John M. Becker

Man Sues After Doctor Calls His Homosexuality a Chronic Condition

Filed By John M. Becker | August 13, 2014 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: chronic condition, chronically gay, doctor visit, lawsuit, medical malpractice, medical records, pathology, software

southern-california-chronic-condition.jpgNo, this is not a story from The Onion, and no, you didn't hit your head in bed last night and wake up in the 1970s...

Matthew Moore, a 46-year-old gay man from southern California, is suing his doctor and healthcare network after he says they refused to remove a note in his medical file that labels so-called "homosexual behavior" as a "chronic problem."

NBC Los Angeles reports:

[Moore] said he was shocked to see his sexual orientation still described as a chronic condition more than a year after he complained about the use of the archaic medical classification. "It was infuriating. It was painful," he said of his decision to sue. "It was another attempt by this doctor and this medical group to impose their agenda of discrimination and hate onto a gay patient."

As reported in September by NBC4, Moore discovered the description in his medical records after undergoing a routine physical in April 2013 by Dr. Elaine Jones of the Torrance Health Association.

The diagnosis was coded as 302.0, an archaic classification from The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (commonly known as the ICD). Code 302.0 "homosexual behavior" was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973.

Moore said when he confronted Jones in May 2013, she defended the description by saying that the medical community goes "back and forth" on whether or not homosexuality is considered a chronic condition.

Of course, that's total bullshit. There is absolutely no debate within the medical and scientific communities about whether or not homosexuality is abnormal or a "chronic condition" of any kind -- it's a naturally occurring variation of human sexuality. So Moore complained, and the Torrance Health Association promptly apologized and pledged to correct the error.

But when he obtained a copy of his medical records in May, he said he was stunned to see that while the 302.0 code had been removed, "homosexual behavior" was still listed under "chronic problems." He said he later was given a second copy of his records on a CD, which did not contain the entry.

Now Torrance Memorial is saying that their employees made "every effort" to remove the information, but their "highly complex software" just doesn't know how to quit that pesky, incorrect, insulting code.


NBC Los Angeles's interview with Moore is after the break.

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