Affordable Care Act ensures quality care for transgender patients

Illinois doctors have a commitment to provide the same quality care to all patients at all times. When a doctor discriminates against a patient, the patient could receive negligent medical care. This could cause irreversible harm.

All folks should have protection under the 1977 Human Rights Law to be treated with “respect,” but a recent survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 20 percent of transgender individuals have been discriminated against in medical settings. This may be due to shock by doctors who are unsettled by their patients’ transgender orientation, or because of fear of medical malpractice lawsuits when treating transgender patients.

A transgender male with a medical background faced this discrimination when he was battling a rare and very aggressive form of breast cancer. According to the patient, his doctor didn’t tell him the results of a biopsy after he discovered the patient’s orientation. The patient would not have known he had cancer if it were not for a concerned lab technician who called to check up on him.

After learning that he had breast cancer, another doctor refused to advise the transgender patient on treatment options. In the meantime, the therapeutic window for his form of cancer had passed. The patient may be faced with a terminal diagnosis, but he still has not found an oncologist who will treat him.

The federal Affordable Care Act now mandates protection for transgender individuals. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the new healthcare law specifies that it is illegal for federally funded health care programs to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or transgender patients. The law ensures that patients such as this man will get the same quality medical treatment that all individuals are entitled to receive.

We live in a diverse country, but people’s race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age should not affect the type of care patients receive from Illinois doctors and other doctors throughout the entire country.

Source: ABC News, “Trans Man Denied Cancer Treatment; Now Feds Say It’s Illegal,” Susan Donaldson James, August 8, 2012.

Patient Safety


Looking for more answers?

Medical Malpractice in Plain English Book

Get A Copy of Our Book, "Everything You Need to Know about Medical Malpractice in Plain English"


Get a free consultation. Speak with a lawyer about your case.

Cirignani, Heller, and Harman Logo

At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, we represent Illinois clients in Chicago and throughout Cook County, including the cities of Cicero, Elgin, Schaumburg, Oak Park, Maywood, Berwyn, Elmhurst, Evanston, Skokie, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Palatine and Hoffman Estates. We also help clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County and Winnebago County. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Illinois, CHH Law is the law firm with attorneys that can help.

Email Us

CALL US: 312.346.8700 LAUNCH CHAT

Loading Animation
Close Chat Prompt Lawyers Ready To Chat