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Nurse-Midwives Release Statement in Support of Safe, Competent Care for Transgender Individuals

January 23, 2013

The American College of Nurse-Midwives released a Position Statement on Transgender/Transsexual/Gender Variant Health Care.

The main bits:

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) supports efforts to provide transgender, transsexual, and gender variant individuals with access to safe, comprehensive, culturally competent health care and therefore endorses the 2011 World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care.

It is the position of ACNM that midwives
     Exhibit respect for patients with nonconforming gender identities and do not pathologize differences in gender identity or expression;
     Provide care in a manner that affirms patients’ gender identities and reduces the distress of gender dysphoria or refer to knowledgeable colleagues;
     Become knowledgeable about the health care needs of transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming people, including the benefits and risks of gender affirming treatment options;
     Match treatment approaches to the specific needs of patients, particularly their goals for gender expression and need for relief from gender dysphoria;
     Have resources available to support and advocate for patients within their families and communities (schools, workplaces, and other settings).

To facilitate these goals, ACNM is committed to
• Work toward the incorporation of information about gender identity, expression, and development in all midwifery educational programs;
• Make available educational materials that address the identities and health care needs of gender variant individuals in order to improve midwives’ cultural competence in providing care to this population;
• Support legislation and policies that prohibit discrimination based on gender expression or identity;
• Support measures to ensure full, equal, and unrestricted access to health insurance coverage for all care needed by gender variant individuals.

Good for ACNM for addressing this directly and committing to respect for patients, work for equality, and the education of members and future midwives. I don’t feel qualified to determine whether this is thorough enough, and would appreciate thoughts in the comments.

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