Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

AMA Growing Receptive to LGBT Needs
2006-07-19

This article shared 2842 times since Wed Jul 19, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


BY MARIE-JO PROULX

At its annual meeting held in Chicago June 10-14, the American Medical Association ( AMA ) discussed a number of LGBT-related issues. New policies were adopted, reports were submitted and an informational session exploring the pseudo-scientific claims of 'reparative therapy' was presented.

A resolution calling on the AMA to recognize National HIV Testing Day ( June 27 ) and to encourage its members to promote patients' participation in voluntary testing was adopted without any opposition. However, one entitled 'Anonymous HIV Testing on Undergraduate Campuses' generated considerable debate between the different state and specialty delegations.

Several groups were against endorsing anonymous testing because it precludes reporting, counseling and treating of HIV-positive individuals. They argued that the AMA should recommend confidential testing instead. Representatives of the Medical Student Section, who introduced the resolution, insisted that in a campus environment where young people are often reluctant to seek medical care, testing is more likely to be accepted if students know their identity will remain protected. In the end, the assembly voted to support confidential testing.

Granting hospital visitation privileges to LGBT couples is an issue on which there was overwhelming agreement. Physicians from Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas, as well as delegates from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other organizations, all expressed strong support for this non-discrimination measure. Thus, it is now new AMA policy to encourage all hospitals to add to their regulations and Patient's Bill of Rights language protecting the visitation privileges of same sex couples and their children. It was also pointed out that because documented advance directives can supersede hospital rules, doctors should urge their patients to designate in advance the people they wish to welcome in their hospital rooms.

The concepts of discrimination against individual patients and a physician's objection to treat gave rise to much discussion. The proposed resolution would have seen the AMA endorsing a doctor's right to refuse treatment on conscientious grounds only outside of emergency situations. Opponents contended that the wording acknowledged no distinction between existing doctor-patient relationships and new ones and so provided no clear guidelines as to when a patient must be attended to and when he/she can be referred to another physician. A decision on the matter was postponed to a later date.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) published a white paper entitled 'Expedited Partner Therapy [ EPT ] in the Management of Sexually Transmitted Diseases,' which offers guidelines as to when and how to use the therapy. The AMA voiced unanimous support for the CDC's recommendations. Essentially, EPT consists of a doctor prescribing medication for his/her patient's partner without performing a physical examination—most of the time without ever seeing the partner. The idea is for treatment to reach an infected individual even though he/she may not wish to see a doctor, or even be aware that he/she has been exposed to an infected sexual partner. The practice is not legal in most states but is widely used in California and New York.

The ethical issues raised by EPT are both obvious and serious. Writing prescriptions for strangers without first-hand knowledge of their medical history; current physical health and emotional state; possible drug allergies; and other relevant information has always been strongly discouraged. It is easy to see how attempting to treat one disease could potentially trigger or compound the effects of another condition. Moreover, EPT can put enormous strain on the patient who is given medication for his/her partner. Remembering specific instructions, answering medical questions, providing counseling and follow-up are not the responsibilities of a patient who is anxious about his/her own recovery.

Ironically, EPT was developed in the '40s as a strategy to combat the spread of syphilis but is no longer recommended by the CDC for this disease. While some data is available on the effectiveness of EPT for HIV among men who have sex with men ( MSM ) , it is mostly anecdotal and the CDC does not consider EPT as a routine partner management strategy for this population.

As is typically the case, on the third day of the AMA meeting, a morning of concurrent educational sessions was scheduled. The Advisory Committee on GLBT Issues offered a presentation under the umbrella theme 'meeting the Needs of our GLBT Patients and their Families.' It featured three physicians, each with considerable experience in serving LGBT patients. Committee chair Paul Wertsch, a Wisconsin doctor whose son is gay, narrated the history of homosexuality as a medical and social concept. Committee vice-chair Jason Schneider, an openly gay physician from Atlanta, gave tips on how to interact with LGBT patients and how to make the clinic environment more welcoming to non-straight patients ( posters of same-sex couples, gender neutral admission forms, etc. ) Renowned New York psychiatrist Jack Drescher debunked the pseudo-science of 'reparative therapies,' pointing out, among other flaws, the multiple methodological and statistical inconsistencies in the supposed results paraded by the religious proponents of the so-called therapy.

During the questioning period, one of the members of the committee, who is also a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association ( GLMA ) , got up to answer a question about sensitivity to pronouns when speaking to transgender patients. She advised doctors not to be afraid to ask when they are not certain which gender an individual identifies as and what name he/she prefers to use. She spoke from experience. Doctor Becky Allison is a cardiologist with 30 years of experience. After undergoing gender-reassignment surgery 14 years ago, she lost her job in the South and relocated to Phoenix, where she continues to practice today.

Following the educational session, when asked to describe what it is like to be a M2F physician among professional peers, Allison said that while she knows of no other transgender member of the AMA, 'there are allies.' Commenting on the policy goals she would like the committee to achieve, she wished that it would 'encourage the AMA to eventually take a position that the treatment of transgender people is legitimate and should be covered by insurance.'

Allison is in the middle of a two-year term on the committee. Her efforts and that of her colleagues could lead to further recognition and understanding of LGBT-related health issues by the medical profession. The AMA's 2007 annual meeting might be the next major forum for a breakthrough.


This article shared 2842 times since Wed Jul 19, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Indian commission, queer royals, MTV, Putin, attack in Jamaica 2021-10-24
- India's National Medical Commission has ordered publishers and medical schools to edit their textbooks and curricula to exclude discriminatory and unscientific portrayals of LGBTI people, according to Human Rights Watch. ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker announces campaign to increase COVID-19 booster rates among older Illinoisans 2021-10-20
--From a press release - CHICAGO — With 1.5 million Illinoisans currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot and millions more set to become eligible in the coming weeks, Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) ...


Gay News

COVID Two more states and D.C. removed from Chicago's travel advisory 2021-10-19
- The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) removed two states and the District of Columbia from its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory on Oct. 19. The advisory now includes 45 states and two territories following the removal ...


Gay News

Ald. Maria Hadden encourages community to be active participants 2021-10-18
By Cris Villalonga-Vivoni - AIt was Chicago Ald. Maria Hadden's friends who convinced her to run for city council as the 49th Ward's alderperson. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hadden moved to Rogers Park 20 years ago after graduating from The ...


Gay News

Colorado becomes first state to require trans care as essential health benefit 2021-10-17
- Colorado has become the first state in the country to include transition-related care for transgender people as part of the requirements for essential healthcare in the state, The Washington Blade reported. As part of the change, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Foster-parent case, stars speak out, Texas youth, 'Queer Eye,' HIV 2021-10-17
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Lambda Legal, together with the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along ...


Gay News

Black Incubator and Accelerator (BIA) program to offer support for Black-led organizations 2021-10-12
- A new program—Black Incubator and Accelerator (BIA)—is offering funding and resources to Black-led organizations that primarily serve Black communities on the South and West Sides. BIA is new this year and run by University of Chicago ...


Gay News

Howard Brown's 'Big Orange Ball' on Oct. 23 2021-10-09
- Howard Brown Health will hold its annual Big Orange Ball virtually Saturday, Oct. 23, 8-9 p.m. The event will then be shown On-Demand through Sunday, Oct. 31, at midnight. This year, people can kick off Halloween ...


Gay News

HHS awards $2.21B in FY2021 for HIV care, support services, medication 2021-10-05
--From a press release - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced approximately $2.21 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding for cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations in fiscal year ...


Gay News

PHIMC to present second Mary F. Morten Award on Nov. 7 2021-10-06
- Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC) announced Chicago Freedom School as the 2021 recipient of the Mary F. Morten Award for Justice. According to a release, "Chicago Freedom School is being recognized for its vital ...


Gay News

AMA panel examines the role of critical race theory in contemporary healthcare 2021-10-05
- An Oct. 4 online forum hosted by the Chicago-based American Medical Association (AMA) addressed critical race theory (CRT) and its applications for equity in healthcare settings. CRT has achieved notoriety ...


Gay News

Illinois HIV Care Connect launches HIV Innovation campaign 2021-10-05
- On Oct. 5, Illinois HIV Care Connect launched its HIV Innovation web and social-media campaign, showcasing several Illinois HIV initiatives that are helping to prevent or treat HIV more effectively. Articles about five initiatives so far ...


Gay News

COVID Connecticut removed from Chicago travel advisory 2021-10-05
- On Oct. 5, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) removed one state—Connecticut—from its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now stands at 47 states and three territories. Although the ...


Gay News

Report: Older LGBTQs lack access to healthcare, financial security, caregiving 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago — LGBTQ older adults across Illinois are struggling to get the healthcare, financial security and caregiving support they desperately need, according to a new report from AARP Illinois and SAGE released today. The disparities, outlined ...


Gay News

Out state Sen. Mike Simmons aims to 'prioritize people' in economic, healthcare equity fight 2021-10-04
- Each week, Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons' constituents pile into his office to share ideas about how to improve their lives. Through conversations with single mothers raising young children in poverty, residents facing displacement and teenagers ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.