James Pennington is the kind of person who would probably jump off a bridge if a friend told him to. Earlier this month, Pennington removed the testicles of a transgender woman in a Denver apartment at her behest. Pennington isn't a licensed doctor in Colorado, according to 9NEWS. He's a pilot.
Pennington had instructed the transgender woman's spouse to call 911 if the procedure went poorly. When it inevitably did, the spouse called 911, which summoned the Denver Police Department. Pennington was taken to the station and questioned. He admitted using an Army surgical kit for the procedure.
Pennington faces one count of second-degree assault and one count of unauthorized practice of medicine.
But the victim says she doesn't consider herself a victim. In a letter penned to the media, she wrote that she had to turn to a back-alley procedure "out of pure desperation due to a system that failed me.
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"I am a victim of a society and healthcare system that focuses on trying to demonize transgender people and prevent us from getting the medical transition we need instead of trying to do what is best for us," she continued.
Colorado was once known as the sex-reassignment capital of the world, thanks to the groundbreaking work done in Trinidad by Dr. Stanley Biber, who passed away in 2006. But this is definitely one operation that belongs in the hands of a trained professional.
For his perhaps well-meaning but decidedly poor decision-making, Pennington is our schmuck of the week.