A woman named Teresa Steele has claimed that her scheduled surgery was cancelled after she requested same-sex care during her operation. The incident took place at the Princess Grace Hospital in central London, a private hospital known for its focus on women’s health. Ms. Steele made the request for only biological women to be involved in her intimate care after a transgender nurse entered her pre-op examination room without an invitation. Initially, the hospital accused her of discrimination, but later apologized for violating her privacy and dignity.
Ms. Steele argues that the cancellation of her surgery caused her harm and subjected her to discrimination. She is now urging the HCA, the major private healthcare company that owns the Princess Grace Hospital and provides services to the NHS, to revise their policies in order to protect patients based on their sex-based rights. This includes the right to request care from medical professionals of the same biological sex.
After her request gained public attention and a petition with thousands of signatures, the hospital maintains that the cancellation was due to their inability to guarantee same-sex care on short notice. However, Ms. Steele believes she was specifically targeted for expressing gender-critical views.
Eventually, her surgery was rescheduled at the HCA’s Wellington Hospital, but during the procedure, surgeons discovered a major abscess that had not been detected in previous scans. The delay in completing the surgery resulted in trauma and long-term health effects for Ms. Steele.
Despite her ordeal, Ms. Steele has offered to forgo any legal action if the HCA agrees to change its policy and recognize sex as a protected characteristic under equality laws, guaranteeing same-sex care. She argues that requiring women to receive intimate care from biological males without their consent violates their human rights and subjects them to inhumane and degrading treatment.
The Princess Grace Hospital has expressed its commitment to reviewing its policy on patient privacy and dignity. They have invited Ms. Steele and others to share their views to inform future updates. They emphasize that accommodating patient requests is a priority whenever possible, and when considering cancellations or rescheduling, patient safety and care urgency are paramount.