Thursday, June 19, 2008

American Medical Association: Stop Discriminating Against Transgender Patients

Raw Story has a story about what one would think would be a common sense issue, namely providing appropriate medical treatment to transgendered individuals. Unfortunately, too many health insurance carriers are always seeking ways to deny coverage for procedures. Now the American Medical Association has stepped into the fray and taken a formal position that treatment should not be denied. While I cannot fully get my head around what it must be like to be transgendered, I guess straights have the same issue with gays. That doesn't mean that all of us should not recive appropriate medical care regardless of our sexual orientations or gender expression. Here are some highlights on the AMA's statements:
The American Medical Association is calling on health insurers to cooperate with doctors in providing proper care to meet transgender patients' needs. Resolutions 114, 115 and 122 were passed by the AMA's House of Delegates at its annual conference in Chicago, which concludes today. Noting that Gender Identity Disorder is an internationally recognized medical condition, the Delegates highlight the need to combat the emotional pain and physical incongruity associated with gender dysphoria with proper access to mental health services, hormone treatments, and surgical procedures.
The AMA asserts that when discriminatory financial barriers are placed between the transgender community and proper health care by dismissing treatments as "cosmetic" or "experimental," even when covered for other patients with other recognized medical conditions, more expensive problems can develop as a result, such as depression, substance abuse problems, and stress-related illness. The National Center for Transgender Equality has hailed the resolution.
"Doctors and patients, not insurance companies, should be making those choices," Keisling [of NTCE] added. "We are so glad that the AMA has taken a leadership role against the rampant discrimination that transgender people have faced for so many years in receiving appropriate medical care and equitable insurance coverage."

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