Bioethics Blogs

American College of Physicians Calls for End to Healthcare Disparities Faced by LGBT People

Photo courtesy HRC Blog

Originally published May 12, 2015 on HRC Blog

by Alison Gill, Senior Legislative Counsel

Today, the American College of Physicians called for action to address the entrenched disparities that LGBT people face in the healthcare system. The position paper, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, asked medical providers, insurers, patients and others to address critical needs for members of the LGBT community, like non-discrimination protections, comprehensive healthcare coverage for transgender people, inclusive visitation policies, and research and training to better address the numerous health disparities LGBT people experience.

Also among the recommendations, ACP clarifies their opposition to so-called “conversion therapy,” joining other major medical and mental health organizations in opposing these harmful and discredited practices. Earlier this year, HRC advocated with Psychology Today to remove professionals engaged in these harmful practices from their directory of therapists.

The paper also stated ACP’s support for marriage equality and called for reevaluation of the ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men.

ACP is a national professional organization with membership of over 140,000 internists and internal medicine subspecialists. It is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States.

ACP’s position statement is especially important because it will help bring attention to the continuing disparities in healthcare access for transgender people. It also highlights the need for LGBT-inclusive education and training for healthcare providers, such as the new guidelines produced by the American Association of Medical Colleges. The movement by hospitals and medical facilities toward adoption of inclusive non-discrimination policies is benchmarked and encouraged by HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.