Friday, June 21, 2013

LGBT-related policies the AMA HOD passed this week

 Letter from GLMA executive Director, Hector Vargas, reposted at,

On Monday, GLMA President Desi Bailey and I shared the exciting news that GLMA was voted into the AMA House of Delegates (HOD). I wanted to take this opportunity to follow-up with you to share some of the LGBT-related policies the AMA HOD passed this week:
  • Conforming Birth Certificate Policies to Current Medical Standards for Transgender Patients: Supports policies that birth certificate changes for transgender individuals can be accomplished through a physician’s verification that a person has undergone gender transition according to applicable medical standards. This policy will help lift significant barriers, including requirements for surgery that exist in many states, transgender people face in trying to change the gender marker on a birth certificate.
  • Revised Blood Donor Deferral Criteria: Supports the elimination of the lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men (MSM). The AMA policy supports “rational, scientifically-based” policies on blood and tissue donation.
  • Early Treatment and Partner Services for HIV: Supports physician education of “treatment as prevention,” including early treatment of individuals newly diagnosed with HIV, as a means to help end the spread of HIV.
  • Discrimination Against Patients by Medical Students: Ensures medical students may not refuse to participate in the care of a patient based on several factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Confidential Care for Minors: Allows physicians to provide care to youth for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases absent of parental knowledge or consent. The policy is of significant importance to LGBT youth, who may not be out to their parents or family. The AMA’s Code of Ethics already supports confidential care in relation to treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
GLMA actively worked with the AMA’s GLBT Advisory Committee to support these policies, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the committee members for their leadership and cooperation. We look forward to a continued strong partnership together.

GLMA’s work at the AMA Annual Meeting this past week is just one example of how GLMA’s relationships with other health professional associations can have a significant impact on LGBT health. Because of our longstanding relationship with the LBGT PA Caucus, earlier this month, GLMA President-Elect Henry Ng and I were invited guests at the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, which has adopted a number of policies supporting LGBT health. GLMA is also developing and strengthening relationships with a number of nursing associations through the development of this September’s GLMA Nursing Summit, designed to develop a roadmap for nursing on LGBT health.

As we begin a new chapter in our relationship with the AMA, GLMA looks forward to continuing to strengthen our relationships with other health professional associations to ensure that LGBT health issues are being addressed by all health professionals. We are proud of our multidisciplinary membership and have a deep understanding of the vital role associations from across the health professions play in improving the health and well-being of LGBT individuals.

Thank you for your continued support of our work.
 Yours in Equality,
 Hector Vargas, JD
 Executive Director

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