During the AMA Interim Meeting, delegates adopted several new policies on important emerging health care topics, including gender identity.
In October, The New York Times reported that Trump administration was considering narrowly defining sex as an individual’s classification as male or female based on biological traits recognized at or before birth under Title IX, the federal civil rights legislation that bans gender discrimination. In an internal memo, the administration argued that its gender definition was based “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”
The AMA opposes such efforts to deny individuals the right to determine their gender identity and asserted that the science of gender could not be so narrowly defined.
“Sex and gender are more complex than previously assumed,” William E. Kobler, MD, AMA board member, said in a press release. “It is essential to acknowledge that an individual’s gender identity may not align with the sex assigned to them at birth. A narrow limit on the definition of sex would have public health consequences for the transgender population and individuals born with differences in sexual differentiation, also known as intersex traits.”
LGBTQ partner violence awareness
The AMA also urged for physician and community awareness of intimate partner violence, such as physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression, among the LGBTQ population, as well as federal funding for programs and services for survivors. The new policy calls for more research on the prevalence, accuracy of screening tools, effectiveness of early detection and interventions and the benefits and harms of screening for intimate partner violence among LGBTQ patients.
Additionally, the AMA adopted a policy to encourage federal and state surveys of demographic data to include sexual and gender identity to better understand the health of minorities.
Delegates at the meeting approved a policy supporting legislative changes that would simplify and reduce the cost of obtaining identification cards for the homeless population seeking medical care. This action aims to increase their access to enrollment in Medicaid.
At the meeting, the AMA also advocated to increase patient access to sexual assault medical forensic examinations and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV in EDs within 72 hours of assault or exposure to HIV. – by Alaina Tedesco
Disclosure: Kobler is a board member of the AMA.