Should I refuse to assist with this patient?

I am a surgical technologist - I assist in surgery. We have a physician who may be operating on a man who is wishing to live in society as a woman. The patient is seeking breast augmentation at the surgery center where I work. This is not actual “sex reassignment” surgery (as they call it), but breast implants. My gut tells me I should ask to NOT be the assistant on this surgery, or any others like it. But I am having a hard time backing these feelings with clear Church teachings etc. Am I obligated to make the request to not be a part of this surgery?
(any suggestions on how to phrase that request would be appreciated as well)
I have already made my desires to not participate in other procedures we sometimes do (e.g. tubal ligations) and my bosses have always been respectful and accommodating, but I don’t want my list of procedures I wont do to grow and grow if its not necessary!
thank you for your help


What the surgeon is doing it attacking a healthy organ, the man’s breasts, and mutilating them. There is no disease there. This is immoral and a sin.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.” It quotes Densinger 3722 here.

So yes, I suggest that you refuse.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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