Published On: Sat, Jan 7th, 2017

Jionni Conforti sues New Jersey Catholic hospital for declining to perform ‘gender reassignment’ hysterectomy

A New Jersey Catholic hospital in Paterson is now being sued for declined to perform a hysterectomy as part of a “gender reassignment.”

The lawsuit alleges the hospital and Father Martin Rooney denied Jionni Conforti “medically necessary treatment” that would “help Jionni align himself with his true sex.”

Gay legal advocacy organization Lambda Legal filed suit January 5 against St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, its parent health system, and the priest in charge of pastoral care and patient relations.

photo John Hain

They are alleging discrimination based on sex and gender identity. These procedures fall into conflict with Catholic doctrine and they feel they are exercising their freedom of conscience to reject these procedures.

The suit seeks an injunction forcing the health system to provide gender reassignment and other similar treatment to gender-confused individuals, as well as damages for Conforti’s “emotional distress and suffering, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional pain and anguish, violation of his dignity, and loss of enjoyment of life.”

“I felt completely disrespected,” Conforti said, according to the Associated Press. “That’s not how any hospital should treat any person regardless of who they are.”

In a statement provided to LifeSiteNews, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System said the hospital follows the Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) promulgated in 2009 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center is a leading Catholic healthcare institution serving one of the most diverse and underserved populations in New Jersey,” it said. “The Medical Center follows the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services in making decisions about care and treatment.”

The ERD’s are guiding principles for Catholic hospitals to ensure they operate in line with Catholic teaching.

The Directive governing sterilization procedures states:

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.

“Jionni has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, and a loss of dignity at the hands of St. Joseph’s Healthcare—who purportedly pride themselves on providing health care with a “patients first” approach,” it says. “St. Joseph’s Healthcare’s discriminatory actions are also contrary to the SJHS Patient Bill of Rights, which expressly entitles all patients to “treatment and medical services without discrimination based on . . . sex, . . . [and] gender identity or expression.”


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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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