What Comes After Transgender?

Sep 21, 2019 by

Make room for the “transabled” and hospitals and doctors forced to perform operations that conflict with their ethical and religious principles.

A California Court of Appeals ruled recently that a Catholic hospital could be sued for refusing to allow a transgendered man — meaning a biological woman — to receive a hysterectomy as part of the transition process from female to legally recognized male. The hospital, Dignity Health of Sacramento, adheres to the principles of Catholic medicine, which holds that removing a healthy organ in a situation in which there is no biological pathology — which would also sterilize the patient — violates Church dogma. Tough toenails, the court ruled. The hospital discriminated based on sexual identity, and thus, the allegedly wronged patient has the right to seek redress.

The implications of the case for freedom of religion are obvious — and worthy of concerted and directed activism and advocacy. But for this discussion, I want to focus on another question that needs to be urgently pondered: Are we any longer capable as a culture of establishing any permanent limits on our accommodation of radical individualistic desires? Or to put it another way, are there any requested medical interventions so extreme, the subjective internal mental states of people so disturbed, the desired outcomes so objectively harmful, the shattering of traditional ethical norms so radical, that we will finally, like Gandalf standing against the Balrog demon in Lord of the Rings, declare boldly, “You shall not pass!”?

I am beginning to seriously doubt it. Let’s look at the ethical principles Dignity Health applied when refusing the transgender hysterectomy. They weren’t aimed at sexual identity or targeting orientation. Indeed, they are not invidious at all. Rather, they are universal moral standards the hospital applies regardless of the patient’s individual circumstances:

  • Directive 29: “All persons served by Catholic health care have the right and duty to protect and preserve their bodily and functional integrity. The functional integrity of the person may be sacrificed to maintain the health or life of the person when no other morally permissible means is available.”
  • Directive 53: “Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic health care institution. Procedures that induce sterility are permitted when their direct effect is the cure or alleviation of a present and serious pathology and a simpler treatment is not available.”

Again, these directives are wholly neutral and meant to apply in any fact situation. Thus, assume a young woman urgently wanted her uterus and ovaries removed because she identified as post-menopausal and sincerely wanted to experience life without having periods or the ability to have children. Under both directives, the surgery would not be allowed because there was no biological pathology, it would interfere with the hospital’s duty under Directive 29 to “preserve the bodily and functional integrity” of the patient — no matter what she might subjectively desire — and it would directly sterilize the patient, which goes against Directive 53.

In such a case, would the court compel the hospital to remove the healthy organ? Maybe not, but that wouldn’t make sense logically. Other than the differing ideological social justice implications of the circumstance I depicted from the current transgender paradigm, what is the principled difference between the actual case faced by Dignity Health and my post-menopausal hypothetical? I don’t see any.

Oh, Wesley! Transgenderism is a real phenomenon in which actual people suffer existential anguish because they were “assigned” the wrong gender at birth. The idea of anyone identifying as a person with a disabling condition — and demanding mutilating medical interventions to fulfill that desire — is just ridiculous.

I wish it were. There is a terrible mental illness known as “body identity integrity disorder” (BIID), in which afflicted able-bodied persons obsess that their true selves are disabled. These tormented people believe themselves to be imposters for having normally functioning bodies and yearn desperately to be made disabled with the condition that they believe their “true selves” to possess. This desire can express as an obsession to have an arm amputated or to be blinded. Some even yearn to have their spinal cords severed so they can be paralyzed and use a wheelchair. So, I ask again, what is the essential difference between a biological male existentially identifying as a female demanding body-modifying surgery and an ambulatory person who perceives her true self to be an amputee also wanting an operation to attain the desired physical state?

continue: What Comes After Transgender? | The American Spectator

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