Nnenaya Agochukwu-Mmonu, Asa Radix, A Mark Fendrick
Extract The development of validated patient-centered outcome measures with direct input from the TGNB community is a necessary and critical component of the CED model. Without standardization, findings are frequently not generalizable, and the policy discourse is guided less by rigorous, often inconsistent measures. For example, the studies examining the mental health benefit for patients undergoing gender-affirming surgeries include measures that lack standardization, evaluate different interventions (ie, surgeries are rarely done with concurrent hormone administration), include dissimilar patient populations, and use different study designs. Given this heterogenity, wide variation in reported outcomes is not unexpected; although many studies demonstrate benefit, others report that patients have unrealistic expectations or experience decision regret, including rare reports of reversal surgery.
The Family Court of Australia has stepped back from a previously perceived need for involvement in the approval of stage 1 and stage 2 treatments, for children requiring gender transformation. At present those children and their families who are in agreement need not seek authorisation of the Family Court to undertake either Stage 1 (pubarche blockade with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists) or Stage 2 treatment (cross-hormone therapy such as oestrogen for transgender males). Stage 1 treatment to suppress pubarche would nowadays be commenced at Tanner stage 2 which commences as early as 9.96 years in girls and 10.14 years in boys. Suppression of puberty continues until the age of 16 years when cross hormonal treatment commences. This article questions the assertion that suppression of puberty by GnRH analogues either in cases of precocious puberty or gender dysphoria is “safe and reversible” and argues that it warrants ongoing caution, despite the Family Court having broadly accepted that assertion.
Extract . . . Over the past five years, however, public and private health insurance coverage for transition-related surgery has increased exponentially.2 As available funds have increased, so has demand for services.3 American institutions are now struggling to meet a growing demand for competent, efficient, and effective transgender healthcare that they had denied for decades. . . . The rapid expansion of Catholic hospitals is a concern for transgender people, their advocates, and the insurers who provide their health coverage because Catholic hospitals do not provide transition-related care. . .
Abstract Novel assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are poised to present our society with strange new ethical questions, such as whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples should be allowed to produce children biologically related to both parents, or whether trans-women who want to experience childbirth should be allowed to receive uterine transplants. Clinicians opposed to offering such technologies to LGBT couples on moral grounds are likely to seek legal shelter through the conscience clauses enshrined in U.S. law. This paper begins by briefly discussing some novel ART on the horizon and noting that it is unclear whether current conscience clauses will permit fertility clinics to deny such services to LGBT individuals. A compromise approach to conscience is any view that sees the value of respecting conscience claims within limits. I describe and critique the constraints proposed in the recent work of Wicclair, NeJaime and Siegel as ultimately begging the question. My purpose is to strengthen their arguments by suggesting that in the controversial situations that elicit claims of conscience, bioethicists should engage with the metaphysical claims in play. I argue that conscience claims against LGBT individuals ought to be constrained because the underlying metaphysic—that God has decreed the LGBT lifestyle to be sinful—is highly implausible from the perspective of a naturalized metaphysic, which ought to be the lens through which we evaluate conscience claims.
Joseph K. Canner, Omar Harfouch, Lisa M Kodadek, Danielle Pelaez, Devin Coon, Anaeze C Offodile II, Adil H. Haider, Brandyn D Lau
Abstract Importance:Little is known about the incidence of gender-affirming surgical procedures for transgender patients in the United States.
Objectives:To investigate the incidence and trends over time of gender-affirming surgical procedures and to analyze characteristics and payer status of transgender patients seeking these operations.
Design, Setting, and Participants: In this descriptive observational study from 2000 to 2014, data were analyzed from the National Inpatient Sample, a representative pool of inpatient visits across the United States. The initial analyses were done from June to August 2015. Patients of interest were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, diagnosis codes for transsexualism or gender identity disorder. Subanalysis focused on patients with procedure codes for surgery related to gender affirmation.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Demographics, health insurance plan, and type of surgery for patients who sought gender-affirming surgery were compared between 2000-2005 and 2006-2011, as well as annually from 2012 to 2014.
Results; This study included 37 827 encounters (median [interquartile range] patient age, 38 [26-49] years) identified by a diagnosis code of transsexualism or gender identity disorder. Of all encounters, 4118 (10.9%) involved gender-affirming surgery. The incidence of genital surgery increased over time: in 2000-2005, 72.0% of patients who underwent gender-affirming procedures had genital surgery; in 2006-2011, 83.9% of patients who underwent gender-affirming procedures had genital surgery. Most patients (2319 of 4118 [56.3%]) undergoing these procedures were not covered by any health insurance plan. The number of patients seeking these procedures who were covered by Medicare or Medicaid increased by 3-fold in 2014 (to 70) compared with 2012-2013 (from 25). No patients who underwent inpatient gender-affirming surgery died in the hospital.
Conclusions and Relevance: Most transgender patients in this national sample undergoing inpatient gender-affirming surgery were classified as self-pay; however, an increasing number of transgender patients are being covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. As coverage for these procedures increases, likely so will demand for qualified surgeons to perform them.
Abstract A growing body of literature supports stigma and discrimination as fundamental causes of health disparities. Stigma and discrimination experienced by transgender people have been associated with increased risk for depression, suicide, and HIV. Transgender stigma and discrimination experienced in health care influence transgender people’s health care access and utilization. Thus, understanding how stigma and discrimination manifest and function in health care encounters is critical to addressing health disparities for transgender people. A qualitative, grounded theory approach was taken to this study of stigma in health care interactions. Between January and July 2011, fifty-five transgender people and twelve medical providers participated in one-time in-depth interviews about stigma, discrimination, and health care interactions between providers and transgender patients. Due to the social and institutional stigma against transgender people, their care is excluded from medical training. Therefore, providers approach medical encounters with transgender patients with ambivalence and uncertainty. Transgender people anticipate that providers will not know how to meet their needs. This uncertainty and ambivalence in the medical encounter upsets the normal balance of power in provider-patient relationships. Interpersonal stigma functions to reinforce the power and authority of the medical provider during these interactions. Functional theories of stigma posit that we hold stigmatizing attitudes because they serve specific psychological functions. However, these theories ignore how hierarchies of power in social relationships serve to maintain and reinforce inequalities. The findings of this study suggest that interpersonal stigma also functions to reinforce medical power and authority in the face of provider uncertainty. Within functional theories of stigma, it is important to acknowledge the role of power and to understand how stigmatizing attitudes function to maintain systems of inequality that contribute to health disparities.
Extract We are entering an era where medicine is becoming more like engineering. The distinction between “treatment” and “enhancement” blurs as we are ever better at tinkering with the body. . .
Medical scientists will be able to modify and control an ever-expanding range of human bodily functions, from drugs that slow down aging to drugs that alter basic aspects of mood, anxiety, and cognition. Someday soon, the conflict between a physician’s idea of how people ought to live and how those people want to live will occur in fields far removed from reproductive technology. . .