“Jesus Wouldn’t Approve” as Transgender Teen Denied ADHD Care – Religious Clinic Sparks Controversy

A 14-year-old girl says a Catholic medical clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, denied her mental health care for her ADHD after learning of her transgender status. Tiffinny Moutardier and her mother, Jean Oorbeck, claim that a doctor at Emmaus Health Partners told them he couldn’t care for her due to the clinic’s “religious affiliation.” Here’s how the events took place.

Did She Have ADHD?

Jean Oorbeck, Tiffinny’s mother, said she made an appointment for her daughter at Emmaus Health Partners in Ann Arbor seeking treatment for the teen’s ADHD symptoms.

She juggles music, art, and sports as an honor roll student with a packed schedule. Recently, she and her parents had wondered whether she might have ADHD.

Oorbeck explained Tiffinny’s possible ADHD symptoms: “She makes stations for herself at home, moving from one to the next throughout the day. And she makes what Tiffinny describes as “funny noises” to help herself focus or self-soothe.

“I Noticed a Lot of Paintings on the Wall, and They Were All Very Religious”

In May, her mother made an appointment at a local clinic, Emmaus Health Partners. It offered mental health care, accepted their insurance, and many online reviews were glowing.

But it was only when they arrived that she realized it was a Catholic Clinic. “I noticed a lot of paintings on the wall, and they were all very religious,” Tiffinny said.

At the appointment, before her examination, she gave her medical history to the doctor’s assistant, including the fact that she took estrogen.

She seen by Dr. Scott Waclawik, a family medicine physician, who, after a cursory examination, asked to speak with Tiffinny’s mom privately.

“We Don’t Feel Comfortable With Tiffinny’s Presence in Our Office”

Oorbeck said that  he reminded her Emmaus is a religious health clinic and told her, “We don’t feel comfortable with Tiffinny’s presence in our office.”

He continued, “I don’t think we have the means to help what seems to be such an extreme case of ADHD.”

He then declared, “We don’t see transgender patients in this clinic,” Jean said. Outraged, she accused him of denying her daughter medical care.

Oorbeck and Tiffinny filed a complaint with Michigan’s Department of Civil Rights.

Refusing Care to Transgender Patients?

But even after the expansion of Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in March to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, there’s still a big unanswered question: Will religious medical providers be allowed to claim exemptions from the law, and refuse care to transgender patients?

The clinic denies the allegation. “We do not discriminate against patients based on gender identity, nor do we refuse to provide care,” the clinic’s executive director said in an emailed statement.

Social media users were passionate in their responses and clearly voiced their opinions and beliefs.

“Jesus Would Not Approve. Bigotry of Any Kind Is Un-Christian”

A Reddit reader posted, “When you look at it from a purely technical standpoint, religions have the same rules and coding as cults”

“That should be outlawed. There should be no religion in hospitals, government offices, or schools. Religions should be for personal life only.” another exclaimed.

On X (formerly Twitter) a user reacted “Jesus would not approve. Bigotry of any kind is un-Christian.”

“This clinic is run by bigots and hateful people. The Pope tells transgender youths the Lord accepts them. God loves us as we are!!!” was another response on X.

“Trans Kids Are Not a Thing. Crazy Parents Are a Thing”

However, not all opinions were supportive of the family. “Good. She’s too young.” was a user’s opinion on X.

The opposition continued, with further thoughts voiced on X, “Trans kids are not a thing. Crazy parents are a thing.”

Transgender people have long experienced discrimination in the health care system.

According to a 2021 poll from the Center for American Progress, half of all transgender respondents said they’d experienced “mistreatment or discrimination” from a health provider in the past year.

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Source: USA Today