Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Conclusion Of Initial Hearing Against VUmc Gender Team

Yesterday was the initial hearing against the Amsterdam VUmc hospital's gender team. I was present with my lawyer, Yme Drost. The VUmc gender team was represented by Prof. Dr. P.T. Cohen-Kettenis (psychologist) representing the other defendants, Ms. mr. A.J.G.M. Janssen (jurist for the VUmc) and their lawyer. This closed hearing took about an hour and a half, during which most aspects of the case were touched upon.

Cohen insisted that the VUmc had handled properly, that they had performed as is routine a hormone level and external physical examination during which no indications of intersex were found. My response to this was that the hormone levels the VUmc supposedly had found didn't match up with those later found during the hormone treatment I underwent. Specifically the VUmc had indicated a testosterone level of 21 nM/L on a normal male range of 7-20 nM/L, where a female top range is around 0.7 nM/L. During the use of testosterone blockers I found that I needed only 25 mg/day whereas a dose of 100 mg/day is what a Male to Female transsexual would use to get testosterone levels down to female levels. This would suggest that I couldn't have had a testosterone level of more than 20/4 or 5 nM/L.

I suggested to the man presiding over the hearing that this could either mean that the VUmc's hormone level testing was done improperly resulting in a wrong result, or that something else had happened. Upon me mentioning this, Cohen and her lawyer started whispering to each other, as observed by my girlfriend who was sitting in the public section. Seemingly this must have had some impact. The rest of the hearing went on pretty much like this; the VUmc side kept to its story of being caring, attentive people, while I and my lawyer deconstructed each of these points.

Near the end of the hearing it was agreed that the complaints against the VUmc gender team would be extended by an additional item: that they had failed to provide proper psychological care when I had directly indicated to them that I was thinking of committing suicide and when I had indicated that I had attempted self-castration. It was also agreed that the disciplinary commission and the VUmc's lawyer would receive copies of the MRI scans made and the associated reports.

The next hearing should take place within about six weeks time. This hearing will then be public. I feel quite confident about it, especially after seeing what we're up against like this during the hearing. Most remarkable I thought was that just before we went into the hearing room when I shook Cohen's hand for the first time she seemed quite confident, but after the hearing when we shook hands again I tried to look her into the eyes again but this time she seemed fairly timid and averted her gaze.

I'm very curious as to how this case will develop from this point, and am looking forward to the first public hearing. Anyone of you is welcome to visit it as well. I will publish the location and date when I know more.


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