Lois Cardinal, a 35-year-old indigenous transgender woman, is currently engaged in a bitter confrontation with Canada’s healthcare system after it denied his request for assisted suicide, Daily Mail reported.
Cardinal cites ongoing and severe pain from a complication related to a vaginoplasty procedure he underwent in 2009 as his reason for seeking a medically assisted death.
“In 2009, I was rushed into having SRS before I was ready. Resulting in immediate regret and sterilization,” Cardinal said.
Cardinal lives on a native reserve near St. Paul, Alberta, and shared his medical records on social media this week, as an attempt to bring attention to the shortcomings of Canada’s healthcare policies around both euthanasia and gender affirmation surgeries.
“I’m in constant discomfort and pain, and it’s taking this psychological burden on me. If I’m not able to access proper medical care, I don’t want to continue to do this,” Cardinal told the Daily Mail.
Vaginoplasty, a surgical procedure that involves inverting the penis to create a neo-vagina, often leaves recipients suffering from post-operative pain and discomfort.
According to a recent study from the University of Florida, common complications include pain during intercourse and bladder problems.
According to Boston Children’s Hospital, “vaginoplasty requires a lifetime commitment to aftercare. If you have a vaginoplasty, you will initially have to dilate your vagina multiple times a day to keep it open. Eventually, that can be reduced to several times a week, depending on a variety of factors.”
Cardinal formally applied for medical assistance in dying (MAiD) under Canada’s law earlier this year, but his application was rejected.
The note from Cardinal’s doctor noted that he was suffering from ‘pain/anxiety related to neo-vagina for gender affirmation.”
But Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) rejected his request.
After his request was rejected, Cardinal was prescribed a ‘numbing cream’ for his neo-vagina, but according to him, it was ineffective.
Cardinal criticized his rejection as a ‘human rights concern.’
He told Daily Mail that doctors are more interested in finding out what pronouns he uses than easing his pain.
“I’m not getting any better and nor am I experiencing better medical care, or any medical care,” Cardinal said.
“It’s so captured by gender ideologies, that they care more about my pronouns,” he added.
Cardinal is not just concerned about his situation; he is openly critical of the gender-affirmation ideology that led his to undergo his surgery. He has posted videos expressing his disagreement with the current rhetoric of the trans community and believes that an inability to have ‘honest and tough conversations’ is fueling transphobic sentiments.
In a tweet, Cardinal urged the government offices at all levels to reevaluate their stance on “gender-affirming care.
I’m speaking from experience of being a sterilized first nations person.
I call on ALL levels of governments and offices to reconsider their stance on ‘gender affirming care’. pic.twitter.com/K9hcaRjW01
— Duchess Lois Of Alberta (@duchess_elle) July 25, 2023
In response to Cardinal’s concerns, a representative from the RCYBC clarified their role and scope of influence in an email communication, stating, “In your email, you have also asked ‘Why isn’t the RCYBC approaching these children with a cultural, holistic, and historical approach before affirming a gender identity?’ It is important to clarify that the mandate of the RCY does not include services or service delivery directly to children and youth. The RCY does not have direct influence over decisions in the community regarding ‘affirming gender identity.’”
— Duchess Lois Of Alberta (@duchess_elle) July 28, 2023