impacted families from potential criminal legal ramifications.”

A year later on May 16, 2023, Christopher Rufo posted an essay on Substack saying he “obtained exclusive whistleblower documents showing that, despite its public statements, the Houston-based children’s hospital — the largest in the United States — has secretly continued to perform transgender medical interventions, including the use of implantable puberty blockers, on minor children.”

The hospital declined to comment at the time.

By June of that same year, Abbott signed a bill into law that prevented physicians from prescribing puberty blockers and hormone therapies to children. The law is currently being challenged in court.

Haim wrote an essay for City Journal on Jan. 12, 2024, identifying himself as the person who handed over information to Rufo. Haim said he did it out of moral responsibility. He said a month after Rufo’s essay came out, two agents from the federal Department of Health and Human Services knocked on his door and said they were investigating a case.

“Before leaving, they handed me a letter revealing that I was a ‘potential target’ of an investigation involving alleged violation of federal criminal law related to medical records,” wrote Haim.

Haim has now been formally charged following that investigation.

The Justice Department said Haim allegedly obtained this information “with the intent to cause harm to TCH’s physicians and patients.” Haim has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has raised over $845,000 as of Monday afternoon for his legal defense.

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Haim was a resident at Baylor College of Medicine and did rotations in the general surgery division at Texas Children’s Hospital from 2019 to 2021. As a Baylor resident, he received log-in credentials for the hospital in 2018 to review patient records.

The Justice Department alleged Haim tried to reactivate his credentials from September 2022 to April 2023 after his credentials had expired.

“Haim obtained personal information including patient names, treatment codes, dates of service and attending physician from TCH’s electronic system without authorization and under the false pretenses that he needed to urgently attend to adult care services,” the indictment alleged. “In fact, no TCH pediatric or adult patients were assigned to Haim’s care.”

Haim has appeared at his initial court appearance.

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