|December 21, 2022 01:35 PM
|Representative Paul Schemel
|All House members
|Gender Affirmation Therapy Statute of Limitations
|The recent and rapid expansion of gender transition services offered to minors raises questions concerning both the long-term impact of chemical and surgical treatments falling under the general category of affirmation therapy and the adequacy of consent for such treatments by minor patients. The sole intent of this proposed legislation is to provide affected individuals additional time to bring a claim after they have reached the age of majority.
I intend to introduce legislation to extend the statute of limitations for civil actions brought by individuals who underwent gender affirmation treatment as minors. Under current law, any plaintiff aggrieved by a medical procedure during his or her minority, including gender affirmation surgery, must file the cause of action prior to reaching 20 years of age. This extremely short window of time often proves inadequate and unreasonably restrictive for the children who underwent these procedures and only begin to suffer permanent physical and psychological harm years later in adulthood. Indeed, a growing body of research suggests that many individuals who undergo gender affirmation treatments as minors do not begin to experience complications or regret until their late 20s or early 30s; often, as a direct result of the permanent loss of fertility, sexual function, and the ability to form intimate relationships.
If an individual entitled to bring a civil cause of action arising from gender affirmation treatment is a minor at the time the cause of action accrues, this legislation will permit that individual to file a cause of action prior to his or her 30th birthday.
Our laws have long recognized that children are incapable of independently consenting to medical treatments and making other significant and life-altering decisions that require a certain degree of life experience and maturity.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as HB138