A gynecologist in Spain has drawn the ire of local LGBTQ advocates this week after he listed homosexuality as an illness on a gay health care patient’s medical report.
The 19-year-old patient went to the Reina Sofia hospital in the Spanish city of Murcia on Monday for treatment of a menstrual condition. After being examined by a hospital gynecologist, she found that her medical report listed “homosexual” under “current illness.”
“At first, I thought it was funny, but it isn’t,” the patient told Spanish-language news outlet elDiario.es. “These attitudes must be eradicated.”
The patient’s mother, Santi, who is also a health care worker, said that the gynecologist asked her daughter for permission to include her LGBTQ identity in his report – a request that surprised the patient. She ultimately consented believing that it may be relevant. But that request struck her mother as odd.
Conversations Santi had with co-workers following the incident revealed that what happened to her daughter was the latest in a series of complaints focused on the same gynecologist that treated her daughter. The circumstances led Santi and her daughter to Galactyco, a local LGBTQ advocacy collective. A formal complaint against the regional government, health ministry and health service soon followed.
The complaint claims that the doctor’s actions violated Spanish laws which guarantee the respectful treatment of LGBTQ patients when seeking medical treatment. “The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1990, and yet, 31 years later, some professionals in the Murcia Health System continue to assume sexual orientation is a disease,” Galactyco said in a statement.
“Given that this error involved stigmatizing, discriminatory, violent and denigrating treatment towards LGBTQ people for centuries, we publicly denounce the manifest ignorance of relating sexual orientation with disease,” the organization added.”
Galactyco and the patient’s family are seeking an apology and further information as to why this continues to happen. “Our association has received numerous cases of humiliating treatment due to sexual or gender orientation,” The statement continued. “We find it alarming, unacceptable and intolerable that the professionals we depend on for adequate medical treatment are ignorant to the realities of LGBTQI people.”
A spokesperson for the Murcian Health Service said the organization is aware of the incident, initially chalking up the classification as an error made when registering the patient. The organization plans to fully investigate the matter and that “all necessary measures would be taken to properly establish the facts.” The spokesperson also stated that the hospital would be extending an apology to the patient.
Gay Health: previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of Ariel Gutraich/Creative Commons