An Australian woman is suing a psychiatrist who approved her female-to-male hormone treatment therapy after only a single meeting, later signing off on two major surgeries to remove her breasts and uterus without taking the time to perform a proper psychological evaluation.
At 19, Jay Langadinos went to see Dr. Patrick Toohey, a Sydney psychiatrist, in May 2010. Langadinos had been referred to Dr. Toohey by her endocrinologist to see if she was suited for a gender transition.
The endocrinologist, Professor Ann Conway, had written that Langadinos was “very young” and thus required “a thorough psychiatric work-up before embarking on hormone treatment.”
All it took was the initial meeting for Toohey to determine that Langadinos was suffering from gender dysphoria and could begin hormone therapy to initiate the development of male secondary sex characteristics.
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About 2 years later, in February 2012, Langadinos had a second appointment with Toohey, this time to have her breasts surgically removed. Toohey found “no contraindication” for the procedure, and just two months later, Langadinos had a bilateral mastectomy.
A month later, Langadinos came back for a third appointment with Toohey to discuss having her uterus removed. Toohey, again not finding “any psychiatric contraindication to proceeding with hysterectomy as part of gender transition,” signed off on the surgery and, at the age of 22, Langadinos got a hysterectomy.
Now, at the age of 31, Langadinos no longer identifies as a male and is suing Toohey for professional negligence. Langadinos’ claim is that Toohey allowed her to go ahead with the transition even though she disclosed to him that she suffered from social phobia. She insists that her social phobia should have been treated first before moving again with the treatments.
She also accuses him of negligence for not recommending she get a second opinion before getting the hysterectomy.
In her statement of claim, Langadinos reveals that her surgeries and hormone treatments left her with injuries, complications including early menopause, anxiety and depression, diminished capacity for employment, and impaired psychological functioning.
In an interview with Australian news outlets The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Langadinos said, “Knowing that I can’t have children is absolutely devastating.”
Langadinos also described how she came to the incorrect conclusion that she should transition to a male, saying that she knew she was attracted to girls and, while online, discovered the concept of gender dysphoria. “Because of the definition of dysphoria, I thought, ‘That’s what I have.’ I decided that I must be transgender because of my discomfort that I had in my body,” said Langadinos.
After the hormone treatment and deciding she was even more unhappy, she decided that she needed to change her body even more to try and attain happiness in her own skin.
“As my unhappiness grew, I felt the cause of my unhappiness was because I was not male, so the answer was to change my body even more,” said Langadinos. “I had a breakdown, couldn’t function for an entire year. I couldn’t get out of bed. I wish at the time I know how much I was hurting and why.”
Currently in Australia, the “gender-affirming” approach to gender dysphoria treatment is heavily debated.