A detransitioner announced a lawsuit against her health care professionals last week, claiming that they misdiagnosed her with gender dysphoria and, after two short virtual meetings, fast-tracked her double mastectomy surgery.
Camille Kiefel, 32, stated that at the time of her diagnosis, she believed she was non-binary but quickly realized that the radical surgery left her "mutilated" and "unable to breastfeed."
Kiefel argued that she should never have been approved to receive the surgery.
Represented by Jackson Bone LLP, Kiefel filed a complaint in an Oregon court against social worker Amy Ruff, mental health therapist Mara Burmeister, and several other unnamed medical professionals. The lawsuit also names Brave Space Oregon and Quest Center for Integrative Health, two Oregon transgender medical care centers.
Kiefel accused the medical professionals and their respective employers of "reckless abuse" of their "positions of trust and authority."
According to Kiefel, when she was a child, she experienced trauma that caused her to "hate her female body." In addition, Kiefel stated that she suffered from anxiety and depression as a child and a teenager. It was during those mental health challenges and after visiting a "gender-affirming" therapist that Kiefel said she began identifying as non-binary in 2016.
"I had a trauma history: When I was in sixth grade, my best friend had been raped by her brother," Kiefel said at a Florida medical board meeting in October. "Being a girl meant I was more vulnerable, so I started to present as more masculine. This should have been a red flag, yet within months of requesting top surgery, it was performed on me."
Kiefel stated that soon after, and with no pushback from medical professionals, she was recommended for a double mastectomy. She received the surgery in August 2020; by May 2022, she realized it was a mistake.
"The surgery was an abhorrent misdiagnosis — the goal of health care should always be to get to the root cause of the problem," Kiefel stated.
According to the lawsuit, Kiefel is "still suffering extreme, excruciating, severe emotional distress including but not limited to feelings of betrayal by mental health professionals, humiliation, distress, and anxiety over having lost her breasts."
In May 2020, Kiefel stated that she had a one-hour Zoom call with Ruff and another 40-minute video call with Burmeister two months after. According to Kiefel's complaint, both medical professionals recommended that she undergo double mastectomy to relieve her feeling of "distress" about her breasts.
Burmeister and the Quest Center's lawyer, David Mepham, told the Daily Mail that the organization's "employees always strive to provide quality services for their clients, and we believe that was done in this matter. It is our intent to fully defend this case."
The owner of Brave Space, Kate Kauffman, said the group "respects the privacy of all current and former clients and does not comment on pending litigation."
Kiefel has requested a jury trial and is seeking up to $850,000 in damages.
"When I transitioned, I truly believed I was non-binary," Kiefel wrote on Twitter. "Now I know I was struggling with mental illness and trauma around womanhood. If I could make that mistake as an adult, a child could, too."