From: The Irish Examiner on August 21, 2018 08:03:29Tasmania, Australia: In a landmark case, a Perth woman has finally won a landmark court battle against a Melbourne doctor who denied her a sex change operation, claiming she was being coerced into surgery.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said the doctor told her the operation would be dangerous and would be “a death sentence”.
“I thought that would be the end of it,” she said.
The woman had a sex reassignment operation in 2017 after being rejected by a Melbourne clinic for her gender identity.
But her GP said it would be a “death sentence” if the surgery was carried out, and that the surgery would lead to irreversible physical changes.
In March, the woman lodged a claim with the Supreme Court, claiming her GP’s refusal to carry out the operation amounted to coercion and that it amounted to discrimination against women who are transgender.
But the court found in the woman’s favour and said it was not the “lawful” practice to refuse a person surgery that is “inherently unsafe”.
The court also said the woman had been offered the chance to have the operation but declined to undergo the operation.
The court said it accepted that there are risks involved with sex reassignments and that there is an element of risk involved.
“I think it’s important to note that the court did not find that the doctor’s conduct constituted a legitimate basis for denying Ms Smith the surgical treatment,” Justice Stephen O’Brien said in a written judgment.
He said there was no evidence that Ms Smith was being forced into surgery and the doctor “has no authority to refuse her treatment on the basis that she is transgender”.
“Ms Smith’s complaint was not directed to the doctor.
Rather, the complaint referred to the fact that her GP had refused her surgery and was acting against her wishes,” Justice O’Byrne said.
“The fact that Ms Wright was not satisfied that she was capable of undergoing the surgical procedure did not mean that her complaint was directed to a particular doctor.”
Justice O’Connor found that the woman was entitled to her surgery.
He said the surgery should not have been refused because it was “not in the patient’s best interests”.
He said it should have been done because “there are risks associated with it” and the woman should have the surgery regardless of whether she wanted it or not.
However, Justice O’thain said he was “unconvinced that the applicant’s claim that she had been ‘forced into surgery’ by the doctor was supported by any of the medical evidence”.
He also said Ms Wright’s case was “without merit”.
Justice John O’Callaghan, for the Australian College of Gynaecologists, said Ms Smith had a “strong case”.
“Ms Wright has brought forward a case in relation to the refusal to conduct a surgical sex reassessment of the patient in respect of the woman.
This case is without merit,” he said.