While we expect a hospital emergency room to be a place anyone can safely access emergency medical care, a new study has found that is not at all the case for transgender patients in Ontario.

The University of Western Ontario has found some disturbing trends from their community based trans PULSE study. In the analysis of 408 transgender individuals, 214 female-to-male and 195 male-to-female, more than 50% of respondents have been faced with negative experiences when attempting to seek care in an emergency room.

The study participants negatives experiences ranged widely from rude, inappropriate comments about the patient and/or their body, to some patients even bring refused treatment by emergency room physicians. Professor Greta Baur, who worked with participants in the study, addressed these new findings saying:

“The idea of feeling safer outside of the emergency room in a potential medical crisis really speaks to the level of fear (trans) people have going into these settings, on how they’re going to be treated,”

Preach Prof. Baur, Preach. Imagine that fear when in desperate need of medical treatment. Heartbreaking.

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Clearly this is absolutely unacceptable, but worse still is that some hospitals have no policy on how to treat trans individuals. The fact that some hospitals have no clear rules on the books in regards to this disturbing issue only reinforces the fear of seeking emergency medical care due to discrimination or hesitation in/refusal of treatment. Compassionate care in Ontario ERs needs to be extended to all patients who walk through the door. Hospitals absolutely must begin providing the proper training for staff and draft formal rules for equal treatment in order to help prevent discriminatory practices against transgender patients.

Information Via The Ottawa Citizen

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