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Advancing Transgender Equality blog: Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People

Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People
from World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), September 26, 2011

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) today released a newly-revised seventh edition of its Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People. The revised Standards of Care are a critical resource for providers, healthcare consumers, and advocates, and are a step forward in ensuring that transgender and gender non-conforming people receive high quality care individualized for their needs.

Significant features of the new edition include:

  • Recognition that gender nonconformity in and of itself is not a disorder.
  • Strong affirmation that attempts to change a person’s gender identity through “reparative” therapy are ineffective and unethical.
  • Strong affirmation that transition-related treatments such as hormone therapy and surgery are medically necessary for many individuals and should be covered by insurance.

  • Continued emphasis on the individual nature of transition-related care and the flexibility of treatment guidelines.
  • Additional guidance on the treatment of adolescents and children, including guidelines for puberty-delaying treatment.
  • Near elimination of the “real-life experience” requirement as a prerequisite criteria for medical transition in adults, with the exception of some genital surgeries.
  • Discussion of a wider range of treatment options, including voice and communication therapy.
  • Discussion of the preventive care needs of transgender people.
  • Clarification that the Standards of Care should be applied in their entirety to those who are incarcerated or otherwise living in an institutionalized setting.
  • A call for health professionals to advocate not only for their patients – for example by helping them obtain updated identity documents – but also for larger policy and legal reform promoting tolerance and equality.

The revised Standards of Care represent a step forward in ensuring that all transgender and gender nonconforming people have access to high-quality, respectful care responsive to their individual needs.

Download the WPATH Standards of Care

 

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