Scroll To Top
Crime

Texas doctor charged for leaking health records of transgender kids to far-right extremist

Texas Children's Hospital
University of College/Shutterstock

Eithan Haim allegedly stole private health records of transgender kids who weren’t his patients and gave their medical information to an anti-trans activist.

True
Cwnewser

A Houston-based surgeon stands accused of betraying the privacy oftransgender kids who weren’t under his care by stealing theirmedical information and handing it over to a far-right extremist who vehemently opposes transgender rights. The federalindictment, unsealed on Monday, details Dr. Eithan Haim’s alleged unauthorized access and disclosure of sensitive patient information atTexas Children’s Hospital.

Haim, 34, completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine and reportedly reactivated his access to the hospital’s electronic records system in April 2023. He is accused of illicitly obtaining patient names, treatment codes, and attending physician details, which he then shared with conservative activist Christopher Rufo. Rufo, known for his hardline stance againsttransgender rights, used the information to publish an exposé claiming the hospital continued to provide gender-affirming care for minors despite a public announcement to halt such services.

The indictment alleges Haim accessed this sensitive information under false pretenses and with malicious intent, aiming to harm Texas Children’s Hospital.

Haim’s actions followed a 2022 opinion from Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton,labeling gender-affirming care for minors as a form of child abuse. Gov. Greg Abbott, aRepublican, subsequently directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents seeking such care for their children. In response, Texas Children’s Hospital announced it would pause all gender-affirming services for minors to comply with these directives and protect its staff and patients from potential legal consequences.

Despite the hospital’s public stance, Haim claims they secretly continued these services.

According to the Department of Justice, Haim could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine ifconvicted on all counts. According tocourt records, Haim was released from custody on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Haim’s defense team argues that he acted as a whistleblower, fulfilling his duty as a mandatory reporter of child abuse. His attorney, Marcella Burke, contends that the indictment is a politically motivated attempt to silence those who stand up for vulnerable populations,reports Houston Public Media. Burke insists Haim’s actions were driven by a moral obligation to protect children, not malicious intent.

All major U.S. medical associations have endorsed gender-affirming care treatment for minors with gender dysphoria.

Executive director and founder of the Rainbow Youth Project USA Lance Preston told The Advocate that Haim’s alleged actions have had dire consequences for young people who have sought mental health support since the privacy betrayal.

“We have received countless calls where families are again not trusting mental health providers in Texas due to fear of records being released,” Preston said. “This same fear…was a big deal when Paxton was seeking to charge families with child abuse and report them to CPS. Families are asking if they can see a [mental health care] provider in another state. It’s a problem.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated to include remarks from Lance Preston.

Cwnewser
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).