Australian woman suing psychiatrist who approved gender transition
By Liz Braun
August 24, 2022
A difficult legal case is unfolding in Australia where a woman is suing the psychiatrist who approved her gender transition to male.
Jay Langadinos, 31— who no longer identifies as male — was 19 when she first saw psychiatrist Dr. Patrick Toohey. At that time, she identified as male and wanted to start the hormone therapy that would begin her transition.
Her endocrinologist had referred her to Dr. Toohey so it could be determined whether she was psychologically a good candidate for treatment.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that according to a statement of claim filed in the New South Wales Supreme Court, a referral letter from Professor Ann Conway says it seemed likely Langadinos had “true gender dysphoria”; the letter pointed out that Langadinos was very young and clearly needed a, “thorough psychiatric work-up before embarking on hormone treatment.”
Toohey agreed with the assessment of gender dysphoria and approved testosterone therapy for Langadinos in 2010.
Two years later, Langadinos saw Toohey again as she wanted to have her breasts surgically removed, and Toohey signed off on that.
Again in 2012, when Langadinos was 22, she saw him prior to having her uterus removed. The doctor reported he could not see “any psychiatric contraindication to proceeding with hysterectomy as part of gender transition,” and she had the surgery.
Langadinos is now 31. She is suing Toohey for professional negligence. Four years after her hysterectomy, while in treatment with another psychiatrist, she says she realized she should not have had hormone therapy or the two surgeries.
She claims Dr. Toohey “failed to take precautions” to avoid risk of harm “in the nature of loss of her breasts, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.”
According to the statement of claim, Langadinos alleges that before approving her treatments, Toohey should have known she required further psychiatric evaluation by him and by a psychiatrist with specialized expertise.
And she alleges negligence that he did not suggest she get a second psychiatric opinion prior to the hysterectomy.
“Knowing that I can’t have children is absolutely devastating,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Langadinos has said she felt somehow defective as a teenager; after reading about gender dysphoria, she thought it applied to her. She assumed she was transgender, “because of my discomfort that I had in my body.”
She hoped gender transition would bring her happiness, but each surgery put her deeper into depression.
She claims to suffer from injuries and disabilities related to both hormone therapy and surgery, including depression, early menopause, anxiety, and a diminished capacity for employment.
After their first visit, Toohey said he was worried Langadinos, “did not know how psychological factors could influence the outcome of gender transition.”
He had strongly recommended she receive therapy for “social phobia” and have regular psychological follow-ups during hormone therapy. He said family therapy would also be helpful.
After the second consultation, Toohey noted that Langadinos parents came with her and were supportive of her having a mastectomy.
However, he also noted that the recommended treatment had not happened and that Langadinos told him she did not want treatment.
The doctor had expressed concerns in a letter that when he initially saw Langadinos in 2010 he observed, “a past history of significant social phobia and depression which may have been beyond gender dysphoria.”
Toohey has said he cannot comment as the case is before the courts