Leading doctors affirm trans and non-binary rights in healthcare

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA.

Location: UK
Published: Tuesday 15 September 2020
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The BMA’s annual conference today has called on government to ensure the rights of transgender and non-binary individuals in accessing healthcare. These include enabling trans people to receive healthcare and access to gendered spaces in line with the gender they identify with1.

The BMA is also calling for increased trans awareness to become an integral part of medical training in order to ensure an awareness of the needs of these patients.

Dr Helena McKeown, Chair of the BMA representative body, said:

“The BMA supports transgender and non-binary individuals’ equal rights to live their lives with dignity which includes the right to equal access to healthcare. We oppose discrimination of all kinds and are committed to ensuring universal access to healthcare for all on the basis of clinical need.

“While the BMA has numerous policies affirming our support of LGBT individuals, [The agreement to this new policy means] that, for the first time in our history, we now have a BMA-wide policy giving specific attention to the needs of transgender and non-binary individuals. Receiving any medical treatment can be stressful for patients and so it is important for individuals to receive healthcare in settings they feel comfortable with. This applies to transgender as well as cis individuals.

"This motion provides clear policy for the BMA on this along with other matters that are important to moving towards a society that is fully accepting of trans and non-binary individuals”.


Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. The motion in full:

Prioritised motion 4 (Passed in full)

Motion by NORTH WEST REGIONAL COUNCIL: That this meeting affirms the rights of transgender and non-binary individuals to access healthcare and live their lives with dignity, including having their identity respected and calls upon the government to:-

i) allow transgender and non-binary individuals to gain legal recognition of their gender by witnessed, sworn statement;

ii) ensure that under 18s are able to access healthcare in line with existing principles of consent established by UK Case Law and guidelines published by the public bodies which set the standards for healthcare;

iii) enable trans people to receive healthcare in settings appropriate to their gender identity;

iv) ensure trans healthcare workers are able to access facilities appropriate to the gender they identify as;

v) ensure trans people are able to access gendered spaces in line with the gender they identify as.