Tuesday January 8, 2008

Catholic Hospital Sued for Refusing Breast Surgery to Make Man Look Like A Woman

By Hilary White

NEW YORK, January 8, 2008 ( – In the case of a California Catholic hospital being sued by a man who demanded breast enhancement surgery, the US Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has reminded the media that there is no such thing as a “right” to “sex-change” surgery.

A man named Charlene Hastings, referred to in the media as a “transgender woman”, has launched a suit against Seton Medical Center, a Catholic hospital in San Mateo County, near San Francisco, claiming officials had discriminated against him because of his “sex-change operation”.

So called “sex-change” surgery is the popularly prescribed solution when a person suffers from the conviction that he or she was “born as the wrong sex.” The Catholic League issued a media release saying that the suit is a threat to the hospital’s right to operate as a religiously based institution.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented, “There are some medical procedures that run counter to Catholic moral teaching, and they include direct euthanasia, embryonic stem cell experimentation and cloning. If Catholic hospitals are denied the right to proscribe such operations, it effectively nullifies their right to remain Catholic.”

The hospital, run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, says the request violates Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church holds with the scientific evidence that a person’s sex is determined genetically at the moment of conception and no surgical mutilations or drug treatments can change this most fundamental aspect of an individual’s human nature. A “sex-change”, therefore, is impossible since a person’s sex is built into his genetic code.

Much of the psychiatric and medical community, however, has adopted the notion that an individual’s sex is a malleable, self-determined concept that can be changed at will.

Homosexual activists have targeted, with lawsuits, Catholic and other Christian institutions for what they allege is the Church’s “hatred” of homosexuals because of its refusal to accept this concept. Donohue pointed out that there are other institutions that would happily grant the plaintiff’s request.

He said, “What this case represents is nothing short of vengeance against a Catholic hospital simply because it practices Catholicism. Such intolerance, and such complete disdain for the diversity that Catholic institutions offer, has no legitimate place in our society.”

Elizabeth Nikels, vice president of communications for Daughters of Charity, said that the hospital “provides medically necessary services to all individuals.”

“However, the hospital does not perform surgical procedures contrary to Catholic teaching; for example, abortion, direct euthanasia, transgender surgery or any of its related components.”

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