Friday, December 30, 2016

Catholic group files suit to block rule that could force doctors to perform sex-reassignment surgery

The Catholic Benefits Association and the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota have joined in a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging regulations that could be used to force health-care providers to perform sex-reassignment surgery.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in North Dakota, charges that a “multi-agency effort to redefine the term ‘sex’ in federal anti-discrimination laws” is a threat to the religious freedom of Catholic doctors and Catholic hospitals.

The suit focuses on a regulation, scheduled to take effect on January 1, which prohibits discriminatory treatment on the basis of “gender identity.” 

The plaintiffs fear that the regulation could be used against health-care provider who refuse to perform surgery for transgender patients.

Douglas Wilson, the head of the Catholic Benefits Association, said that Church-administered hospitals already provide care for people suffering from gender-identity questions. That care, however, should not include surgical removal of sex organs. 

“The prime ethic of any heath-care provide is do no harm,” Wilson said. “These regulations do the opposite.”


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