Methodist Le Bonheur pauses gender-affirming surgeries

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare temporarily paused gender-affirming procedures in response to concerns from some clinicians, the Memphis, Tenn.-based health system told Becker's Dec. 2. 

"In recent weeks, some care providers voiced questions about patients receiving gender affirming procedures at a facility affiliated with our health system," said a spokesperson for the six-hospital system. "This resulted in a temporary pause to review current practices." 

The health system did not specify the focus of clinicians' questions. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare said it has not changed its care policies for transgender and/or nonbinary patients, and that physicians are working with patients to reschedule procedures before the end of the year. 

"Our commitment remains to deliver high-quality and compassionate care to any patient regardless of their race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression," the spokesperson said.

The comments come after ACLU of Tennessee penned a Nov. 30 letter to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare on behalf of a 19-year-old patient whose gender-affirming surgery was canceled less than a week before the procedure date. 

ACLU of Tennessee threatened to file a complaint with HHS' Office of Civil Rights if the health system did not reschedule the patient's surgery, along with any other necessary support services, by Dec. 31.

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