A woman from Nebraska is suing doctors at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for performing a double mastectomy on her when she was only 16 years old as part of a gender-affirming care process. The woman, Luka Hein, now 21, claims that she and her parents were manipulated into the surgery without being fully informed of the risks. The lawsuit alleges negligence and lack of informed consent, and seeks damages from the doctors and medical center involved.
According to CEO Harmeet K. Dhillon of the Center for American Liberty, the doctors manipulated Luka and her parents by implying that her mental health issues could only be solved through surgery. The lawsuit argues that under the law, consent to a medical procedure must be fully informed and freely given, which the plaintiff claims was not the case.
The lawsuit was filed in Douglas County District Court in Omaha and names UNMC Physicians, Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine, three doctors, and a therapist as defendants. Nebraska Medicine has declined to comment on the pending litigation.
Luka Hein is at least the fourth person this year to file a lawsuit against gender-transition clinics and doctors for medical treatment received as a teenager. These lawsuits involve individuals who are detransitioning, meaning they no longer identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.
In her statement, Luka Hein revealed that she was struggling with depression and anxiety after her parents’ divorce and became uncomfortable with her changing body after starting menstruation. She began counseling and was later diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Following a referral from her therapist, she underwent a double mastectomy without receiving hormone treatments or fully understanding the long-term consequences of the procedure.
The lawsuit claims that the doctors rushed Luka into surgery without following the standard of care for breast removal, which includes a period of hormone treatments. After experiencing health issues, Luka went off testosterone and no longer identifies as a man.
Nebraska malpractice attorney Jeff Downing, who is representing Luka Hein, expressed surprise at the medical center’s actions. He stated that most Nebraskans are unaware of what the university’s medical center is doing to gender-confused children.
At least 20 states have passed laws banning gender-transition surgeries and drugs for minors. LGBTQ groups argue that these bans put transgender children at a higher risk of suicide.