Texas AG Ken Paxton Faces Lawsuit Over Seattle Hospital’s Gender-Affirming Care Records
Seattle Children’s Hospital sues the Texas Attorney General’s Office as Ken Paxton seeks gender-affirming care records, sparking a legal battle over patient privacy and jurisdiction.
Seattle Children’s Hospital has initiated legal action against the Texas Attorney General’s Office in response to efforts led by Ken Paxton to obtain information regarding gender-affirming care patients from Texas who sought treatment in Washington.
The lawsuit, filed in Travis County District Court, aims to safeguard the privacy of individuals who sought necessary medical care in Washington, where access to such care for minors is legal, unlike in Texas where it remains prohibited. Seattle Children’s contends that Texas lacks jurisdiction over records concerning patients outside its state boundaries, labeling the requests as baseless and unwarranted.
The legal confrontation ensued after Paxton’s office served Seattle Children’s with a civil investigative demand in November, requesting extensive details about patients from Texas who received gender-affirming care services, including diagnoses, prescribed medications, and treatment procedures.
The attorney general’s office cited potential violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, raising concerns about alleged misrepresentations regarding gender transitioning treatments.
Seattle Children’s, complying with healthcare regulations, moved to protect patient privacy, citing federal health privacy laws and Washington state’s shield law that bars cooperation with out-of-state inquiries related to gender-affirming care.
The lawsuit underscores tensions between states over healthcare access and patient privacy, signaling a legal standoff between Texas authorities and Seattle Children’s Hospital over the boundaries of jurisdiction and patient confidentiality in gender-affirming care cases.