A California mother is suing a hospital for discrimination after staff allegedly called her transgender son a girl.
Katharine Prescott brought a civil lawsuit against Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego after hospital staff repeatedly called her transgender son a girl while he was alive, The Washington Post reported.
Prescott’s son, Kyler, committed suicide in May 2015 due to anxiety and depression, but he was treated at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego for suicidal ideation just weeks before his death.
“In that moment, he was in crisis,” Prescott recalled to the Post. He was admitted into the hospital’s youth psychiatry unit for a 72-hour suicide hold, she said.
She told hospital staff to treat him as a boy, since all his medical records showed a name and gender change, according to court documents.
“RCHSD staff assured Katharine that all staff would refer to Kyler with male gender pronouns and would otherwise treat him as a boy,” according to the documents.
The lawsuit, however, claims that nurses and hospital staff kept using feminine pronouns when referring to Kyler. One employee reportedly said, “Honey, I would call you a ‘he,’ but you’re such a pretty girl.”
Kyler called his mother multiple times to explain his distress, but the hospital reportedly blocked his mother’s phone number.
His therapist called the hospital due to the allegations, and a third of the way through his 72-hour hold, the team determined that Kyler should be discharged due to “increasing severe distress related to the discrimination,” court documents stated.
Kyler committed suicide six weeks later.
Prescott’s attorneys argue that Rady Children’s Hospital violated anti-discrimination protections in federal and state laws, including those stated in the Affordable Care Act, the Post reported.
Prescott is seeking damages and an injunction to force the hospital to put into place anti-discrimination policies that protect other transgender children.