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Texas investigates Children’s Hospital over alleged secret sex changes on minors

Texas investigates Children’s Hospital over alleged secret sex changes on minors

By Peter Pinedo

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into allegations that illegal sex-change procedures are being performed on minors at Texas Children’s Hospital. 

The probe follows news reports based on documents a whistleblower shared with City Journal. The outlet reported that Texas Children’s doctor Eithan Haim shared information showing that the hospital system had “secretly continued to perform transgender medical interventions … on minor children” despite it being illegal in Texas. 

Haim has since been indicted for allegedly breaking federal law by violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) while obtaining and disclosing the private health information of Texas Children’s pediatric patients. If found guilty, Haim faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

A representative for Paxton’s office confirmed with CNA on Friday that Texas Children’s is currently being investigated. The hospital system, which is the largest children’s system in the U.S., is being investigated for potential Medicaid fraud in its sex-change program, according to National Review. In addition to Haim, Texas Children’s nurse Vanessa Sivadge shared with City Journal information indicating that the hospital was “stealing” from the government by billing sex-change procedures on minors to Medicaid, which is illegal in Texas.

Brian Harrison, a Republican in the state Legislature, has also called on the Texas House to hold hearings on the potential Medicaid fraud by Texas Children’s and into the federal government’s actions in attempting to “silence” the whistleblowers.

In a Wednesday statement, Harrison called the administration’s actions “absolutely outrageous” and an attempt to protect “abusive and illegal practices.”

“The Texas House of Representatives must not sit idly by and allow this federal overreach to occur,” he continued.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas Children’s is the largest children’s hospital system in the U.S. The hospital announced in 2022 that it would be ceasing sex-change “therapies” and procedures, citing concerns that these practices were potentially illegal under Texas law.

This followed the publication of a directive by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Paxton that transgender procedures on minors could be considered “child abuse” in Texas. In 2023, Texas passed a law that explicitly bans sex-change procedures on children.

At least three doctors associated with Texas Children’s — Richard Roberts, David Paul, and Kristy Rialon — had continued to perform “gender-affirming” procedures on children throughout 2022 and 2023, according to whistleblower evidence published by Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute. Rufo claimed that Rialon had been performing surgeries on minors ranging in age from 15 to as young as 1.

Sivadge, the nurse at Texas Children’s, further alleged that the hospital was potentially billing transgender procedures on children to Medicaid.

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