Gay Issues

Patient Sues After Doctor Labels Homosexuality As ‘Chronic Condition’

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A man is suing a California doctor who listed his sexual orientation as a “chronic condition” on his medical records.

Matthew Moore went in for a routine physical in April 2013. Tests showed he was vitamin B-12 deficient and had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, NBC Los Angeles reports.

The results of the physical also listed “Homosexual behavior (302.0)” as a chronic condition in his patient plan.

"When I look up code 302.0 and its sexual deviancy or mental illness, and that code has been removed or suggested heavily not to be used since 1973," Moore told NBC News.

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"My jaw was on the floor,” he said. “At first, I kind of laughed, I thought, 'Here's another way that gay people are lessened and made to feel less-than,' and then as I thought about it and as I dealt with it, it angered me.”

Moore says he doesn’t mind his sexual orientation being noted in his records, but it shouldn’t be listed as a chronic illness.

After speaking with an attorney and friends he went back into the Manhattan Beach doctor’s office to discuss the label. He was even more shocked when the doctor defended her actions.

“I was dumbfounded,” he said.

She allegedly said homosexuality is “still being thought of as a disease.”

He asked her how the condition of homosexuality is treated. She allegedly told him it “is still up to debate.”

"Government tells us, often times, that we're not equal," Moore said. "Many churches tell us that we're sinners, and now here's a medical professional telling us that we are sick. And it's gotta stop."

Moore is suing the doctor and his healthcare network for intentional infliction of emotional distress and libel.

"We fully appreciate your frustration and anger related to your experience and are committed to ensuring that such events are not repeated," wrote Heidi Assigal, senior director of Torrance Health Association, Inc.

When he asked Torrance for his $30 copay back they gave it to him.

"We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition and we do not endorse or approve of the use of Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality,” Assigal wrote.

Moore says he wants to ensure other homosexual Americans don’t receive the same treatment, noting the high level of suicide among LGBT youth.

“I don’t want any gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual ever to hear from a doctor that their normal and healthy sexuality is anything other than that,” Moore said.

“Kids are killing themselves over this and it’s got to stop and I will not be silent about it.”

Sources: NBC Los Angeles (2), Washington Post

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / theodoranian, Wikipedia