Have you or your children faced discrimination or negative experiences with a health care provider simply because you are LGBTQ? If so, that’s not unusual – nearly 56% of LGB people have had at least one such experience and 33% of transgender people have faced such discrimination in the last year alone.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a regulation that will make the situation even worse, by promoting discrimination by health care providers. The proposal allows sweeping, dangerous exemptions to patient protections that would encourage health care providers to deny health care to LGBTQ people, our children, women, and others.
Family Equality Council, Lambda Legal, and COLAGE have documented numerous instances of mistreatment and denial of health care services to LGBTQ people and our children in our amicus briefs to the Supreme Court and other courts, including:
- Kinsey, a one-week old infant who had a life-threatening reaction to vaccine but was not immediately treated by hospital staff because the lesbian mother who had brought her could not prove she was her “real” mom
- M.C., a two-year old whose emergency treatment by a pediatric dentist was delayed because, as she was told, “a child cannot have two mothers.”
- A.S. and M.S., a married lesbian couple in Tennessee, who were denied service by multiple midwives and a birthing class provider during A.S.’ pregnancy
- K.S., a transgender woman seeking mental health services who was subject to abusive treatment, inappropriate questioning and breaches of confidentiality, and who attempted to commit suicide twice while at the facility.
- M.H., a gay man who checked into a New York City hospital with a severe infection and was treated roughly, called a ‘faggot’ multiple times, dragged down the hall in an office chair causing him to fall out of chair, and left on the ground where he had a seizure and convulsions.
HHS is now accepting public comments on this proposed rule. All comments are due by March 27. Speak up, tell your story about why health care discrimination affects you, and let HHS know that no one deserves to be denied care because of who they – or their parents or families – are.
We strongly encourage you to use your own words, including by sharing personal stories of how discrimination or the fear of discrimination in health care or related services has affected you or your children, or why you oppose this rule as a person of faith.
Please note that all comments will be submitted to HHS, be posted openly online, and may be used by Family Equality Council in our advocacy to end discrimination. You may choose to comment anonymously.