In a lawsuit filed June 14 in California’s San Joaquin County Superior Court, Kayla Lovdahl and her attorneys with the Center for American Liberty are accusing medical professionals of fast-tracking young Lovdahl through her gender transition, one that she now deeply regrets.
It specifically names medical professionals Lisa Kristine Taylor, Winnie Mao Yiu Tong, Susanne Watson, and Mirna Escalante. Several of these individuals are similarly named in the lawsuits of detransitioners Chloe Cole and Layla Jane, also represented by the Center for American Liberty.
“This case is about a team of doctors,” the lawsuit begins, “who decided to perform a damaging, imitation sex-change experiment on Kayla, then a twelve-year-old vulnerable girl struggling with complex mental health comorbidities, who needed care, attention, and psychotherapy, not cross-sex hormones and mutilating surgery.”
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and the Permanente Medical Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lovdahl grew up struggling with mental health issues and was eventually exposed to trans-identifying influencers online who pushed her to believe that she was trans. So, Lovdahl told her parents she was a boy, her lawsuit says. Her parents didn’t know what to do and “promptly sought guidance” from doctors (the defendents in the case).
Three individual Kaiser doctors (including Escalante) reportedly advised the young girl’s family that she was too young for hormones. But her family was ultimately referred to Watson, Taylor, and Tong, “who immediately, and negligently, affirmed Kayla’s self-diagnosed transgenderism without adequate psychological evaluation,” “promptly placed her on puberty blockers and testosterone at age 12,” and “performed a double mastectomy within six months at age 13.”
“This all occurred after Dr. Watson determined in a single, 75-minute transition evaluation that Kayla was transgender,” the lawsuit says.
The complaint alleges that Lovdahl’s doctors didn’t question her about the psychological events or comorbidities involved in her belief that she was trans.
Instead, Defendants assumed that Kayla, a twelve-year-old emotionally troubled girl, knew best what she needed to improve her mental health and figuratively handed her the prescription pad. There is no other area of medicine where doctors will surgically remove a perfectly healthy body part and intentionally induce a diseased state of the pituitary gland misfunction based simply on the young adolescent patient’s wishes.
Defendants were horribly, and inexcusably wrong, as Kayla was not transgender and was not a person that any reasonable physician could ascertain would permanently maintain a transgender identity. Consequently, she detransitioned when she was 17 years old, and she eventually started regular psychotherapy sessions for her mental health symptoms, which is the care she should have been receiving all along.
The suit also accuses the medical professionals of failing to properly provide Lovdahl and her family with proper informed consent and properly disclosing the significant health risks associated with a young, biologically female child, taking “off-label puberty blockers and high doses of powerful male hormone drugs.”
The family was also told that her dysphoria wouldn’t resolve unless she chemically or surgically transitioned, and “that she represented a high-risk of suicide unless she transitioned.”
“These were material, false representations,” the suit says. “Defendants’ coercion, concealment, misrepresentations, and manipulation are appalling and represent an egregious breach of the standard of care. This misconduct also constitutes fraud, malice, and oppression.”
Escalante put her on puberty blockers in 2016, causing Lovdahl mood swings and severe hot flashes, her complaint says. Taylor allegedly started her on testosterone in June 2017, at the age of 12.
“Two days later on June 8, 2017, Kayla’s mother reported to Dr. Watson increased anger and frustration and related issues. Her mother expressed concern that this indicates bipolar illness, but said that she thought that it was more likely related to gender dysphoria.”
“Dr. Taylor and Dr. Watson did not evaluate or treat these mood swings. In the next few months, Kayla was seen by about four different mental health providers. Kayla’s mood was noted to be improved at various times, but her preexisting complex array of mental health issues was noted to continue to include suicidal ideation, cutting, anger, depression, mood swings, and related issues,” the suit says. “Kayla was also being forced by her mother to attend pride clinic events, but she didn’t want to do so, and said she didn’t feel ‘pride.’ She expressed this lack of ‘pride’ to her providers.”
Lovdahl, who had never had a sexual relationship before, told doctors at the age of 13 that she didn’t know whether she cared about being a parent in the future. And on Sept. 22, 2017, according to the lawsuit, Tong performed a double mastectomy on her.
When she was 17, Lovdahl began detransitioning. She no longer “identifies” as a man, but because of the hormonal and surgical “treatments” she received, she “now has deep physical and emotional wounds and severe regrets.”
“Defendants were not ‘caring’ for Kayla,” the suit says. “They were experimenting on her.”
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