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LGBTQ Issues in Health Care

I am a copy editor with a medical news publisher. In a short time, I have learned a lot of new terms and style preferences, and a little bit more about medical developments.

Why am I telling you this? One of the articles I worked on really got me thinking. Although it was written for a physician and medical professional audience, it’s worth all of us non-medical folk reading.

‘Negative experiences,’ lack of research impede cancer care in LGBTQ community opened my eyes to issues that had never before occurred to me.

For example, did you know that some medical conditions can go unnoticed or untreated if a person doesn’t disclose their sexual preference or their gender identity? If a physician operates under assumptions about the patient (say, assuming the married patient is wed to someone of the opposite sex), he or she may not ask certain questions or recommend particular tests, thinking they don’t apply, when, in fact, they might be important.

Some patients may not disclose they are part of the LGBTQ community for fear of discrimination, substandard care, or other reasons. This might be of particular concern to patients being treated at religiously-affiliated hospitals. It’s unfair to add the burden of these fears to what may already be a stressful situation.

In addition, patients with same-sex partners may not feel comfortable having their partner attend doctor’s appointments or visit them in the hospital. This means the patient loses the biggest part of their support network. How lonely that must be.

Let’s raise awareness for the ways we should promote kindness, support, and open dialogue.

Read the full article here: ‘Negative experiences,’ lack of research impede cancer care in LGBTQ community

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