Sydney woman suing psychiatrist over devastating ‘transition’ outcome

Sydney woman Jay Langadinos is suing psychiatrist Dr Patrick Toohey for his part in her transition.

According to a statement of claim filed in the NSW Supreme Court in May, the referral letter from Professor Ann Conway said it “seemed likely” Langadinos had “true gender dysphoria”, but she was “very young” and “clearly” needed “thorough psychiatric work-up before embarking on hormone treatment”.

Toohey agreed Langadinos suffered from gender dysphoria – a misalignment between a person’s sex and gender identity – and found she was suitable for hormone therapy, in this case testosterone, which encourages the development of male secondary sexual characteristics. 

Langadinos saw Toohey a second time in February 2012. Now she was eager to have her breasts surgically removed. Toohey allegedly found “no contraindication” for her to undergo a bilateral mastectomy. She had the operation in April. 

The following month, Langadinos was back again, this time to discuss her wish to have her womb removed. Again, Toohey reported he could not see “any psychiatric contraindication to proceeding with hysterectomy as part of gender transition”. Langadinos underwent the surgery in November, less than seven months after her mastectomy. She was 22.

Now she is 31 and no longer identifying as male. She is taking Toohey to court for professional negligence. In 2016 she “came to the realisation that she should not have undergone the hormone therapy or the first and second surgeries”.

In January 2020, she consulted endocrinologist Dr Christopher Muir about ceasing testosterone treatment. Langadinos claims Toohey “failed to take precautions” to avoid risk of harm “in the nature of loss of her breasts, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries”. 

The statement of claim alleges that, before recommending hormonal treatment and the surgeries, Toohey “knew or ought to have known” Langadinos required further psychiatric evaluation by him and by a psychiatrist with specialised expertise in diverse conditions. She alleges that he was negligent in not recommending she get an opinion from a second psychiatrist for her hysterectomy.

The de-transitioned woman said, “Knowing that I can’t have children is absolutely devastating.”

According to Solicitor Anna Kerr, of NSW’s Feminist Legal Clinic, this is “likely to be the tip of the iceberg”.

“We can expect to see extensive litigation in future years related to gender-affirming cross-sex hormones and surgeries,” she said. 

Langadinos says the consequence of Toohey’s alleged breaches of duty of care was that she “has suffered and continues to suffer from injuries and disabilities”, including masculinising and complications as a result of hormone therapy, loss of breasts, uterus and ovaries, complications from early menopause, anxiety and depression, impaired psychological functioning, an ongoing need for medical treatment and diminished capacity for employment.

Binary spokeswoman, Kirralie Smith, said the case was an avoidable tragedy.

“This should never have happened. No-one can change sex. Drastic interventions such as surgery and irreversible drugs mask underlying issues and only result in imitation,” she said.

“Young people are being left with no sexual function, sterility and other health issues because they were rapidly given ‘gender affirming’ treatments that deny biology and reality.

“There will be many more sad cases like this to come unfortunately.

“Gender clinics in Australia must be paused while an urgent inquiry is held into all aspects of so-called ‘affirming’ practices that can lead to such devastation.”