HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, April 27, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A Nova Scotia man trying to change himself into a woman is upset because the Liberal government doesn’t pay for breast implants.
“Serina” Slaunwhite told CTV Atlantic that the government’s policy is unfair because the province pays for mastectomies for women who want to identify as men.
Nova Scotia’s health department responded to CTV that men who take female hormones generally develop larger breasts, and the province doesn’t pay for breast augmentation regardless of the reason.
The 53-year-old Slaunwhite has been on hormone therapy for three years and his family, including his 21-year-old son, is onside with his transition plans.
But when Slaunwhite took what he thought was the next logical step and went to a plastic surgeon to arrange for breast implants, he found out he’d have to pay for the surgery himself.
He then went to the media in the hope that other men wanting breast implants will join him to lobby for change, CTV News reported.
When the Liberal government decided to fund sex-reassignment surgery in April 2014, it excluded “chest masculinization and/or chest contouring, which typically involve liposuction and implants,” according to a health department website.
It does pay for mastectomies, including ones that spare the nipple, “which can be part of a transition from female to male.”
The Liberal government also funds these procedures: oophorectomy, hysterectomy, penectomy, orchiectomy, phalloplasty, metoidioplasty, and vaginoplasty.
An oophorectomy is removal of the ovaries; an orchiectomy the removal of one or more testicle; a metoidioplasty is the creation of a penis out of a hormonally enlarged clitoris, and vaginoplasty involves cutting and flipping the male member so it resembles a vagina.
But according to Toronto psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Berger, surgery and hormone treatments are not medically indicated for people who are dissatisfied with their sex.
“Medically speaking, they’re just unhappy with who they are,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And no, radical surgery, trying to change the external body configuration, plus hormones, I don’t think is the ideal treatment for unhappiness.”
Moreover, it’s also an impossible quest, as the chromosomes dictating whether one is male or female are imprinted in every cell’s DNA.
Berger is “very much against” hormone treatments and surgery for young people, particularly those under age 20, who could easily change their minds later.
“And if they’ve had surgery, there’s not much they can do about it.”
As for Slaunwhite, he told CTV that as a boy he would play with his mother’s shoes.
Even when he was married, he said, “I wasn’t happy. I just wasn’t happy.”
“The treatment for personal unhappiness is not hormones or radical surgery, but good psychotherapy,” countered Berger. “Whether good psychotherapy can be obtained in Nova Scotia, I don't know.”
And if someone “doesn’t want psychotherapy, isn’t interested in psychotherapy,” is of an older age and “wants to put themselves through that, OK,” Berger told LifeSiteNews.
But there’s no justification to expect it to be paid for “out of the public purse,” he added.
“You want to do it, go ahead and do it. A person wants to have breast implants to have their breasts smaller or bigger, that’s a purely personal choice. Pay for it yourself.”