American College of Physicians backs LGBT-inclusive policies

The American College of Physicians, the nation's largest group of internal medicine physicians, announced Monday their public support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-inclusive policies.

"The LGBT community deserves the same high quality care that any community in the United States should be getting, but may not be getting," Wayne J. Riley, MD, president of the American College of Physicians, told Reuters in a report on the announcement.

ACP voiced support for the following nine issues in a position paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, according to the report.

1. Gender identity, separate from sexual orientation, should be included in nondiscrimination and antiharassment policies, especially in those of medical schools, hospitals, physician offices and other medical facilities.

2. Both public and private health insurance plans should include comprehensive transgender healthcare services.

3. "Family" goes beyond the formulaic heterosexual couple plus children, which accounts for just 22 percent of families in the U.S. The definition of family should include anyone who maintains an ongoing emotional relationship with another person. It should not take legal or biological connections into account.

4. Patients should be allowed to decide their visitors if they are concordant with CMS and Joint Commission standards, without taking sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status into account.

5. ACP supports same-sex marriage.

6. Data collection and research should be conducted to better understand LGBT health disparities.

7. Medical education should include LGBT issues in curricula and medical schools, residency programs and CME programs should recruit LGBT academic leadership to support a diverse student and physician body.

8. ACP supports banning "conversion" or "reparative" therapy for LGBT people.

9. Continued reviews of blood donation deferral policies for homosexual men should be conducted so that policies comprehensively assess the risk of all donors.

 

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