Should Medical Records Indicate Sexual Orientation?

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BY MOLLY BOLAND ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO You're watching multisource global video news analysis from New...
BY MOLLY BOLAND ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO You're watching multisource global video news analysis from Newsy There may be a new box to fill out at the doctor’s office -- The Institute of Medicine has released a report suggesting medical records indicate patients’ sexual orientation. The information would illuminate the scope of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations and to help doctors deal with health issues specific to the community. Sounds easy enough -- on the surface, Time reports. “...talking about gender or orientation with certain groups could be tricky … Teens may worry about prejudice on the part of their doctors, or may not trust that the information will be kept from their parents. Further, homosexuality remains less accepted among certain minority groups and religious communities, complicating accurate reporting.” UCLA researchers recently estimated there are 9 million people in the United States who identify as LGBT -- and say older individuals in these communities are at high risk for diabetes, hypertension, and poor mental health. Dr. Gary Gates from the UCLA School of Law says in the Daily Mail... “‘LGBT Americans still are not routinely counted. That allows legislators and policy makers to say they really don’t matter much - because if they did, we’d have this data.’ “ The Advocate’s Andrew Harmon agrees, and says research into LGBT health issues is -quote- “strikingly underdeveloped.” Finally, the director of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health writes in The Huffington Post -- it’s about time doctors paid attention. “...the paradigm has changed -- the medical and health care communities are now focusing on the roots of so much of the stress for LGBT populations -- homophobia, prejudice, discrimination and stigma. As we tackle those we will see better mental and physical health outcomes for our community and as a result be a healthier nation.” Transcript by Newsy.
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