A federal judge has ordered the Illinois Department of Corrections to immediately adhere to WPATH standards of care for the medical treatment of transgender inmates.
The order in the form of a preliminary injunction was issued as a federal judge presides over a class-action suit filed by the ACLU on behalf of three transgender people housed in Illinois state prisons.
The three prisoners have collectively suffered being denied the service of a qualified doctor and once they are seen, and if the medical person agrees that they are transgender they suffer extraordinary wait times of up to three years before receiving their first HRT prescription. This maltreatment of the litigants is in violation of the Eighth Amendment which has resulted in irreparable emotional and physiological complex trauma.
A preliminary injunction is only granted to prevent irreparable harm during a trial and when it’s likely that the parties requesting the injunction could win.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengel wrote that the department’s policies are actively causing harm to prisoners. She described “serious deficiencies” in medical care.
This Class Action Lawsuit has implications far beyond the Illinois state line.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health(WPATH) promotes the highest standards of health care for individuals through the articulation of Standards of Care (SOC) for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People. The SOC are based on the best available science and expert professional consensus
The overall goal of the SOC is to provide clinical guidance for health professionals to assist transsexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people with safe and effective pathways to achieving lasting personal comfort with their gendered selves, in order to maximize their overall health, psychological well-being, and self-fulfillment. This assistance may include primary care, gynecologic and urologic care, reproductive options, voice and communication therapy, mental health services (e.g., assessment, counseling, psychotherapy), and hormonal and surgical treatments. While this is primarily a document for health professionals, the SOC may also be used by individuals, their families, and social institutions to understand how they can assist with promoting optimal health for members of this diverse population.
Related: Trump rolls back Obama rules that helped transgender prisoners.
Those rules helped ensure federal prisons adhered to the Prison Rape Prevention Act, allowed transgender prisoners access to qualified medical care and HRT.