Christa Allen is a Man who identifies as a Woman who had sex reassignment surgery in 2002. In 2006, Allen went to prison for identity theft. While in prison, Allen sought use of a stent to keep their surgical constructed “vagina” open. The prison declined the request and Allen lost use of their “vagina.” Allen later used for medical malpractice. The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the standard of care for doctors practicing in prisons is the same as the standard of care for physicians practicing outside of prison.
The court wrote:
“While we are cognizant that, sometimes, physicians in prisons will face difficulties that physicians practicing outside of prisons will not encounter, we believe that these difficulties can be taken into account under the standard articulated in Vergara. As noted above, under this standard, several factors are considered, including locality, advances in the profession, availability of activities, and whether the doctor is a specialist or general practitioner. While it is possible that, when determining whether a physician has breached the standard of care, security and budget concerns facing prison physicians can be taken into account, these considerations would be determinations to be made by the finder of fact. The question raised here is not whether an elective procedure should be performed but rather whether a procedure made necessary as a result of an already performed surgery, elective or not, should be performed. There is a significant difference.”
We agree that Allen should have been given use of a stent.