Luka Hein is suing the University of Nebraska Medical Center for administering a double mastectomy in 2018 when she was just 16 years old, as per a complaint filed Wednesday.
“The clinic, which operates on a ‘gender affirming’ model, allegedly misrepresented a therapist’s letter as endorsing a sex-change surgery,” the complaint states. The document further alleges that the medical professionals exhibited a “tunnel vision” approach, rushing Hein into irreversible procedures without considering other potential causes for her dysphoria.
Hein’s struggles with gender dysphoria began shortly after her parents’ divorce. This tumultuous period saw her grappling with loss of appetite and suicidal thoughts. An older man online further exploited her vulnerable state, demanding explicit photos under threat.
“She ordered a chest binder, transferred from an all-girls school, and changed her name. She began identifying as male and advised her mental health providers, and her parents, that she was transgender,” the complaint reveals.
Hein’s journey into the medical realm of gender transition began with a therapy session in 2017. Within an hour, she received a diagnosis of gender identity disorder. At the tender age of 15, she was recommended for a mastectomy. The justification? Her parents were informed that without the surgery, Hein might take her own life. Yet, the complaint highlights a contradiction: Megan Smith-Sallans, Hein’s therapist, repeatedly noted in her records that Hein did not exhibit any evident risk of suicide.
The lawsuit further alleges deceit on the part of the doctors. Dr. Perry Johnson, assisted by Dr. Stephan Barrientos in the surgery, purportedly claimed to possess a letter from Smith-Sallans that vouched for the surgery’s appropriateness for Hein, even at her young age. Contrary to this claim, the complaint asserts that Smith-Sallans’ letter merely expressed Hein’s interest in the surgery, without any explicit recommendation or assertion of its benefit for her.
The medical interventions ceased just before a hysterectomy, as Hein’s parents denied their consent.
Years later, in a 2023 telehealth session, Hein confided to Dr. Nahia Amoura that she no longer identified as male. Amoura’s response was to label it as part of Hein’s “gender journey.”
“Having been subjected to irreversible surgery and a four-year cascade of testosterone, doctors simply have no idea now how to help her. Having broken her, Defendants have no idea how to fix her,” the complaint asserts.
The defendants listed in the lawsuit include the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine, Smith-Sallans, and Drs. Amoura, Johnson, and Barrientos. The University of Nebraska Medical Center has yet to comment on the allegations.
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