Lois Cardinal, a 35-year-old indigenous transgender woman, is currently engaged in a bitter confrontation with Canada’s healthcare system after it denied his request for assisted suicide, Daily Mail reported.
Cardinal cites ongoing and severe pain from a complication related to a vaginoplasty procedure he underwent in 2009 as his reason for seeking a medically assisted death.
“In 2009, I was rushed into having SRS before I was ready. Resulting in immediate regret and sterilization,” Cardinal said.
Cardinal lives on a native reserve near St. Paul, Alberta, and shared his medical records on social media this week, as an attempt to bring attention to the shortcomings of Canada’s healthcare policies around both euthanasia and gender affirmation surgeries.
“I’m in constant discomfort and pain, and it’s taking this psychological burden on me. If I’m not able to access proper medical care, I don’t want to continue to do this,” Cardinal told the Daily Mail.
Vaginoplasty, a surgical procedure that involves inverting the penis to create a neo-vagina, often leaves recipients suffering from post-operative pain and discomfort.
According to a recent study from the University of Florida, common complications include pain during intercourse and bladder problems.
According to Boston Children’s Hospital, “vaginoplasty requires a lifetime commitment to aftercare. If you have a vaginoplasty, you will initially have to dilate your vagina multiple times a day to keep it open. Eventually, that can be reduced to several times a week, depending on a variety of factors.”
Cardinal formally applied for medical assistance in dying (MAiD) under Canada’s law earlier this year, but his application was rejected.
The note from Cardinal’s doctor noted that he was suffering from ‘pain/anxiety related to neo-vagina for gender affirmation.”
But Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) rejected his request.