Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



AMA Begins to Tackle LGBT Issues
by Marie-Jo Proulx

This article shared 1989 times since Wed Jul 6, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

At its Annual Meeting of June 18-22, the Chicago-based American Medical Association ( AMA ) debated a small number of LGBT-related resolutions. While some were rejected and others were weakened by amendments, the few that were adopted signal a modest but significant move toward an acknowledgement of the LGBT community's healthcare needs.

Out of the more than 150 resolutions considered, a handful were of interest to LGBT doctors, medical students, and patients. Each resolution was first discussed and re-drafted by one of eight reference committees before being sent for a vote to the entire House of Delegates on the meeting's last days. In these committees, doctors speaking either on their own behalf, or as a representative of a state delegation or medical specialty, were allowed to comment on all aspects ( spirit, title, language, intended benefit, potential harm, etc. ) of the resolutions.

It is following this stage of the process that additional amendments are crafted and entire resolutions can be either withdrawn or fused with others. Such was the case of Resolution 409, which called for the AMA to 'educate the public and our legislators of the negative medical aspects of the Defense of Marriage Act.' It was introduced by the Wisconsin Delegation and cited issues like hospital visitation rights and insurance coverage. The American Academy of Pediatrics, whose representative was especially concerned with the legal disadvantages facing children of same-sex couples, strongly supported a resolution that would advocate for equal protections. But delegates from Ohio and Florida voiced their opposition to any explicit reference to DOMA, saying it would place the AMA at odds with a policy of the Bush administration. A delegate from Tennessee invoked last November's 11 ballot initiatives against gay marriage before declaring that defending LGBT rights was not the business of the AMA.

As a result of this input, 409 was replaced by Resolution 445, entitled 'Health Disparities Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Families.' As later adopted by the House of Delegates, 445 recommends that the AMA 'work to reduce the health disparities suffered because of unequal treatment of minor children and same-sex parents in same-sex households … .' A second component that called on the AMA to 'speak up for the health care equality of same-sex partnered families when laws or constitutional amendments are being considered that would prohibit civil unions or domestic partnerships … .' was unanimously rejected.

Also regarding disparity, earlier this year, then AMA President Dr. John Nelson sparked a controversy when he declared that a New York state medical college was within its right to ban an LGBT student group. The Gay, Lesbian Medical Association ( GLMA ) reacted by asking to meet with Dr. Nelson in order to explain the detrimental effects of his remarks on LGBT medical students, doctors, and patients. Following the GLMA-AMA encounter in March, a joint statement was released in which the AMA announced it would 'seek to broaden the scope' of its already existing Commission to End Health Care Disparities to include LGBT concerns.

The Commission had been set up in conjunction with the National Medical Association ( NMA ) , the country's largest organization of African American doctors, and the National Hispanic Medical Association ( NHMA ) . Some observers, both within and outside the AMA, were skeptical at the time that the association would convince the NMA and NHMA to focus on LGBT as well as ethnic and racial disparities. After some probing, it was revealed at the end of the Annual Meeting that the request to integrate an LGBT perspective was indeed turned down.

On the specific topic of medical education, the AMA's Resident and Fellow Section introduced Resolution 323, which directly speaks to the practice of banning LGBT or other student groups. It is unequivocal in its support of the right of students and residents to form associations and 'meet on-site to further their education … without regard to their gender identity, sexual orientation, … .' By adopting Resolution 323, the AMA has acted decisively to counter the appearance that it may have tolerated discrimination against LGBT medical students.

Resolution 314, 'Improving Sexual History Curriculum in the Medical School' was presented by the New York Delegation. It aims to make the next generation of doctors more comfortable when discussing sexuality with patients. First, it encourages all medical schools to train students 'to take thorough and nonjudgmental sexual history in a manner that is sensitive to the personal attitudes and behaviors of patients … .' Second, it recommends that the AMA 'support the creation of a national public service announcement' that would foster better doctor-patient communication on matters of sexual health. While LGBT people would not be the only group to benefit from physicians' increased awareness and understanding of their particular sexual health circumstances, it is believed that, at least in certain rural areas, an open-minded and well-informed doctor can reduce the stigma experienced by LGBT individuals seeking medical attention. The status of Resolution 314 was temporarily in doubt as it was not clear whether it had been withdrawn. In the end it was adopted.

The Medical Student Section submitted Resolution 511, which asked the AMA to promote the use of FDA-approved Rapid HIV Tests ( like OraQuick ) . After a provision was added stipulating that testing as well as pre- and post-test results counseling be done in accordance with Center for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) guidelines, Resolution 511 was adopted.

Finally, the AMA's new Advisory Committee on GLBT Issues elected its seven members at the start of the Annual Meeting. A family physician and PFLAG dad from Madison, Dr. Paul Wertsch, and a member of GLMA from Atlanta, Dr. Jason Schneider, were respectively voted Chair and Vice-Chair. Asked what will be the committee's first tasks, Schneider mentioned putting LGBT health resources for doctors and patients on the AMA Web site; starting a list-serve on LGBT issues within the association; organizing information forums at the AMA's Interim Meeting ( Dallas, in November ) ; and reaching out to straight allies in the wider medical community.

The committee is also composed of three other male physicians, a woman physician, and a M2F transgender physician. Unfortunately, especially in light of CDC findings on the disproportionate number of HIV-AIDS cases among African Americans, there are no members of visible minorities on the committee. It has a two-year mandate.

This article shared 1989 times since Wed Jul 6, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

COVID CDC 'streamlines guidance'; new info for immunocompromised 2022-08-13
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement saying it is "streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if ...

Gay News

Cook County officials discuss MPV timelines 2022-08-12
- Members of the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee gathered Aug. 8 to hear details from local health officials on the monkeypox virus' (MPV's) impact on both suburban Cook County and Chicago, and their planned responses. ...

Gay News

Monkeypox vaccine events being held Aug. 13-14 2022-08-12
- The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), along with City Colleges, will be holding monkeypox (MPV) vaccination events. The two events will be held at Malcolm X College on the West Side and Kennedy-King College on ...

Gay News

Young LGBQ adults experience more psychological distress than older LGBQ people 2022-08-11
-- From a Williams Institute press release - A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds younger LGBQ adults are physically healthier but have worse psychological distress than older LGBQ people. Researchers examined a representative sample of LGBQ people ...

Gay News

Howard Brown Health employees win union election 2022-08-11
- More than 470 employees at Chicago-based Howard Brown Health clinics, Broadway Youth Center and Brown Elephant retail locations announced Aug. 10 that they have won their union election, with 97% of the votes cast. This is ...

Gay News

Big Cities Health Coalition holds monkeypox virus briefing 2022-08-11
- Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) held a virtual monkeypox virus briefing Aug. 10 fthat ocused on local public health activities in Chicago. Speakers included BCHC Executive Director Chrissie Juliano and BCHC member and Chicago Department of ...

Gay News

Center on Halsted hosting monkeypox vaccine clinics 2022-08-10
- Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., continues its monkeypox vaccine clinics through August. These clinics are for first-dose vaccinations only. Online registration for each clinic opens at 10 a.m. each Wednesday prior to that respective ...

Gay News

Dance for Life 2022 taking place Aug. 13 at the Auditorium Theatre 2022-08-09
-- From a press release - Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community, presents seven companies and a world premiere finale for its 31st annual fundraiser, Dance for Life 2022. The event takes place ...

Gay News

Montreal Pride Parade is canceled 2022-08-08
- Citing security concerns, the organizers of the Fierte Montreal Pride Parade abruptly canceled the Aug. 7 event at the last minute, The Washington Blade reported. The other events scheduled at the Esplanade of the Olympic Park—T-Dance ...

Gay News

CDPH, community partners provide monkeypox update as Market Days nears 2022-08-05
- With the event known as Northalsted Market Days happening Aug. 6-7—and with tens of thousands of people expected to attend—the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and community partners held a press conference Aug. 4 about ...

Gay News

Sinema plans to sign on Senate Democrats' climate, health and tax bill 2022-08-05
- U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) announced Aug. 4 that she will "move forward" with Democrats' massive climate, prescription drug and spending bill, after fellow party members appeared to reach an agreement about her concerns with the ...

Gay News

Cook County Commissioner Morrison calls for hearing to address monkeypox outbreak 2022-08-04
-- From a press release - SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Aug, 4, 2022 —Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison (District 15) has introduced a resolution calling for a public hearing in the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee that will convene Monday, Aug. 8, ...

Gay News

Judge: W. Va.'s Medicaid program must cover transgender care 2022-08-04
- In West Virginia, U.S. District Judge Chuck Chambers ruled that the state's Medicaid program must provide coverage for gender-confirming care for transgender residents, ABC News reported. Chambers made the ruling on Aug. 2 in a lawsuit ...

Gay News

The Chicago Sky launch The Net: A Mental Health Initiative 2022-08-03
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (Aug. 3, 2022)—As issues of mental health make headlines in sport—and women's sports in particular—the WNBA championship team Chicago Sky launched "The Net," (A Network of Mental Health Support in ...

Gay News

HRC commends White House Monkeypox (MPV) Coordinator appointments; calls for greater federal response 2022-08-02
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commended the Biden Administration for appointing Robert Fenton and ...


Copyright © 2022 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.




About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
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     
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.