Patient denied diagnosis, treatment because of transgender status

This blog has covered many stories of men and women in New York who have been injured or died because their doctors made a mistake. No one in Troy should have to deal with a physician's errors and the serious injuries that come with them, but when someone does have a physician whose mistakes left them wounded or dead, a patient or his or her family can hold the doctor liable.

That is what most medical malpractice cases are: mistakes. Some people, however, have had doctors refuse to treat or start treatment only to stop partway through. In one of these cases, a 56-year-old man had gone in to have a lump examined, and after several tests were run, it was discovered that he had cancer. When the surgeon met with him to give him the diagnosis, however, the surgeon realized the man had been born female and transitioned to being a man. Instead of telling him he had cancer and scheduling chemotherapy, radiation or some kind of treatment, he was so shocked that he didn't say or do anything.

This was six years ago and now the man is saying that the doctor's failure to diagnose cancer and an inability to work with a transgender patient potentially resulted in a health risk. The man has had an extremely difficult time finding a doctor that works with his insurance provider who will properly care for him. Though he was able to receive some treatment, he is now no longer sure if he is cancer free.

It seems absolutely shocking that a patient would be injured by an intentional act. In even the most severe medical malpractice cases, the doctors rarely wanted to injure or kill their patients.

Source: ABC News, "Trans Man Denied Cancer Treatment; Now Feds Say It's Illegal," Susan Donaldson James, August 8, 2012

If you are interested in more information about this story, please see the source above, but if you want to learn about the way in which a delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer can affect chances of survival, please visit our cancer misdiagnosis page.


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