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What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

There Are No Trans Gender or Nonbinary People in Hospitals

Of course I don't mean that there are no people who call themselves trans or nonbinary in hospitals. I am referring to the fact that the sexes differ in many medical respects. For example, men and women have different symptoms of heart attack, and drugs and dosages have different effects on them. Since those sexual differences are real, objective, and even life-and-death facts, when a person goes to a hospital the doctor will need to know that person's sex -- to hell with "gender."

For the gender-fluid person, I seriously doubt that the symptoms of disease and the effects of drugs will vary with that person's gender du jour. Facts are facts, and sex is real.

7 comments:

Thomas L. Knapp said...

"For the gender-fluid person, I seriously doubt that the symptoms of disease and the effects of drugs will vary with that person's gender du jour."

In many cases you might be wrong on that. Puberty blockers, hormones, etc. have their own effects. For example, someone described as biologically male at birth who is using estrogen in transition is vulnerable to some of the same blood clotting problems common to born biological females who are using estrogen-based contraceptives.

Sheldon Richman said...

If that's right, the problem wouldn't be a consequence of a gender change but rather of the estrogen. A man given estrogen without making a gender claim would presumably show the same clotting effect. Gender is irrelevant.

Thomas L. Knapp said...

Your whole POINT is "when a person goes to a hospital the doctor will need to know that person's sex -- to hell with 'gender.'"

Being transgender comes with attendant likely medical implications, and the medical history the doctor has taken will, or at least should, cover it. That's just a fact.

Even in the normal course of things, doctors make mistakes, as happened a little while back when a doc-in-the-box prescribed my (trans) daughter a medication that she learned before she got it filled (because she hits the web to check on such things) interacts badly with one of her transition meds.

Outside the normal course of things, it used to be, and still MAY be, the case that many transgender persons get their transition meds on the black market, meaning they don't show up in the standard medical interaction check. So a good doctor, knowing a patient was trans, might ask "you're not taking unprescribed estrogen, are you?" when it would not occur to that doctor to ask the question of every person who was born biologically male.

And that doesn't even reach the possibility that there are actual innate biological differences. One long-term study found a strong correlation between male-to-female transgenderism and 1) in utero exposure to high estrogen levels as a fetus, 2) higher than normal estrogen levels in the person.

Sheldon Richman said...

With all respect, I refer to my earlier comment.

Thomas L. Knapp said...

And with all respect, I point to your earlier comment being, well, completely wrong.

Gender identity, whatever else one may thing of it, does have medical implications. That's just a fact.

Sheldon Richman said...

I appreciate the exchange.

Anonymous said...

It matters if you identify as transgender in a hospital, but only to the same extent that it matters if you identify as a bodybuilder or a coalminer. The simple fact of identifying as one means nothing, but might lead the doctor to reasonably assume potentially pertinent information about your body and health.