Taylor v. Lystila
Health care discrimination case involving a transgender woman who was refused transition-related medical care.
Naya Taylor was a transgender woman living in Mattoon, Illinois. Dr. Aja Lystila had been Ms. Taylor’s primary care physician, but when Ms. Taylor asked to start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as part of her medically necessary, transition-related health care to treat her gender dysphoria, Dr. Lystila refused. Dr. Lystila first claimed she was not experienced in providing hormones to transgender people even though hormone therapy is regularly provided to non-transgender patients in a variety of settings every day. Later the clinic told Ms. Taylor that it “does not have to treat people like you.” HRT is one of the vital life-saving treatments used to treat gender dysphoria, a recognized, serious medical condition.
The Affordable Care Act is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit health care providers that receive federal funds, such as Dr. Lystila’s medical practice, from discriminating against any individual on the basis of sex for purpose of providing health services. That prohibition extends to discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived gender identity of the individuals involved.
- Early 2013 Naya Taylor consults with a social worker and decides to begin Hormone Replacement Therapy to treat her gender dysphoria. Ms. Taylor approaches Dr. Lystila about the treatment that had been recommended, but Dr. Lystila refuses.
- Fall 2013 Ms. Taylor again requests Naya asked Dr. Lystila to perform blood work to check her hormone levels, the doctor again refuses.
- October 2013 Ms. Taylor requests a prescription for transition-related hormones, Dr. Lystila again refuses.
- April 2014 Lambda Legal files suit on behalf of Ms. Taylor
- June 2014: Lambda Legal receives word that its client, Naya Taylor, has tragically passed away from a heart attack. We honor her memory and the courage she brought to us as a client.