Tuesday, June 17, 2008

RESOLUTION 122 Has Passed

Subject: Removing Financial Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients

Whereas, Our American Medical Association opposes discrimination on
the basis of gender identity; and

Whereas, Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a serious medical condition
recognized as such in both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM-IV) and the International
Classification of Diseases (10th Revision); and is characterized in
the DSM-IV as a persistent discomfort with one's assigned sex and with
one's primary and secondary sex characteristics, which causes intense
emotional pain and suffering; and

Whereas, GID, if left untreated, can result in clinically significant
psychological distress, dysfunction, debilitating depression and, for
some people without access to appropriate medical care and treatment,
suicidality and death; and

Whereas, The World Profession for Transgender Health, Inc. (WPATH) is
the leading international, interdisciplinary professional organization
devoted to the understanding and treatment of gender identity
disorders, and has established internationally accepted Standards of
Care for providing medical treatment of people with GID, including
mental health care, hormone therapy, and sex reassignment surgery,
which are designed to promote the health and welfare of persons with
GID and are recognized within the medical community to be the standard
of care for treating people with GID; and

Whereas, An established body of medical research demonstrates the
effectiveness and medical necessity of mental health care, hormone
therapy, and sex reassignment surgery as forms
of therapeutic treatment for many people diagnosed with GID; and

Whereas, Health experts in GID, including WPATH, have rejected the
myth that such treatments are "cosmetic" or "experimental" and have
recognized that these treatments can provide safe and effective
treatment for a serious health condition; and

Whereas, Physicians treating persons with GID must be able to provide
the correct treatment necessary for a patient in order to achieve
genuine and lasting comfort with his or her gender, based on the
person's individual needs and medical history; and

Whereas, Our AMA opposes limitations placed on patient care by third-
party payers when such care is based upon sound scientific evidence
and sound medical opinion; and

Whereas, Many health insurance plans categorically exclude coverage of
mental health, medical, and surgical treatments for GID, even though
many of these same treatments, such as psychotherapy, hormone therapy,
breast augmentation or removal, hysterectomy, oophorectomy,
orchiectomy, and salpingectomy, are often covered for other medical
conditions; and

Whereas, The denial of these otherwise covered benefits for patients
suffering from GID represents discrimination based solely on a
patient's gender identity; and

Whereas, Delaying treatment for GID can cause and/or aggravate
additional serious and expensive health problems, such as stress-
related physical illnesses, depression, and substance abuse problems,
which further endanger patients' health and strain the health care
system; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support public and
private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity
disorder as recommended by the patient¢s physician. (New HOD Policy).

No comments: