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AMA Affirms Medical Spectrum of Gender

AMA Affirms Medical Spectrum of Gender

During its interim meeting on November 2018, the American Medical Association adopted a GLMA-sponsored policy stating that it will “oppose efforts to deny an individual’s right to determine their stated sex marker or gender identity.” This policy passed following reports of a Department of Health and Human Services memo that would attempt to narrowly redefine sex as an immutable condition determined at birth.

The adopted policy also states:

  • the AMA will educate state and federal policymakers and legislators on and advocate policies addressing the medical spectrum of gender identity to ensure access to quality health care.
  • and the AMA affirms that an individual’s genotypic sex, phenotypic sex, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity are not always aligned or indicative of the other, and that gender for many individuals may differ from the sex assigned at birth.

“It is essential to acknowledge that an individual’s gender identity may not align with the sex assigned to them at birth. A narrow limit on the definition of sex would have public health consequences for the transgender population and individuals born with differences in sexual differentiation, also known as intersex traits,” said AMA Board Member William E. Kobler, MD.

GLMA was proud to have introduced and sponsored this resolution through our seat in the AMA House of Delegates. The AMA’s public stance aligns it with GLMA and 37 other leading health professional associations and community health centers in opposing any action that would seek to erase federal recognition of transgender people as contrary to medical science.

During this interim meeting, GLMA also introduced and sponsored a resolution that advocates for the collection of demographic data in federal and state surveys that is inclusive of sexual and gender identity.

 “The AMA will advocate against the removal of demographic data inclusive of sexual and gender identity from public health surveys and registries without plans for updating measures of these data,” said AMA Board Member William A. McDade, MD, PhD.

In addition, the AMA passed other LGBTQ-related resolutions that were also supported by GLMA:

  • Improving screening and treatment guidelines for domestic violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and other individuals
  • Supporting offering HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to all survivors of sexual assault

GLMA is the only LGBTQ organization with a seat in the AMA House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the AMA. GLMA is represented in the HOD by Delegate Jeremy Toler, MD, and Alternate Delegate (and GLMA Treasurer) Desiray Bailey, MD.

These policies enable GLMA and other advocates to utilize the expertise of health professionals and their associations to promote fair and equitable treatment for all LGBTQ patients.

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