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A NC Detransitioner Sues Her Doctors (With Josh Payne)

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As a teenager, Prisha Mosley was told that she was born in the wrong body and that transitioning her gender would solve the various mental health problems she was experiencing. She received cross-sex hormones and a double mastectomy only to realize that these procedures were not the solution. Now, after detransitioning, she is suing the healthcare providers who pushed her down this path, seeking to hold them accountable and protect others from a similar fate.

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs welcomes Josh Payne, attorney and co-founder of Campbell Miller Payne, PLLC, to discuss Prisha Mosley’s legal case.

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Transcript: A NC Detransitioner Sues Her Doctors (With Josh Payne)

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Thanks for joining us this week for Family Policy Matters. As European countries increasingly move away from and prohibit life-altering gender transition procedures, especially among children, the US continues to allow, and in many places encourages, medical and surgical gender transition, much to the dismay of a growing number of patients slash victims. One North Carolina woman is suing the doctors who encouraged and facilitated the gender transition she now deeply regrets. We’re joined today by one of the attorneys representing Prisha Mosley in this important case. Josh Payne co-founded Campbell Miller Payne, a law firm dedicated to serving the victims of gender-affirming care. Josh Payne, welcome to Family Policy Matters.

JOSH PAYNE: Thank you for having me, Traci.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: All right. Well, tell us about your client Prisha Mosley.

JOSH PAYNE: Prisha Mosley’s story, sadly, as our firm has learned through the work we’ve done over the past year, is a common story in what is termed the transgender healthcare space. And her story is that she was really a teenager suffering from lots of different mental health struggles. In Prisha’s case it included an eating disorder, anorexia that she was seeing a dietician for on a regular basis. It included, in her early teen years, a sexual assault that had left her deeply traumatized over her body, what it meant to be a girl, what it meant to become a woman as she was going through those bodily changes in her teen years. And it included anxiety and depression and other mental health issues, some of which required her to be hospitalized even at a young age. So she was struggling with lots of mental health issues. And when she sought treatment from her medical team, and the gender issue was raised, that is the issue that her medical team focused on and led Prisha to believe that was the cause of all of her mental health problems. And she believed her medical team. She alleges in her lawsuit that she has now brought that her medical team misled her down a path of irreversible changes to her body that have left her deeply physically harmed, emotionally harmed, psychologically harmed, and she is seeking justice for herself and standing up for herself, but she’s also hoping that her case serves as a cautionary tale to others and to medical providers out there who hopefully will take note and act accordingly and not subject other patients to the harm that Prisha was subjected to.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: So tell us what the advice was, what kind of things did they suggest and do on this teenager?

JOSH PAYNE: Well, when Prisha first was being treated for her mental health issues, as I mentioned, she had been hospitalized. And shortly after that, she met with a pediatrician and the pediatrician and the team there at the medical facility said this is gender dysphoria, gender-identity related, and you need to medicalize – is the term – you need to take cross-sex hormones. You need to go down a path of changing your body to look like a boy’s body because that’s who you really are. And a counselor later backed this up and wrote a letter stating essentially the same thing, that Prisha had been born in the wrong body in so many words and that she was really a boy and that she needed, they call them cross sex hormones or a hormone replacement therapy even they have various euphemisms. But what that really means in plain terms is injecting testosterone, the primary male hormone into Prisha’s female body to drastically change her body to make it look more like a boy’s body. And that was the design and the intent of this medicalization plan. And the counselor, the pediatrician, made Prisha believe that this was the solution. That injecting testosterone into her body because she was really a boy would bring about the healing that Prisha was seeking and that is not at all what she experienced. And it was a very harrowing journey, years long of finally coming to realize that this had constituted great harm and great damage upon her and that her body should not have been subjected to that and that this caused her great mental anguish as well. Her psychological problems had not gone away as a result of the testosterone injections. A year later, a plastic surgeon removed Prisha’s healthy breasts with a double mastectomy procedure that he described in his medical disclosures as a breast reduction surgery, which Prisha alleges in her lawsuit was an incorrect description of the actual surgery that was to be performed. And another counselor stated that Prisha was an appropriate candidate for such a surgery even though that counselor did not have, as alleged, a legitimate basis to do so and was not even a transgender specialist in counseling. She had only seen Prisha for general counseling and did not have any special certification to be even making such a claim that Prisha was a candidate for so-called gender-affirming breast surgery, as they would call it or top surgery. But the counselor made those statements anyway, the plastic surgeon removed Prisha’s breasts and she was damaged, of course, irreversibly. She can’t get those body parts back, they’re gone. And she has to live with the trauma of the loss of those and what that has meant for her physically. It’s very painful for her, she says, and also the mental and emotional harm that comes from that, of not being able to live in your full female body as you would want and need to do.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: This is very disturbing. Were her parents a part of this Were there people in her life that were speaking into this process?

JOSH PAYNE: Prisha had both of her parents in her life and her understanding, you know, going through this as a 17 or 18 year old, well her initial visit with the pediatrician, she was 16. The testosterone injections began a few months later at age 17. And then the initial visit with the plastic surgeon, she was 17, the surgery ultimately taking place when she was 18. So very young, very impressionable, very vulnerable, as I mentioned with her mental health struggles. Prisha’s understanding is that her parents were misled by the medical providers and the counselors just as she was misled, and that they were pressurized and really pushed into allowing Prisha to go down this path and pretty sure, I believe, would understand that her parents were victims just like she was of this process.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: So who are you suing specifically? And what are the legal arguments that you’re making?

JOSH PAYNE: Prisha is seeking justice to hold her healthcare professionals accountable. So instead of providing proper health care and counseling services, these individuals breached their obligations to treat Prisha properly. So we have named as defendants the pediatrician, the two counselors, the plastic surgeon, and the business entities associated with those professionals.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: So what are you seeking? Are you seeking a certain amount of damages? What do you want the outcome or what does she want the outcome to be?

JOSH PAYNE: I think that Prisha is primarily seeking to hold her healthcare professionals and counselors accountable. To have a court say that what happened here is not okay, that this was misleading. It was misrepresenting Prisha’s situation. It was misrepresenting the proper treatments that were available to her, and she wants those individuals held accountable in a court of law. And that is her primary goal. And to prevent this tragedy from happening to others, she is seeking monetary damages both to compensate her for her deep and lasting injuries that she is forced to live with for the rest of her life as she tries to pick up the pieces and recover and also monetary relief to send a message to these providers and all providers that what happened to her is not okay and has no place in proper medical care.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: As we mentioned in the introduction to this show, many European countries have started to outlaw this. I mean, some of the countries that we would associate with some pretty liberal policies have long since turned away from encouraging this kind of gender transition, especially among children. Are you amazed that this is still happening here in our country?

JOSH PAYNE: It is very hard to understand when the medical community talks about science, evidence-based care, and following a proven pathway of treatment. It is very, very hard to understand how a very unproven, untested, highly experimental path could be laid out and promoted so heavily and portrayed as an evidence-based path that is tried and true. It is anything but, and this morning, even, I read an article about Dr. Hilary Cass, a pediatrician in the United Kingdom, who has published the final version of her report that she did an in-depth review of the gender care being provided by the National Health Service in England. And she determined that it was woefully inadequate from an evidentiary, evidence-based standpoint and that children had been deeply let down by the system because they were being essentially experimented on without that being explained to them, and that the treatments that they were being provided were in no way proven to be effective, and that the benefits outweighed known risks and harms that would be visited upon them. When you’re talking about puberty blockers and cross sex hormones, you’re talking about damaging, if not entirely eliminating a child’s opportunity of having children one day, having a sexual life: clear harms, and where are the benefits? And Dr. Cass and her review says we have to stop what we’re doing, completely go back to the drawing board, and exercise extreme, extreme caution. If we are ever to do anything medical with someone under the age of 18. And the NHS in England has essentially stopped using puberty blockers altogether, is exercising an extremely cautious approach if ever cross-sex hormones should be prescribed to teens, and is really saying let’s even pull back and review social transitioning and the effects that that can have on children. Other studies have shown that when children are even socially transitioned without any medical intervention at a younger age, that tends to be something that they stick with. I mean, of course, children are highly impressionable. And if you’re transitioning them socially, well, then that’s sort of already pushing them in the direction of major medical changes to their bodies eventually, which again, as the Cass review says, is something that is not justified by the scientific evidence. So it’s very puzzling and extremely tragic and sad that in the United States, we seem to be behind in understanding this.

And our law firm has also brought a case against the American Academy of Pediatrics because the treating physician in that case happened to be the author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement. And at the time that statement was being put together, he was treating our client essentially as a guinea pig to try to back up the policy statement recommendations that he was drafting and making on behalf of the AAP. That policy statement has been reviewed by others, even AAP members even who have strongly objected to it, and others who have said this is not supported by sufficient evidence. And the AAP itself has recognized that more study is needed, but instead of rescinding the policy or putting it on hold, they have kept it in full force, they are pushing these procedures on children. And again, it’s very, very hard to understand why that would be going on.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: I have lot more questions I’d love to ask. And I’m sure our listeners would love to have more information on this. So if they do want to look into this case more and follow some of the other cases that your law firm is handling, how can they go about doing that?

JOSH PAYNE: We’re at Campbell Miller Payne. So it’s is our website. And we do have some of our cases featured there, including Prisha’s case, we have the AAP case I mentioned is also featured on our website, and other information and ways to get in touch with us and to follow our work are there. We have a donate button for those who would like to make contributions directly to our cases, especially these are medical cases that involve medical experts, and that’s costly to compensate them and make sure that we have the right experts in place. And if you are a doctor or a health care professional, you can volunteer to help on our cases also by providing your information through our website. And if you think you have a case or a family member or a friend who may have a case and you want to refer them to us, that information can also be provided through our website

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Okay, Josh Payne, thank you so much for your good work and for being with us today on Family Policy Matters.

JOSH PAYNE: Thank you.

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