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:
* 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.