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Children’s Mercy Hospital sues to keep transgender records secret

Children’s Mercy Hospital on Friday sued Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey over what it alleges is “burdensome” requests for records on transgender surgeries and hormone treatment on children.

Bailey has demanded that the hospital provide records on any prescriptions for dangerous hormone blockers as well as transgender surgeries including breast and penis removal for children. He’s also specifically asking for information on when the hospital has reported child abuse.

The hospital, like many that are performing irreversible gender surgeries and treatments, wants the numbers hidden, say critics.

Bailey’s spokeswoman, Madeline Sieren, questioned the hospital’s contention that its gender transition practices are evidence-based and said the facility is refusing to provide “even a single document” to explain its practices

“That is very concerning,” she told “The New York Post.” “We look forward to prevailing in this request for information and learning what is truly going on with Children’s Mercy in connection with gender transition issues.”

In February, Bailey, a Republican who was appointed attorney general in November, announced he was investigating the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital after an employee alleged the center was providing children with gender-affirming care without informed consent. Bailey since has expanded the investigation to other healthcare providers in Missouri.

Last week, Bailey introduced an emergency rule that will impose several restrictions before adults and children can receive drugs, hormones or surgeries “for the purpose of transitioning gender.” Bailey has demanded that the hospital provide records on any prescriptions for hormone blockers as well as surgeries for transgender patients, the lawsuit said.

Children’s Mercy argues in its lawsuit that releasing the information sought by Bailey would violate state and federal laws, including those involving private medical decisions made between patients and doctors. The hospital also contends Bailey doesn’t have the jurisdiction to investigate health care companies and physicians, which are regulated by the Missouri Board of Healing Arts.

The hospital acknowledges that the attorney general has the authority to investigate deceptive business practices under the state’s merchandise protection act but said the authority to use the law as an investigative tool has its limits. The demand letter for info on transgender surgery and other treatments sent to Children’s Mercy “far exceeds those limits,” the lawsuit said. The facility also contends that hospitals are not regulated under that law, and said the hospital “cannot in good faith attempt to comply.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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