Chinese gay man sues hospital for attempting to change his sexuality

Yu Hu, 37, alleged that he was forced to undergo treatment at the Second People's Hospital of Zhumadian where he was admitted for 19 days by his family members October last year.

By: PTI | Bejing | Published:September 21, 2016 12:01 pm

A gay man has filed a lawsuit against a hospital in Central China’s Henan province alleging that he was forced to undergo treatment for “sexual preference disorder” at the medical facility.

Yu Hu, 37, alleged that he was forced to undergo treatment at the Second People’s Hospital of Zhumadian where he was admitted for 19 days by his family members in October last year after he filed for divorce from his wife.

Yu’s lawyer, Huang Rui, told the state-run Global Times that this act obviously impinged upon his freedom. “The personal freedom of Chinese citizens is protected by law and cannot be infringed upon by hospitals or one’s family members,” Huang said.

In his suit, which accuses the hospital of violating his personal freedom, Yu demanded an apology and compensation of 10,000 yuan (USD 1,520).However, Huang was pessimistic about the lawsuit because several critical pieces of evidence, including Yu’s medical record and an investigation report issued by local authorities, have not been made available to him.

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Huang said the mental hospital refused to allow him to make a copy of Yu’s medical record until Wednesday, and he noted that the investigation report was simply based on the hospital’s own explanation of Yu’s confinement.

He was then hospitalised for 19 days, during which time he was forced to receive injections and take medicines like anti-depressants, the Global Times report said.

“I tried to say that I have no metal illnesses. But the hospital rejected my release and treated me as a patient who has a sexual orientation problem,” Yu said.

He was rescued from the hospital on October 26, 2015 by local police, who had been alerted of his plight by a gay rights activist.

Yu decided to sue the hospital when he heard of the successful 2014 suit of a gay man who was also institutionalised for his sexual orientation.

In that verdict, the court said “homosexuality is not a disease.”