Health experts are directing doctors to stop including your child’s real sex as part of the child’s health record.
Last week, a father was irate in a TikTok video after his young son’s doctor asked the boy if he identified as a girl.
@jotojavin Wrong on so many levels. In the words of Pink Floyd “leave them children alone” #doctor #sons #boys #physical #girls ? original sound – JoToJaVin
Similar scenes are playing out across the country as doctors adjust to new guidelines.
Health records typically include the child’s date of birth, medical history, allergies, medications, immunizations, diagnostic tests, and whether the child is a girl or a boy.
The sex of the child is important because men and women receive medical care based on their physical characteristics. For example, a female urinary catheter is 10 inches shorter than a male catheter.
However, health experts caution that doctors should adjust to the gender patients say they are, to avoid causing “harm.”
When documenting your child’s sex, doctors should “avoid medically irrelevant terms” such as “male” or “female” and “girl” or “boy.”
In a large study documenting the experiences of transgender people in The Journal of General Internal Medicine online, 30 transgender adults ages 20 to 67 complained that doctors harmed them by using the wrong name, pronoun, or gender marker.
“Transgender people may be particularly vulnerable to harm from medical documentation given the pervasiveness of stigma, blame, discrimination, and microaggressions in their clinical encounters,” according to the report.
The report continues: “Transgender people experience harm through various aspects of EHR documentation, suggesting that changes need to be made to improve doctor-patient relationships and reduce harmful effects to patients.”
12 physicians who contributed to the report issued new guidelines for physicians to follow.
Doctors should ask children for their “preferred gender.” Doctors can no longer list a child’s actual sex along with their “preferred” gender or use the phrase “identifies as.”
Physicians are required to: