BREAKING: Second Lawsuit Filed in US Against Medical Transition of Minors
Layla Jane accuses the defendants of “gross negligence” that led to permanent disfigurement.
The second legal action against a U.S. healthcare provider involving a case of childhood medical transition has been launched.
The suit was filed on behalf of Layla Jane (Kayla Lovdahl in the lawsuit), a young woman who was medically transitioned as a child. Layla Jane is seeking justice against the Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and the clinicians who facilitated her transition from age 12 to 17. This process included puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and a double mastectomy performed when she was just 13 years old.
The lawsuit was filed by the Center for American Liberty, alongside Dhillon Law Group and LiMandri & Jonna LLP. They accuse the defendants of medical negligence, leading to “substantial injury” through chemical and surgical sex-change interventions carried out while Layla Jane was a minor. Despite the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Sue on March 15, 2023, the defendants failed to respond within the stipulated 90-day period, precipitating the subsequent lawsuit.
“The law says children aren’t mature enough to make serious decisions that could have long lasting consequences like getting a tattoo, driving with friends, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or even voting,” said Lovdhal. “So why is it acceptable for 13-year-olds to decide to mutilate their body?”
Harmeet Dhillon, the CEO of the Center for American Liberty, also represents Chloe Cole, another young woman seeking legal action against the same institutions and doctors for facilitating her transition as a minor. Dhillon said she is committed to holding the defendants accountable and intends to “strongly deter Kaiser’s factory-line approach that permanently mutilates an unknown number of American children, subjecting them to a lifetime of harm, regret, and medical consequences.”
According to the lawsuit, Layla Jane exhibited various mental health symptoms during her childhood, which went largely unaddressed despite her parents’ concerns and a family history of mental health problems. At 11, Layla Jane identified as transgender and socially transitioned to living as a boy. However, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed to sufficiently evaluate or treat her mental health symptoms, and instead affirmed her self-diagnosed transgender identity without thorough evaluation. Layla Jane started hormone treatment and puberty blockers at 12, underwent a double mastectomy at 13, and detransitioned at 17. She then started regular psychotherapy for her mental health issues.
The lawsuit claims the defendants breached the standard of care by rushing Layla Jane into a transition process without proper evaluation of her co-occurring mental health issues. Furthermore, it alleges that they did not provide thorough informed consent by withholding information about the risks and outcomes of the treatment. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of “gross negligence” that led to permanent disfigurement, referring to their practices as experimental rather than genuine care.
The suit cites studies showing high desistance rates of childhood gender dysphoria, suggesting that 80-90% of cases are resolved by adulthood. It also highlights the persistence of psychological distress among transgender individuals who undergo transition treatments, including increased risks of psychiatric disorders and suicide. Also mentioned are the systematic evidence reviews conducted in the U.K. and several other European countries that found the risks associated with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones outweigh their benefits, and sufficient research on their long-term impact is lacking.
The defendants are accused of failing to provide appropriate informed consent. It’s suggested that regular psychotherapy would have been necessary to fully understand Layla Jane’s psychological condition and to provide a comprehensive understanding of her options and risks. They are alleged to have failed to disclose desistance/detransition rates and their limitations in predicting detransition, as well as to inform her about the dearth of high-quality studies in the field and the experimental nature of the treatment.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants have actively promoted transgender treatment, including for minors, with misleading advertising on their websites. It argues that financial and political incentives have led to the expansion of transgender programs, sidelining sound medicine and science. As a result, Layla Jane has suffered permanent bodily damage, including irreversible mutilation, endocrine disorders, mental health issues, fertility risks, loss of feminine characteristics, and emotional distress.
This lawsuit marks Layla Jane as the eighth detransitioner globally to take legal action against medical providers that facilitated their chemical and surgical transition. She is seeking punitive damages “based on evidence of malice, oppression, and fraud.” The claim does not stipulate a specific monetary sum but seeks general damages, special damages, pre-judgment interest, legal costs, and any other relief the court deems appropriate. The exact sum will be determined during the trial.
While the exact number of detransitioners is unknown, and more research is needed, cases appear to be steadily rising. Recent studies have revealed a growing trend where individuals, upon detransitioning, acknowledge that their transgender identity was a temporary coping mechanism for their distress. Approximately three-quarters of detransitioners never inform their initial treating providers about their decision to detransition.
Despite these findings, the experiences of detransitioners are often overlooked or downplayed as infrequent. This dismissal is largely based on studies with considerable methodological flaws, including high rates of loss to follow-up, which can potentially exclude those who suffer the most severe consequences. Moreover, these rates are derived from adults who transitioned under circumstances that are substantially different from those facing today's youth, who often proceed without thorough psychological evaluations.
Current data suggests that 10-30% of individuals detransition a few years after starting their transition. A recent US-based comprehensive review of medical records that found 30% of teens and young adults had discontinued “gender-affirming” hormones after 4 years. Another US study from this year that challenges the notion that detransition is rare found that 29% of youth changed their requests for hormone treatment, surgery, or both.
Detransitioners are bringing to light several important issues, with many experiencing regret and suffering from irreversible and adverse outcomes from cross-sex hormones and gender-affirming surgeries. Some believe they were not in a position to give informed consent due to their age or mental health issues at the time of decision-making.
Watch: Detransitioner Chloe Cole sits down for the first full-length interview with Layla Jane.
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