Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
24 views
24 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
42 views
42 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
43 views
43 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
74 views
74 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

One in five GPs refuse to prescribe hormone medication for transgender people

Biological sex is assigned at birth and determines a large proportion of our future lives – we are expected to act, talk and even dress in a certain, predefined, way to please the stereotypes carefully crafted by our society. These and many other factors define gender identities and, more often than not, the identity people associate with is the same as their biological sex. But what happens when that is not the case?

Gender dysphoria, also referred to as transgenderism, is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.

Although not considered to be a mental illness in itself, gender dysphoria is often accompanied by depression and statistics have shown that trans people have a much higher rate of suicide – in 2010, 41% of trans people in America had attempted it, as compared to the national average of 1.6%.

Studies have shown that early access to hormone therapy or surgery, social support and reducing transphobia can significantly alleviate the suicidal thoughts and everyday struggles experienced by people living with this condition.

Sadly, early intervention is often not an option as a recent article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reveals that one in five GPs in the UK refuse to prescribe hormone medication for transgender people.

General Practitioners are often the first port of call for people with gender dysphoria and, ideally, they would refer them to one of the 11 NHS gender identity clinics established around the country. There, following an assessment by a psychiatrist, a specific treatment plan can be established. However, GPs often delay access to treatment due to unnecessary referrals to a community psychiatry.

For adults, treatment often comes in the form of hormone therapy – trans men (female to male) will take testosterone (masculinising hormones), while trans women (male to female) will take oestrogen (feminising hormones). Hormones start the process of change for the body and often make trans individuals more comfortable with their physical appearance and the way they feel. Gender reassignment surgery is only possible after at least a year of living as their preferred gender.

This process is slightly different for children under 18 who are provided only with psychotherapy until they reach puberty. Although gender dysphoria disappears for the majority of children after that, the ones who still feel uncomfortable with their identity can be treated with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues. GnRH analogues suppress the hormones naturally produced by the body and can delay physiological changes that usually occur throughout puberty, in order to prevent the child from becoming more like its biological gender.

As the effects of hormone replacement therapy are reversible, it has to be taken for life.

Currently, there is only 11 gender identity clinics around the country, so people would often travel over a long distance for consultations and prescriptions. A practical solution to this would be for GPs to prescribe hormone treatment, while gender identity clinics provide treatment advice and endorsement.

However, many specialists working in these clinics report that one in five GPs would refuse to prescribe transgender treatments, even following the NHS clinic’s advice.

In the BMJ, James Barrett of the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists says that the reasons often given for this refusal include that the treatment is too “dangerous, difficult, expensive”.
This conservatism expressed by medical professionals may also have religious roots, as Barrett continues: “I’ve also heard disturbingly frank admissions that it was against “deeply held Christian beliefs” or that “we are trained to treat illnesses, not to change nature”.

In response to such concerns, a recent report by The General Medical Council states that “ethical or principled objections are not acceptable in gender dysphoria and inexperience in the field should be remedied by prompt cooperation with a gender identity clinic”.

But this problem isn’t confined to the UK. A recent study conducted in America found that transgender individuals experience harassment, violence, and discrimination in a number of settings. Using national survey data, the authors found that 41.8% of the transgender participants reported verbal harassment, physical assault, or denial of equal treatment in a doctor’s office or hospital.

The issue of discrimination goes even deeper as a recent survey of over 7,000 transgender people reports that:
19% have been refused care due to their transgender or gender non-conforming status
28% were subjected to harassment in medical settings and 2% were victims of violence in doctor’s offices
50% reported having to teach their medical providers about transgender care

What is even more distressing is that a quarter of the participants report using alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with the discrimination they face, which would only reinforce the already underlying depression and distress that come with the condition.

The medical profession requires putting the interest and health of patients first, so where is this prejudice coming from and how can it be prevented? James Barrett says that many GPs he has spoken to report a lack of knowledge about the treatment to be one of the main factors that stop them from prescribing them.

In the UK, the Medicine curriculum does not include any modules on LGBTQ health. Similarly, only 33% of US medicine graduate programmes incorporate an element of the topic. This lack of education often leads medical professionals to direct trans people to mental health institutions instead, which often goes to indulge the problem rather than provide a solution.

But good news may be just on our doorstep. Following a recent Parliamentary inquiry into Transgender Equality in the UK, Brighton and Hove is launching an online guide for GPs that will help in treating and supporting transgender people.

The guide, which is the first of its kind in the country, was developed by the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and with help from transgender individuals in the city.

Its launch could have been influenced by the council’s first ever trans needs assessment, which showed that out of the 2,760 transgender individuals living in the city only 1 in 5 said they were in good health as compared to 4 out of 5 in the wider population. Furthermore, 4 in 5 had experienced depression, while 1 in 3 said they have self-harmed.

CCG clinical lead for primary care and public health, Katie Stead, said to The Argus: “Although there are many good examples of excellent primary care for our trans population, there is also a lack of education and information for GPs available both nationally and locally.

“We hope it goes some way in plugging this gap locally and will give GPs the confidence to work with trans patients to provide great care.”

Rositsa Todorova

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
24 views
24 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
42 views
42 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
43 views
43 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
74 views
74 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
24 views
Arts
24 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
37 views
Film & Theatre
37 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Anonymous - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
42 views
Sports
42 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
43 views
Arts
43 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
74 views
Arts
74 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1136 views1
Campus News
1136 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
8 views
News
8 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

The University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) has apologised after 'sexist' beermats were found in 'Dig in' Boxes in Freshers' Welcome Bags. The beermats were provided by…

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018
News
76 views1
News
76 views1

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy Lecturer at Sussex, was accused of making transphobic comments in July 2018. This followed various interviews and blog posts by Stock. Stock told…

Welcome 2018 Freshers!
Campus News
80 views
Campus News
80 views

Welcome 2018 Freshers!

Billie-Jean Johnson - September 15, 2018

Ah, Freshers. You’ve no idea the amazing year you have ahead of you! As you read this now, you’ve probably met your flatmates and maybe even met…

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity
Opinion
74 views
Opinion
74 views

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy lecturer at Sussex University, met with controversy after criticising the government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004). The amendment would ‘de-medicalise’ the…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
393 views
Arts
393 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
395 views
Arts
395 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
372 views
Arts
372 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
432 views
Arts
432 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
449 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
390 views
Arts
390 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
364 views
Arts
364 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
554 views
Campus News
554 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
314 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
918 views
Arts
918 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
375 views
Arts
375 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…