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29 February 2016

Peggy Wijnen (1945 – 1967) barmaid.

Jean-Marie Wijnen, Antwerp, was the only boy in a family of several girls. Wijnen always preferred to play with girls, and later quit technical school after being deemed too frail to work in a steel mill, and then was discharged from military service.

As Peggy, Wijnen worked as a hairdresser and as a barmaid.

Peggy approached a clinic in Uccle, Brussels and was assigned three doctors: Andre Fardeau, plastic surgeon, Jean Slosse, endocrinologist and Victor Leclarc, urologist, and with the consent of the Wijnen family, they agreed to supply transgender surgery. This was done 13 October 1967. However 11 days later, Peggy died of a blood clot.

The three doctors were charged with inflicting fatal blows and wounds with premeditation and willingly but without intent to kill. Dr Leclarc died before the trial ended. Drs Fardeau and Slosse were acquitted in that consent, both of Peggy and her family, had been given, and that no medical mistake was noted.
  • “Two Doctors Are Acquitted in Death Case”. Associated Press, Sep 28, 1969. Online
  • Internacional Areco: entre o sítio e as eleições Bélgica Um Julgamento Transexual. Online

The Internacional Areco article tells us that the going rate for transgender surgery in Belgium in 1967 was 100,000 Belgian francs, which at that time was about £725, which this site says would be the equivalent of £11,870 now.

1 comment:

  1. Surgeon Michel Seghers commented on this case in 1992: "There was no complaint by the family but an anonymous letter came out from the hospital to the justice department who wanted to investigate the question. That's the first real notice I have about the problem back in 67, 68. In reality this patient had died from a huge pulmonary embolism which can occur and which I almost had with one Belgian patient. This is a consequence of excessive use of female hormones and that's why I and we always want patients to stop taking female hormones at least 2 weeks before surgery and some very cautious surgeons require 6 weeks, but I think not too good idea."


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