Davidson v. Aetna Life & Casualty Insurance Co. (USA)

The first United States case involving a private health carrier and reimbursement for sex reassignment surgery was decided by the New York Supreme Court in 1979.  Victoria Davidson’s insurance carrier, Aetna Life Insurance Company, refused to bear the cost of medical expenses for SRS, alleging: 1.) Gender dysphoria is not an injury; 2.) Transsexual surgery is cosmetic in nature; 3.) Surgical intervention is not necessary and unreasonable. The court ruled in favor of Davidson, finding the surgery “cannot be considered to be of a strictly cosmetic nature”, and that the “sex change operation of the plaintiff is of a medical nature and is feasible and required for the health and well-being of the plaintiff”.

DAVIDSON v. AETNA LIFE INS _ Leagle.

3 thoughts on “Davidson v. Aetna Life & Casualty Insurance Co. (USA)

  1. “Transsexualism used to be attributed entirely to psychological disturbance (*It is a psychological diagnosis/culturally defined term). More current theories suggest that an inconsistency in the so-called psychosexual brain center causes gender to be perceived as opposite to the morphology of the sexual apparatus. These theories postulate a brain center that is a dimophic structure and passes through periods of differentiation analagous to those of the genitalia.”

    No one even has a precise definition of “gender” other than how people say they feel at any particular point in time. Moreover, it’s impossible to talk about “gender” without dredging up culturally defined sex stereotypes.

    (1.) As to “current theories”, they are just that. This is just a theory, and it can’t be proven one way or another. Is there some way to prove this from a purely medical/scientific point of view? For all practical purposes, it’s still a psychological diagnosis/culturally defined term.

    (2.) If there are subtle differences in the brains of people who identify as transgender, there is NO WAY of knowing whether or not these same differences exist in people who do NOT identify as transgender. For all we know, these so-called differences in trans brains could exist in people who don’t call themselves transgender. For example, effeminate gay men, or men who might sense they are different, but do NOT identify as transgender.

    (3.) Apparently, the “inconsistency in the so-called psychosexual brain center causes gender to be perceived as opposite to the morphology of the sexual apparatus” can magically turn itself off. If this were an actual medical condition, how does it turn itself on or off?

    I was born a boy, became a girl, and now I want to be a boy again’: Britain’s youngest sex swap patient to reverse her sex change treatment

    October 29, 2012

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2224753/Ria-Cooper-Britains-youngest-sex-change-patient-reverse-treatment.html#ixzz2AjFa43a9

    Below is a link to a MTV video of a young man who identified as a girl and now wants to return to being a man. Also, in the MTV video, a young woman who once identified as a boy changed her mind and returned to being a girl. The young man who appears to be in his early twenties discusses having his breast implants removed. In the same MTV video, the young woman who looks like she could be in her mid-twenties is shown undergoing laser treatments to remove the facial hair that was caused by earlier testosterone use.

    http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-im-questioning-my-gender-again/1704884/playlist.jhtml

    Detransitioning stories are easy to run across on the internet. Transitioning essentially means the process whereby one changes his or her outward appearance to match or coincide with how one identifies or feels internally. Transitioning usually involves cross-gender hormones and surgery. Detransitioning is the opposite of transitioning, and there are numerous examples of people stopping cross-gender hormones. Testosterone is commonly referred to as “T” and FTM means female to male.

    http://detransition.blogspot.com/

    “I am a 22 year old woman who lived as male for 3 years and took testosterone for a year and a half. I am currently 8 months into detransition.”

    http://twentythreetimes.tumblr.com/T.

    “Anonymous asked: I’ve been off T for 5 months now. My hormones are still balancing themselves out, and as that happens I find myself discovering more and more of my inner world that I didn’t even realize I lost while on T. It’s a beautiful thing. I feel like my mental self is re-awakening and growing again. I’m so happy to re-discover the real Me that I love.”

    http://atlasstrawberries.tumblr.com/post/49896874618/ive-been-off-t-for-5-months-now-my-hormones-are-still

    “My name is -name redacted-, im 25 and i am a former FTM, also detransitioning and having a rough time through the post traumatic stress after being on testosterone, my body, my face, my feelings went all wrong on T and know im fighting to come back..”

    http://atlasstrawberries.tumblr.com/post/32054720795/happy

    http://atlasstrawberries.tumblr.com/

    Adults who identify as transgender, or say they “feel trapped in the wrong body” also change their minds and revert back to the sex they were born into.

    I’m a guy again! ABC newsman who switched genders wants to switch back

    August 6, 2013

    “He thought he was a woman trapped in a man’s body — but it turns out he’s “just another boring straight guy.”

    ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. He wanted to be called Dawn.

    But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don”.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/guy_again_eKq3Jw6LjgsjpBdmZklrtM

    In 2012, there was an incident in the UK in which a physician was investigated for not following established guidelines in prescribing cross gender hormones and referring unsuitable patients for sex reassignment surgery. One woman regretted undergoing a double mastectomy.

    Doctor under fire for alleged errors prescribing sex-change hormones

    “Dr. Richard Curtis is under investigation following complaints over treatment of patients seeking gender reassignment. A woman who alleges that she was inappropriately prescribed sex-changing hormones and then wrongly underwent a double mastectomy is one of several complaints being investigated by the General Medical Council about the doctor who oversaw her aborted gender reassignment, the Guardian has learned.

    The GMC, the doctors’ professional regulator, has received at least three separate complaints against Dr. Richard Curtis, a London GP who specialises in the treatment of gender dysphoria, particularly transsexualism. The complaints concern the alleged inappropriate administering of sex-changing hormones to patients and at least one allegedly unsuitable referral for gender reassignment surgery.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jan/06/transexualism-gender-reassignment-richard-curtis

    http://detransition.blogspot.com/.

    (4.) Respected neurologists and researchers such as Dr Cordelia Fine (“Delusions of Gender: How our minds, society, and neurosexism create difference”) have dispelled many of the so-called differences between the brains of males and females. If the differences between men’s brains women’s brains aren’t as great as we once thought they were, what does this say about so-called trans brain theories?

    “In Delusions of Gender Cordelia Fine does a magnificent job debunking the so-called science, and especially the brain science, of gender. If you thought there were some inescapable facts about women’s minds – some hard wiring that explains poor science and maths performance, or the ability to remember to buy the milk and arrange the holidays – you can put these on the rubbish heap. Instead, Fine shows that there are almost no areas of performance that are not touched by cultural stereotypes. This scholarly book will make you itch to press the delete button on so much nonsense, while being pure fun to read.” Professor Uta Frith, FBA, FMedSci, FRS
    University College London

  2. 1.) Gender dysphoria is not an injury;

    True…

    2.) Transsexual surgery is cosmetic in nature;

    It is cosmetic in nature. Humans can’t change their sex. No primate can change its sex. SRS is for all practical purposes extensive plastic surgery on otherwise healthy genitals/reproductive systems.

    3.) Surgical intervention is not necessary and unreasonable.

    A 30 year long term study that compared controls in the general population to transsexuals states,

    Conclusions: Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0016885

    So, SRS might help some with gender dysphoria, but transsexuals still have higher rates of mortality and morbidity.

    4.) With any surgery, especially procedures that involve extensive plastic surgery, there is always the possibility of complications resulting in the need for further surgeries. Keep in mind that this is being done to perfectly healthy genitals.

    http://www.bilerico.com/…/sex_reassignment_surgery_when_things_go_wrong

    http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/care_program_and_services/hospital_services/Documents/surgery-MTF.pdf

    Few people actually know what SRS entails. Google it and watch some of the videos. It’s rather ghastly to see testicles removed. An artificial cavity is created in the male body. The erectile tissue is removed, and skin from the penis is used to line a “neovagina”. Sometimes a section of the colon is used to line the “neovagina”. Because any wound in the body tends to close, a “neovagina” has to be dilated for the life time of the patient. If it’s lined with skin from the penis and part of the scrotum, it’s not going to lubricate like a vagina, and if it’s lined with a section of the colon, it can lubricate too much.

    5.) Any time a surgeon takes a scalpel to healthy genitals, it’s impossible to completely rule out some loss of sensation.

    6.) The prostate isn’t removed during SRS, and men still need their prostate checked. So, men who undergo SRS need care for what is left of their once healthy male reproductive system as well as any complications following SRS.

Comments are closed.