Healthcare is not an easy subject for many who identify as sexual and/or gender minorities. Many have had negative experiences with healthcare encounters, have heard horror stories from their friends, or, fearing the worst, simply avoid risking any encounter with the system. This is not the way it should be, and there are many individuals and groups who are working to change the system for the better, and to assist LGBT people and families know how to navigate in these waters that are all too often troubled.
Healthlink, a network of LGBT community centers and other partners, has recently posted a Healthcare Bill of Rights to affirm exactly what we can expect from the system, and establishes a foundation for challenging the system when it fails. These fundamental rights are:
- The right to be treated with equality and respect
- The right to affirmation of your true gender identity
- The right to designate who will make decisions for you if you cannot do so for yourself
- The right to visitation by anyone you choose
- The right to your privacy
- The right to protections if you are discharged due to discrimination
You can read the details of the Bill of Rights here. You can download the bill in several formats, including a wallet-sized summary. Spread the word – make sure your LGBT friends and acquaintances know this Bill – inevitably someone you know will need it, probably someday soon!
Note: the links above sometimes do not connect – so I am making the detailed Bill of rights available to download here. But the link is a good link .. be patient and try again to visit the site!