Patients grandfathered into the state’s new ban on gender-affirming-care for minors are still having prescriptions revoked as providers fear lawsuits
Washington University in St. Louis joined University of Missouri Health as the latest provider of care to transgender minors to announce it is canceling pre-existing prescriptions for puberty blockers or hormone-replacement therapy.
A new state law restricting access to gender-affirming care bars those under 18 from beginning new treatments. But in a compromise with opponents of the ban, lawmakers grandfathered in patients who had begun a medical transition before the law went into effect on Aug. 28.
But a provision of the statute allows those who received care as a minor to bring a cause of action against their doctor 15 years after treatment or their 21st birthday, whichever is later. Typically, patients in Missouri have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Washington University cited this provision as the reason for its change in services.
“Missouri’s newly enacted law regarding transgender care has created a new legal claim for patients who received these medications as minors,” the university said in a statement. “This legal claim creates unsustainable liability for health-care professionals and makes it untenable for us to continue to provide comprehensive transgender care for minor patients without subjecting the university and our providers to an unacceptable level of liability.”