The American College of Physicians released a new position paper with recommendations on how to achieve health care equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender LGBT patients. The ACP calls for comprehensive transgender health care services to be included in health benefit plans. And, they advocate for civil marriage rights for same sex couples. Certain policies in the current health care system reinforce the social stigma, marginalization or discrimination against LGBT people, which keep them from obtaining the care needed.

Some of ACP’s key statements and recommendations include the following:

*Print ACP recommends that gender identity, independent and fundamentally different from sexual orientation, be included as part of nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies.

* ACP recommends that public and private health benefit plans include comprehensive transgender health care services and provide all covered services to transgender persons as they would other beneficiaries.

* ACP supports same-sex civil marriage rights and also recommends that the definition of family be inclusive of those who maintain an ongoing emotional relationship with a person, regardless of their legal or biological relationship. As such, patients should be able to determine who may visit and who may act on their behalf during their stay, without stipulation.

* ACP opposes the use of “conversion,” “reorientation,” or “reparative” therapy for the treatment of LGBT persons.

For more information, read about the statement from the American College of Physicians here.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.