Many Illinois parents are watching the South Carolina case in which parents are suing the state over a child’s sex-assignment surgery that happened eight years ago. The parents, who are also suing the University of South Carolina in Charleston and Greenville Hospital System, claim the surgery was medically unnecessary. They also claim the surgery was painful and irreversible. It was also allegedly completed without properly notifying the child’s legal guardians. At the time of the sex-assignment surgery, the child’s legal guardian was South Carolina’s Department of Social Services.
The parents, who adopted the child seven years ago, explain the child was born with female and male genitalia. The defendants allegedly rushed to put a treatment plan, which was surgery to make the then 16 month old child a girl, into place. The medical malpractice lawsuit claims that the surgery should have been postponed until the child was older and identified with either gender. Although now a biological female, the child has identified more with the male gender.
The malpractice lawsuit also alleges gross negligence against the state because agency officials did attend the meetings the doctors had before making the surgery decision. However, the officials did not ask any questions regarding to the consequences of the surgery for the child. The biological parents were not involved in the surgery decision as their parental rights were taken away. The mother was deemed unfit, and the father abandoned the child.
This sex-assignment lawsuit may be the first of its kind to be filed in the United States. The outcome of the lawsuit is still unknown. The plaintiffs have also filed a second lawsuit regarding the sex-assignment surgery, but the Greenville hospital isn’t a party to it.
Medical malpractice cases, like this one, involve injury caused in some form by negligence on a defendant’s part. A medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help victims and their families file claims for compensation.
Source: USA Today, “Hospitals, South Carolina sued over child’s sex surgery“, Tim Smith and David Dykes, May 15, 2013