Hospital network’s new policy forces women to share rooms with gender-confused men
HARTFORD, Connecticut, June 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A Connecticut hospital network will force women to share rooms with biological men who claim to be women. According to Hartford HealthCare, the new policy stems from a spirit of “cultural humility.”
Hartford HealthCare is a network of hospitals serving 185 towns, with 33,000 employees, including 4,000 medical staff, and an operating revenue of $4.3 billion. The network released a statement Monday describing a “major step” on its “journey to cultural humility” involving “establishing a policy for assigning hospital beds to transgender patients.”
The policy, which was two years in the making and has been in place since last fall, states that the healthcare network is committed “to identifying gender-affirming room assignments.”
According to the policy, “transgender patients will be assigned to rooms based on their self-identified gender, regardless of whether this is consistent with their physical appearance, surgical history, genitalia, legal sex, sex assigned at birth or name and sex as it appears in hospital records.”
“It’s about the level of acceptance humans have toward others’ differences,” said Gerard Lupacchino, senior vice president of “human experience” at Hartford HealthCare, adding that patient needs should not be exclusively based “assumptions about preferences based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors.”
Lupacchino said that if a private hospital room is available and needed, any patient may request one, referring to “transgender” patients who want a private room due to “safety concerns.”
It is unclear whether similar accommodation would be granted to a female patient who might not feel safe if forced to share a room with a man.
The press release says Hartford HealthCare is “evolving from cultural competence to cultural humility.”
“Part of the commitment is acknowledging that an individual’s conscious and unconscious biases can inform reactions and, therefore, the care patients receive,” the statement reads.
In the past, Hartford HealthCare’s hospital beds were assigned to patients according to the biological sex reflected on their birth certificates. The hospital did not have specific policy to deal with patients who “have a gender identity that is not fully congruent with their assigned sex at birth.”
The release explains that while some patients “have had surgical intervention to align their minds and bodies ... not all have taken such steps.”
Hospital registration staff will now use the hospital system’s new “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification” data fields in its medical record system to input “sexual orientation, gender identity, sex assigned at birth, preferred pronouns and steps taken or planned to transition,” if provided by the patient.
“I suspect we will get to the point where registration colleagues will ask all patients and customers for their gender and sexual identity,” said Luppachino. “This is emerging as standard practice in most larger systems and is an important step in creating an equitable experience for our transgender patients.”
Hartford HealthCare’s policy is not unique. Under new interpretations of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it would be a violation of federal law for hospitals to “discriminate” against “transgender” individuals by requiring they use rooms or facilities that align with their actual sex.
In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Barack Obama redefined sex discrimination in Section 1557 to include a person’s “internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.”
The rule was blocked in December of that year, but there remained a possibility it could be revived by a future court.
In July 2020, President Trump rescinded the Obama-era interpretation, with the HHS under Trump announcing it would “enforce Section 1557 by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”
Trump’s revisions were blocked by a federal judge in August 2020.
As of May 2021, the Biden administration’s HHS, headed by radical pro-abortion secretary Xavier Becerra, announced it will officially interpret Section 1557 to include “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” as well as “discrimination on the basis of gender identity.”
The new decision was made in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020) that added “sex discrimination” into the 1964 Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.