Responding to individuals with Gender Identity issues in Wales

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There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​growing​ ​awareness​ ​amongst​ ​health​ ​professionals​ ​of​ ​the​ ​difficulties​ ​faced​ ​by​ ​individuals​ ​who​ ​are  uncomfortable​ ​or​ ​distressed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​gender​ ​assigned​ ​to​ ​them​ ​by​ ​society​ ​or​ ​family.​ ​We​ ​refer​ ​to​ ​such​ ​people​ ​as  having​ ​gender​ ​identity​ ​problems.​ ​The​ ​level​ ​of​ ​distress​ ​varies​ ​from​ ​individual​ ​to​ ​individual​ ​and​ ​the​ ​desire​ ​or  need​ ​to​ ​change​ ​assigned​ ​gender​ ​also​ ​varies.​ ​Such​ ​people​ ​are​ ​likely​ ​at​ ​some​ ​point​ ​to​ ​seek​ ​help​ ​from​ ​a  medical​ ​professional.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​important​ ​that​ ​we​ ​as​ ​doctors​ ​are​ ​receptive​ ​to​ ​the​ ​issues​ ​such​ ​people​ ​describe​ ​and  respond​ ​appropriately.​ ​Patients​ ​will​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​assured​ ​that​ ​doctors​ ​will​ ​seek​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​their​ ​issues​ ​and  preferences​ ​without​ ​judgement​ ​,​ ​maintain​ ​confidence​ ​and​ ​guide​ ​them​ ​towards​ ​appropriate​ ​services.​ ​A  relationship​ ​of​ ​mutual​ ​trust​ ​is​ ​fundamental.​ ​​ ​Currently​ ​good​ ​anecdotal​ ​evidence​ ​suggests​ ​that​ ​is​ ​not​ ​always  the​ ​case,​ ​arising​ ​from​ ​a​ ​mixture​ ​of​ ​ignorance,​ ​misunderstanding​ ​or​ ​occasionally​ ​prejudice​ ​and​ ​sometimes  from​ ​a​ ​lack​ ​of​ ​a​ ​service​ ​to​ ​specifically​ ​help.

 

The Academy has produced statement​ ​with​ ​respect​ ​to​ ​the​ ​doctor’s​ ​role​ ​in helping​ ​individuals​ ​with​ ​gender​ ​identity​ ​problems​ ​and​ ​is​ ​a​ ​consensus​ ​of​ ​opinion​ ​from​ ​member​ ​colleges​ ​in  Wales.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​not​ ​a​ ​guidance​ ​document​ ​and​ ​draws​ ​on​ ​statements​ ​from​ ​other​ ​professional​ ​organisations​ ​which​ ​it  is​ ​recommended​ ​members​ ​refer​ ​to​ ​for​ ​more​ ​detail.

 

 

 

 

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