Stating that California’s interest in fighting discrimination against LGBTQ residents outweighs the right to impose religious standards on healthcare, an appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit against the Catholic hospital chain Dignity Health for barring a hysterectomy for a transgender patient.
The lawsuit was brought by Evan Minton, whose hysterectomy was abruptly canceled by Dignity’s Mercy San Juan Medical Center of Carmichael, Calif., in 2016 when hospital officials learned he was transgender. The hospital took the action to comply with the church’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, which prohibit sterilization procedures except in very narrow circumstances.
“Any burden [state law] places on the exercise of religion is justified by California’s compelling interest in ensuring full and equal access to medical treatment for all its residents,” wrote Justice Stuart R. Pollak for a unanimous three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco.
An interesting situation.