A woman who has detransitioned after undergoing surgery to remove her breasts and uterus is now suing the healthcare providers who facilitated her transition because they did not consider alternative treatments for her mental health issues before pushing her toward irreversible surgeries.
Michelle Zacchigna is a 34-year-old woman who underwent hormone therapy, a double mastectomy, and a hysterectomy because, during a mental health crisis, doctors recommended that she transition to a male.
She has filed a lawsuit against eight doctors and mental health professionals, all of whom contributed to her attempt at a gender transition. These medical professionals, who Zacchinga claims did not properly address her mental health needs, prescribed her testosterone treatments and recommended/performed a bilateral mastectomy and a hysterectomy.
Zacchigna is alleging that the doctors who suggested she begin hormone therapy had limited interactions with her, and she has claimed that a doctor who she spoke to for less than an hour recommended she undergo surgeries to alter her body and make her appear male.
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Zacchigna struggled with mental health from a young age, engaging in self-harming behavior when she was only 11 years old, and attempting suicide at the age of 20. She also dropped out of college due to her severe depression and social anxiety.
A year after beginning therapy, she discovered an online community for gender nonconformity, which led her to believe that she was suffering from mental health issues because there was a disconnect between her biological sex and gender identity.
Zacchigna’s counselor recommended her for gender transitioning treatment without considering alternatives or confirmation of the victim’s self-diagnosis. Her therapist also recommended her for the treatment without having worked with any prior transgender clients or having experience with such a situation.
Zacchigna’s statement of claims says that she “came to believe that her biological sex of female did not match her true gender identity of male.”
“She further came to believe that this mismatch between her biological sex and gender identity was causing her feelings of depression, self-harming behavior, and unease in her body, a mental health condition commonly known as gender dysphoria,” the claim added.
“However, as a result of what she read on the internet, she became convinced that she was a transgender man, and that once she embraced this new identity, her depression would subside.”
The statement of claim blames the doctors for not challenging Zacchigna’s “stated desire to become transgender” and for treating this “to the exclusion of her other serious mental health issues, closing the door to alternative treatment.”
The claim adds that the defendants “permitted Michelle to self-diagnose as transgender and prescribe her own treatment without providing a differential diagnosis or proposing alternative treatments.”
“I will live the rest of my life without breasts, with a deepened voice and male-pattern balding, and without the ability to get pregnant,” said Zacchigna. “Removing my completely healthy uterus is my greatest regret.”