Saturday, January 31, 2015

Study group discussion: When dealing with a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patient

Although talking about it, makes me wonder how all of you would handle an LGBT person if you saw one in the course of practicing medicine (And you probably will... whether you notice or not).

LGBT?

Why would it be different if you are handling an LGBT patient?

Lesbian, gay, bi- and trans*

Their sexuality may be a thing to consider but I doubt it should alter your duty to care.

Mostly if you're handling a trans* patient, actually.  Things like referring to them by correct pronouns (which sometimes won't match the gender listed on their medical records), or using a name they're more comfortable with, even if it's not their legal name.

I know a gynaecologist who refused to treat a gay, referred him to another doctor.

Right.  And intersex people.  That's kind of controversial as far as medical things go.  What would you advise the parents of an intersex baby?
Intersex as in a baby that isn't biologically male or female.
A lot of the time doctors will perform surgery on them to make their genitals more male or female.  But a lot of intersex people think that's a bad thing to do.

We had a girl come to our clinic for primary amenorrhoea.
She was later diagnosed as genetically male.
Intersex girl with amenorrhoea. She was 15.

Oh, that's kind of interesting.
Did she want male genitals?

I don't think she was given much of a choice. And as far as I know..People out here prefer a male child better.

That's a great share.

Hmm.  I'm sorry to hear she wasn't given much of a choice.  I hope she identified as male.

My bff is an LGBT.
We've been best friends for 10 years now, so I know how to treat an LGBT person: just like another human being.
They're actually very sensitive on how you call them.
I used to have a male patient that was in transition and she told me to call her: female transgender. She used to show me pics of herself modeling at the patients room and they were actually awesome.
I don't think people should treat other people differently because of their sex preferences.

I had seen a neurofibromatosis patient in the bus once. They were no place to even stand there..But even then nobody sat besides him..It was heartbreaking.

I think on one hand, treating an LGBT person is the same way you should treat any other person, but there are also some things that are different, like having to be careful about pronouns and gendered terms (for trans* people), or being careful about how you refer to their potential partners (i.e. not referring to future boyfriends when talking to a lesbian).

Also nonbinary people have a hard time, because they can't always access transition (because a lot of resources for gender dysphoria are for people who identify as male or female), and because their gender can't go on their medical records since very few countries recognise nonbinary genders (i.e. people who don't identify as male or female, but kind of somewhere in the middle, or they don't identify with gender at all etc.)

I don't think patients should be treated differently regardless of anything.  I think everyone should be offered the same standard of care, regardless of race, sexuality, gender or even things like mental health status (I strongly disagree with people not being given the same quality of health care for self-inflicted injuries).

Human beings are different from each other, yet so similar.... That is what makes humans so beautiful in their own kind of ways.

Intersex babies are often taken into surgery here (They mostly make them "more male", bc it's a patriarchal society and having a son is important). There was a major case in Cyprus a few years back, a surgeon operated on an intersex baby without fully informing the parents about the condition and/or their options. The whole deal was very ugly.

I've been actively working to improve the conditions of LGBTI patients here for years. I work with local and national Queer associations, and Turkish Medical Students' International Committee to teach medical students about the LGBT community, so that we can be more sensitive and we can help them out more. The society here is quite homophobic, so trans people can't access healthcare at all in some places. Only 2 weeks ago a trans acquaintance of mine passed away due to an infection after her gender-reassignment surgery because some of the hospital staff didn't take care of her. Very sad situation.

I'm a queer person myself (most people can't decide if I'm a man or a woman when they first see me) and that also brings about some funny conversations. Patients tend to not care though, as long as I have the white coat on, I could be a 6 foot lizard and they wouldn't mind.

Haha the 6 foot lizard bit!
I like how people are able to get through any situation with a good sense of humor :)

That's amazing..Hopefully one day the world will stop labelling people.. And consider everyone a human.

That's a feeling I get everytime someone is chastised for their choices..I just say out loud..Have you looked inside a human body? I have! And I know for sure we all are the same on the inside.

Well put!

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