Welcome to our new post in this post we talk about Texas Attorney General Faces Legal Battle over Medical records in gender. According to court records, a Seattle hospital has initiated legal proceedings against the Texas Attorney General’s office in the escalating fight over gender-affirming care for children, a case that has now crossed state borders.
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Seattle Children’s Hospital filed a lawsuit this month in response to attempts by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office to obtain medical records of Texans who may have received gender-affirming treatment.
In the issued summons, the office stated that the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General is investigating potential violations of Texas provisions by the hospital and its physicians, including “misrepresentation about gender transition treatments and procedures and incorrect statements about Texas law.”
The demand made in the November 17 summons requires the hospital to provide records concerning any medical treatment of Texas residents under the age of 18 starting from January 1, 2022, containing details related to gender-related issues and care.
These demands are in line with the efforts of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the state GOP, and Paxton to stop providing gender affirming care for minors. In some cases, these efforts have encouraged families with transgender children to relocate to states like Washington that have more accepting laws.
In Washington, legal gender-affirming care measures for minors, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and some surgeries, were legalized in September after the passage of Senate Bill 14. Well before the law took effect, Abbott had ordered investigations into the families of transgender children who were reported to be receiving youth blockers or hormone therapy.
As per the complaint filed on December 7 in Travis County, Texas, the hospital argues that the Texas courts and officials lack the authority to subpoena Washington-based health care systems, invoking federal privacy laws alongside Washington’s “Shield Law,” which prevents disclosure of information to assist out-of-state criminal and civil proceedings.
The goal of this action is to protect patient privacy regarding medical records and avoid interfering with the private relationship between recipients and providers of gender and reproductive health care.
In the document, the hospital argues that Seattle Children’s does not advertise its gender-affirming treatments in Texas and does not offer telemedicine services to patients in the state. The hospital’s lone Texas-based employee is an administrative staff member, not a physician.
The case also argues that compliance with the Attorney General’s summons would violate federal privacy laws and require breaking Washington’s “Shield Law,” which inhibits out-of-state involvement in reproductive and gender care provider assistance.
In response, the hospital has requested the court to block Paxton’s request or narrow the scope of the information sought in the summons.
Seattle Children’s, through a spokesperson, emphasized its commitment to safeguarding the privacy of patient information and compliance with all healthcare laws. The Attorney General’s office has not provided a response to repeated requests for comment on Friday.