A B.C. Supreme Court judge has stopped a transgender teen’s double mastectomy days before it was to go ahead, granting the teen’s mother a court order delaying the surgery for almost a month.
Madam Justice Shelley C. Fitzpatrick granted the “interlocutory injunction” against cosmetic surgeon Dr. Daniel McKee and the teen’s doctor, Dr. Andrea Szewchuk, after the request from the mother.
The mother is identified in the court document only as A.M., to protect the identity of the 17-year old, identified as S.B.
The court order, granted Nov. 3, prevents Dr. McKee from “providing S.B. with counsel, advice or advocacy in preparation for, promotion of, or performing a double mastectomy or any surgery.” The order will expire on Nov. 27.
The delay will give the mother, who opposes the surgery, a chance to determine if all the proper protocols were followed leading up to procedure, said her lawyer.
“The mother needs to see all of the protocols that led to the two doctors coming to the conclusion that what they intended to do is in the best interest of the child,” said M.A.’s lawyer, Carey Linde.
“She says removing the breasts of her daughter are not in the best interest of her,” said Linde. He said A.M. is also opposed to the teen receiving steroids because they would make her sterile.
“Where does the parent get the opportunity to be involved in a life-changing decision for her child?” said Linde.
“I had no choice,” A.M. told Postmedia by phone of her decision to file the court order. She and Linde both called and sent emails to the doctors to discuss S.B.’s case that went unanswered.
A.M. found out about the planned surgery from the teen but wasn’t consulted by the medical providers. The teen doesn’t live with the mother or the father, who separated when S.B. was five months old.
“I’m in total darkness and I don’t have any rights,” she said. “I need some time for her to grow up and mature.”
A.M. said she couldn’t reveal a lot of details about the teen because it could inadvertently identify her but said she had been depressed and anxious and had been taking antidepressants.
“She needs psychotherapy,” A.M. said. “I would like her to be referred to a non-biased psychiatrist.”
A.M. said she would like the doctors to provide her with details about what counselling her child received leading up to the decision to have the surgery.
Linde said the production of the teen’s medical records will likely have to be ordered by a judge and he expects the case to end up in court again.