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August 2018

Sanctioned Stigma in Health Care Settings and Harm to LGBT Youth

Author Affiliations
  • 1Health Law, Policy & Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(8):713-714. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0736

I met the patient in the waiting room of the chronic disease clinic. She was a slight girl who wore a broad smile and sparkly nail polish. Before she arrived for the medical appointment during which I would conduct a research interview, her primary care clinician and I had met with the team of nurses who would provide her care. We explained that the patient was transitioning to present as female and shared her preferred, female name. A few minutes later, one of the nurses we had just briefed entered the clinic room. She sang the patient’s former (male) name 10 times, finishing, “I just love your name.” Cruel as this incident was, it was not an aberration; 33% of transgender patients report mistreatment in health care settings.1

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