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National medical body support for LGBTIQA+ law reform welcomed

LGBTIQA+ advocates have welcomed support by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) for bans on unnecessary medical procedures on intersex children and on ‘conversion’ practices.

“Conversion practices are a blatant example of the discrimination faced by LGBTIQA+ people in Australia and have no place in our society,” said President Dr Omar Khorshid.

position statement by the national medical body has also called for increased cultural safety for LGBTIQA+ people in healthcare, research on their health experiences, improved access to gender transition care, and the inclusion of evidence-based relevant questions on the Australian Census.

Dr Khorshid said that many LGBTIQA+ people in Australia still face health inequities.

“The medical profession should affirm, support and provide care for people who are LGBTIQA+,” he said.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said that the position statement reflected the importance of law reform for the wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ people.

“The AMA’s support for banning conversion practices highlights the adverse impact of conversion practices on the mental health of conversion practice survivors,” said Croome.

“Recent research from La Trobe University shows young Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ survivors of conversion practices are three to four times likely to suffer PTSD and attempt suicide.

“This practice harms people, and legislation is needed as soon as possible.”

Intersex Peer Support Australia Tasmanian representative Simone-lisa Anderson welcomed the AMA’s opposition to unnecessary medical interventions on children.

“Protecting intersex children from harmful medical procedures has already been recommended by the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute, and with the AMA’s support, hopefully the State Government will give this a high priority in the new year,” said Anderson.

“The AMA’s position is backed up by recently released national GP guidelines, which advise to stop non-consensual cosmetic surgeries on infants and young children until they are able to give their full and informed consent.”

An Australian Human Rights Commission report has also called for a ban on unnecessary surgery on intersex children.

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