Woman sues university for double mastectomy she got at 16

by WorldTribune Staff, September 21, 2023

“Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?”

That is what a physician told the parents of a Nebraska 16-year-old girl who would then go on to get a double mastectomy, according to a lawsuit filed by the 21-year-old woman.

‘Having been subjected to irreversible surgery and a four-year cascade of testosterone, doctors simply have no idea now how to help her.’

Luka Hein is suing the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Nebraska Medicine, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, three physicians at UNMC, and her former mental health therapist for negligence, the Nebraska Examiner reported.

Hein also filed a tort claim against the NU Board of Regents because it has oversight over UNMC, Nebraska Medicine, and the physicians.

Hein alleges her physicians did not address her underlying mental health concerns nor provide her or her parents the full information needed for informed consent prior to her receiving the “gender affirming” surgery.

“I was going through the darkest and most chaotic time in my life, and instead of being given the help I needed, these doctors affirmed that chaos into reality,” Hein said in a statement. “I was talked into medical intervention that I could not fully understand the long-term impacts and consequences of.”

According to the lawsuit, Hein’s mental health deteriorated and she struggled in school after her parents got divorced in 2015. She was later diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

“Anxiety and panic attacks immobilized her,” the lawsuit states. “She lost her appetite, became easily angered, started cutting and expressed suicidal ideation.”

It was around the same time, the lawsuit continues, that Luka was groomed online by an older man, contributing to her wondering “whether it would be best to have no breasts.”

The lawsuit alleges UNMC physicians fast-tracked and rushed Hein toward breast removal.

Physicians removed Hein’s breasts in 2018 and placed her on testosterone later that year, the lawsuit states, adding that it is a violation of the guidelines put forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Hein told her gender care physician she was no longer taking testosterone, was in pain all over, no longer identified as male and was not old enough to have consented to the treatments she received as a minor.

“Due to Defendants’ actions, Luka is now a medical orphan,” the lawsuit states. “Having been subjected to irreversible surgery and a four-year cascade of testosterone, doctors simply have no idea now how to help her. Having broken her, Defendants have no idea how to fix her.”

Hein is seeking a trial by jury and payment for damages ($2.25 million in the tort claim against the regents). Hein is also encouraging the NU regents to shutter the UNMC gender clinic.

Hein has testified before the state legislature in favor of Legislative Bill 574, proposed by State Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha, which would prohibit minors from accessing the type of “gender affirming” surgery that Hein underwent. The legislature gave final approval to the bill in May and it will go into effect on Oct. 1.

LB 574 bans trans surgeries for minors and authorizes the state chief medical officer to craft rules and regulations for minors’ use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

A spokesperson for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services told the Nebraska Examiner the department anticipates having emergency regulations in place on or soon after Oct. 1.

LB 574 supporters, including Kauth, often pointed to Hein’s story as justification for the legislation.

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