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Texas Children’s Hospital Whistleblower Indicted by DOJ

Eithan Haim allegedly obtained ‘protected health information for patients that were not under his care’

Texas Children’s Hospital Whistleblower Indicted by DOJ

A Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) whistleblower who exposed clandestine gender transition treatments for minors has been indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Last May, surgeon Eithan Haim sent records to writer Christopher Rufo proving that TCH continued providing transgender medical transitions to minors after publicly stating they would stop. (Haim reportedly redacted patients’ names and identifying info to protect their privacy and avoid potentially violating HIPAA laws.)

Haim’s documentation showed evidence that TCH, the largest children’s hospital in the U.S., continued to provide “gender affirming care” that included hormone replacement therapy, as well as implants and removals of drug implants for children ages 11 to 15.

Though Haim was not named in Rufo’s report, federal agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services visited the 34-year-old surgeon at his home in June. The agents provided him with a letter warning that he was the “potential target” of an investigation regarding federal criminal law involving medical records.

The DOJ’s indictment was announced in a Monday press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Alamdar S. Hamdani, the district’s chief law enforcement officer, said Haim is being charged with “obtaining protected individual health information for patients that were not under his care and without authorization.”

“The four-count indictment alleges Haim obtained personal information including patient names, treatment codes and the attending physician from Texas Children’s Hospital’s (TCH) electronic system without authorization,” the statement continues. “He allegedly obtained this information under false pretenses and with intent to cause malicious harm to TCH.”

The DOJ claims that Haim requested a re-activation of his login information at TCH to access data for pediatric patients “not under his care.” The indictment further alleges he obtained unauthorized access to personal information of the patients “under false pretenses” that he then disclosed to a member of the media.

Though the press release doesn’t specify which laws were allegedly broken, it states that, if convicted, Haim could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

Haim was scheduled to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Yvonne Y. Ho at 2 p.m. today.

The Free Press reported on June 10 that Haim and his attorneys did not know the exact nature of the charges. The outlet paraphrased one of the surgeon’s attorneys, Mark Lytle, who said “it’s very unusual to bring felony charges for an alleged HIPAA violation unless there is a significant underlying crime, such as a hospital clerk selling a celebrity’s medical records.”

“The government is entering into the town square on the culture wars and didn’t like what Eithan had to say,” added Lytle, who suggested the DOJ’s effort appeared to be politically motivated. “I think they are looking to make an example of him.”

Haim, who is expecting his first child this fall, told the outlet he has no regrets.

“If we don’t fight back, what world are we delivering our children into?” he said.

According to the GiveSendGo created to help fund his legal bills, Haim and his wife have already spent their retirement, investments, savings, and “almost all of our disposable income … to keep the case alive.”

As of Monday evening, the campaign has raised over $630,000 toward a $1 million goal.

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