Wednesday, September 28, 2016

When Healthcare Isn’t

Most of us take healthcare for granted but sometime when a trans person is involved healthcare can do more harm than good.
Mother sues Rady Children's for allegedly insensitive transgender care
The San Diego Union Tribune
By Paul Sisson
September 28, 2016

A Vista mother sued Rady Children’s Hospital in federal court Monday, alleging its workers broke the law when they repeatedly addressed her 14-year-old transgender son, Kyler Prescott, as a girl.

Katharine Prescott said Kyler was extremely distressed after being treated as a female patient, causing his psychiatrist to request that he be released only 24 hours into a 72-hour suicide hold at the hospital.

The teen committed suicide on May 18, 2015 — 41 days after his discharge. The death received international attention after it was featured on the inaugural episode of “I Am Cait,” the documentary television series that chronicled the life of Caitlyn Jenner after the gold-medal-winning decathlete’s gender transition.
What caused him to take his own life?

Microaggressions by the hospital staff.
“I don’t call it malicious. I think it’s a complete lack of understanding and training. If you say you are trained to take care of transgender youths, you need to be able to do that. And if you’re unable to, it may have dire consequences,” Prescott said.
[…]
The suit said Kyler was “bullied and harassed about his gender identity by his peers and teachers.” This discrimination, Prescott said, made her son extremely sensitive to being address with the wrong pronouns.

She said when the staff at Rady Children’s Hospital began treating her son as a girl, she objected over and over, escalating the matter to the charge nurse responsible for the ward where Kyle was admitted.
Misgendering, using the wrong pronouns, not using his preferred name all added up to cause him to do self-harm.

In my training I call it the dripping faucet; it is not the one drip that causes problems but rather the drip, drip, drip that adds up over time to cause physiological stress. The hospital called itself trans friendly,
…but it [the law suit] does accuse the region’s only children’s hospital of misrepresenting the capabilities of its Gender Management Clinic. Promises of sensitivity to transgender issues were not honored, Prescott said.
When you say you are LGBT friendly make sure you are. It is even worst when you say you’re trans friendly ad then you don’t deliver on your promise.

At a training I did Monday I said being an ally is not just giving your staff an hour of training and putting up rainbow stickers. It is an ongoing process. You need constant training and constant review of your operations. You need to be active ally, you need to speak up; as the director of True Colors says “If you hear mean, intervene!”

No comments: