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Last Update: Friday, August 19, 2005. 1:26pm (AEST)
Court rules in favour of transsexual's legal action
An appeal to try to stop a case involving a Melbourne man who underwent sex change surgery has been denied.
Alan Finch is suing the medical clinic that performed an operation in 1988 to turn him into a woman, alleging he was misdiagnosed.
He now lives as a man.
Mr Finch says he discovered eight years after his sex change that an assessment had found him unsuitable for the procedure.
The Southern Health Clinic and three doctors were appealing against a decision that Mr Finch could take civil action 16 years after the operation.
The Full Bench of Victoria's Court of Appeal has found the legal action can proceed.
Solicitor Anne Shortall says her client is determined to pursue his claim.
"He feels that he's been very poorly treated and that he feels the doctors were negligent in this case," she said.
Ms Shortall says the matter is now listed in the Supreme Court, but is likely to take some time to resolve.
Sex-change patient can sue: court
August 19, 2005
A MAN who claims he was misdiagnosed as a transsexual can sue the medical team that advised him to have a sex change, the Victorian Court of Appeal has ruled.
The three-judge bench unanimously ruled against an appeal today by the medical team to have an earlier court decision reversed that allowed Alan Michael Finch to sue.
The doctors had appealed against the decision by a County Court judge to grant an extension to the six-year time limit in which Mr Finch, 37, could sue them and the Monash Medical Centre's gender dysphoria clinic for what he claims was negligent treatment.
Mr Finch was 21 in 1988 when he had his male genitals removed and replaced with a vagina.
At last year's County Court hearing, Mr Finch said that by 1996, he was "a mess" and struggling to live as a woman named Helen.
The following year he started revision surgery on his breasts and reverted to life as a man.
Mr Finch wants to proceed with an action against Dr William Walters, a gynaecologist and obstetrician; Mr Graham Wallace Isaacs, a surgeon; Dr Trudy Kennedy, a psychiatrist; and the health authority, Southern Health.
Mr Finch claims the medical team knew he was not a suitable candidate when he was castrated.
In his decision last November, County Court Judge Michael McInerney said he accepted Mr Finch had not considered legal action until 1996 when he read a neuropsychological report that described his masculinity as above average.
The report, which also said he did not display any female gender identity, was prepared the year before his sex-change operation.
One of the three appeal court judges, Justice David Ashley, said today he was not persuaded that the decision by Judge McInerney could be described (as submitted) as plainly unjust or unreasonable.