Kerala

Health dept. orders probe into transwoman’s suicide

The State Department of Health and Family Welfare has ordered an inquiry by the Additional Director of Health (Vigilance) into a complaint that transwoman Ananyah Kumari Alex, who underwent a sex reassignment surgery at a private hospital here committed suicide after the surgery failed.

The surgery failed due to the negligence of hospital authorities, said P. K. Preejith, who approached the Health department with the complaint. The inquiry report is expected to be submitted in a month.

Poll candidate

Ananyah, 28, was a transactivist and Kerala’s first transwoman radio jockey. She was well-known across Kerala after she contested the State Assembly elections in April 2021 from Vengara, taking on Indian Union Muslim League leader P.K. Kunhalikutty as a candidate of the Democratic Social Justice Party.

She killed herself in July, 2021 at her apartment in Edappally. Allegations of medical neglect triggered a wave of protest against Renai Medicity authorities and the doctors, who carried out the surgery. Hospital authorities said on Monday they would fully cooperate with the inquiry. The hospital had already denied allegations of medical negligence, they added.Kerala Transgender Justice Board member A. Anil said though Kerala had adopted a trans welfare policy in 2015, work to ensure justice to the community has not gone ahead with the required momentum.

‘Ethics panel needed’

“There are two major problems. The State does not have a uniform protocol for sex reassignment procedures. Secondly, Kerala has not constituted an ethics committee to consider requests for sex reassignment. The ethics committee should be modelled on the one supervising organ transplants,” he added.There are other issues too. For instance, there are no well-trained personnel in this field of medicine. Medical doctors should be sent abroad and trained as part of the welfare measures for the trans community. Besides, government hospitals and medical colleges should be able to meet the demand from the trans community for comprehensive medical care, he added.


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Printable version | May 27, 2022 9:38:05 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/health-dept-orders-probe-into-transwomans-suicide/article38319343.ece