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ACLU sues Children’s Hospital Colorado for stopping gender-affirming surgeries for adults

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Posted at 5:56 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 08:31:53-05

DENVER — The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Children’s Hospital Colorado after it stopped gender-affirming surgeries on patients over 18, the organization announced on Wednesday.

ACLU Colorado said that it filed the lawsuit on behalf of an 18-year-old transgender patient because it claims the hospital’s policy violates Colorado anti-discrimination laws.

The hospital announced in July of last year that it would stop providing gender-affirming surgeries to patients 18 years and up. Children’s Hospital Colorado never performed surgery on patients under 18.

ACLU Colorado alleges this decision was made “without warning, notice, or plans for ensuring continuity of care.” The organization also asserts that the hospital “has no similar ban when patients seek the same procedures for reasons other than treatment of gender dysphoria.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado could not comment on the lawsuit, stating that it had yet to be served “any such litigation.”

The 18-year-old plaintiff, identified as Caden Kent, was previously treated at the hospital at the age of 16 and diagnosed with gender dysphoria at the time. After the diagnosis, he sought out and was given hormone replacement therapy, according to the suit.

In December 2022, before he turned 18, Caden began discussing chest masculinization surgery with Children’s Hospital, and was eventually approved by his family’s insurance plan for the operation in July 2023, the lawsuit read.

However, the hospital announced the policy change on July 13, 2023, and canceled all future gender-affirming surgeries.

“CHCO’s abrupt cancellation of all gender-affirming surgeries for its trans patients was devastating to Caden, other impacted patients, and Colorado’s transgender community,” ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Tim Macdonald said in a news release.


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