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Only consenting to receiving medical treatment from a female is not acceptable

(1000 Posts)
Siameasy Sat 23-Nov-19 18:28:46

One NHS trust says it’s unacceptable for women to say they only consent to medical treatment from “natal females”. I find this completely outrageous and couldn’t find a thread on it already. Bloody hell!

CaptainKirksSpikeyGhost Sat 23-Nov-19 18:34:00

What you have to understand is you might hurt a trans-womans feelings.

Nothing else other than that matters.

And now they've had stonewall training they WILL NEVER back-tread.

CranberriesChoccy Sat 23-Nov-19 18:37:54

Playing devil's advocate here, but could a patient be considered to be discriminating against a medical professional on the basis of sex?

JasBBGG Sat 23-Nov-19 18:39:05

Hmmm whilst I may prefer females generally for health issues the best gynaecologist I had was a man. i think even with religious views etc etc you have to be realistic. What if there aren't any female staff? What are you going to do? If you need life saving surgery and the consultant is a man are you going to die instead? I was in A&E with my Nan yesterday, she was there 12 hours. I didn't care whether it was man, woman or an out and proud trans as long as she got seen.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 18:39:22

I was just putting one together too - but struggling to attach images of twitter hreads. If anyone's able to, that would be really useful.

It gets worse:

Susan Sinclair
Case study from NHS policy. If a woman is agitated cos there is a man on her ward then staff should 're-iterate that the ward is female only & that there are no men present.' If she continues to be vocal then 'Ultimately it may be the complainant who is required to be removed.'!!

The whole thread is shock

Clare B Dimyon MBE raised the alert this morning, following the use of her letters to an NHS Trust were used as 'highly discriminatory':
Replying to @lubelluledotcom @wwwritingclub
More BREAKING NEWS: #Brighton #NHS healthcare is conditional upon accepting the bullying of #Female patients who express medical need wrt same-biological sex exemptions for #Mammogram. (They missed that out, obviously.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 18:39:42

I find it unacceptable to insist that the first consideration of a female patient is to meet the emotional needs of a health professional who wants their identity respected.

This would exclude a significant number of women from accessing health care, for refusing or being unable to enter into a pretence of belief. It's ridiculous. It's untenable. It stands healthcare on its head, healthcare professionals not able to put other people's needs before their own and show tolerance for faith, belief, disability, trauma, has absolutely no business being in that line of work.

This is going to have to be taken to court, as publically as possible, in yet another demonstration of what Stonewallism means, how deluded it is, and how incompatible this political group is determined to be with anyone else's needs and rights.

BigFatLiar Sat 23-Nov-19 18:41:42

Don't see the problem. A doctor is a doctor, male or female, If I'm ill I want to see a doctor their sex/gender is of no interest to me only thing that matters is are they a decent doctor. Same goes for nurses/dentist/paramedics.
Don't envisage lying in the road at a car accident telling them to send away the paramedics until one of a different sex is available.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 18:45:22

Can you envisage that possibly other women don't feel the same way as you, (you know, women of minority faiths for example) and possibly have different needs?

And so you personally being fine with it doesn't make it fine to force those women? Or are you in favour of force it through and if some women won't access health care whatever, it's their problem?

And that voluntary intimate care is slightly different from first aid from a paramedic?

MrsWooster Sat 23-Nov-19 18:45:57

bigfatliar no one is saying you need to request a specific sex of Carer; do you think that someone for whom it IS important should be allowed to do so?

PanamaPattie Sat 23-Nov-19 18:48:37

Choice is everything. My comfort and dignity trumps any HCPs feelings.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 18:50:34

Thing is BigFatLiar and Jas, it's not always about us. I'm happy to have medical treatment from both sexes (though, to be honest, I feel more comfortable at cervical screenings and in the future for mammograms with healthcare professionals of the same sex).

But there are a lot of women, for many different reasons, who can't or don't want this. I don't think it's for me to trample over their needs, just because I'm OK with it.

(awaits other familiar arguments)

JasBBGG Sat 23-Nov-19 18:50:56

Don't all our NHS services offer a female chaperone where a male has to do an intimate examination anyway?
Look I don't enjoy these examinations any more than anyone else and would rather a female but it simply isn't always possible. What I saw yesterday the NHS is in crisis. If it's a case of have your examination now or wait 6 months for a female I'll take it now. Whilst I appreciate people have religious views I don't think this should come in the way of your health. I say this to my mum who would refuse a blood transfusion - it's ridiculous. My only sympathy within this would be to women who have been abused and are genuinely scared of men but again if it is the only option and you have a chaperone what else can be done?

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 18:54:05

That raises a few questions Jas
Why would our NHS services offer a female chaperson where a male has to do an intimate examination?

Why is this, do you think?

Why do we have single-sex wards? What made the NHS think the sexes might be a good thing to separate in hospital?

And if a male declares that they've always felt like a female, therefore they are a female, does that mean a chaperone is no longer needed? If so, what's changed?

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 18:54:37

Chaperone (no idea what a chaperson looks like!)

JasBBGG Sat 23-Nov-19 18:55:53

They offer a chaperone to make you feel comfortable knowing some women aren't. That's fair enough right?

I am all for single sex wards that's a whole different issue.

This is about trust in professionals.

Uncompromisingwoman Sat 23-Nov-19 18:56:57

Women have nothing to fear from male medics - oh no hmm.

Kilbranan Sat 23-Nov-19 18:57:14

Good for you big fat liar what about women who feel differently due to being victim of male violence?? Don’t you care about them being able to access healthcare?
It is the most basic thing to be able to access same sex healthcare worker for intimate exams and as others have pointed out, id be seriously worried about the motivation of any trans person wishing to do this type of work knowing they were making the patient feel uncomfortable.

thirdfiddle Sat 23-Nov-19 18:58:24

That's horrific. When they're already struggling with getting people to take up smear tests etc. It should be about the patient not the medic's feelings.
I don't think many (any?) people would care in critical situations but when it comes to non emergency sensitive issues anything that encourages vulnerable patients to seek help should be encouraged.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 23-Nov-19 18:58:28

Lack of empathy for other women's needs isn't really something I'd want to demonstrate in a feminism board, tbh.

And it's bloody awful to see people in the NHS doing so.

NewarkShark Sat 23-Nov-19 18:58:47

If a request to be seen by a female isn’t possible due to resources then that is one thing (not really good enough but I do get the NHS pressures).

The problem arises where it would be possible to be seen by a natal female but the hospital decides that a transgender woman counts as female and removes the right of the patient to elect someone with the same anatomy as them.

I generally have no issue being treated by men or women, transgender or otherwise, but respect that others do. the one time I did request a female (examination of infected stitches after giving birth), I wouldn’t have wanted a transgender woman. A transgender man would have been fine. The point is it was a purely physical examination and identity had fuck all to do with it. I wanted someone who shared my anatomy.

saraclara Sat 23-Nov-19 19:00:18

So if a male patient says he'll only be treated by a male doctor, is that okay?

BigFatLiar Sat 23-Nov-19 19:00:47

Why would our NHS services offer a female chaperson where a male has to do an intimate examination?

I think its protection for both the patient and the doctor.

I think we all should have the right to see a doctor/HCP of a preferred sex but need to accept it isn't always possible. Our local surgery will allow you to ask for a specific doctor if you want but you have to be willing to wait for an available appointment. Tough luck on the men though as we have one pt male GP all the others are female.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 19:00:55

No one is talking about patients rejecting care generally , they're talking about specific situations where a female patient may reasonably do what female patients have always been allowed to do for good reason and request a female practitioner. Smears and mammograms being typical examples.

Those reasons have not disappeared.

What has changed is that now we have people born male who would like to be treated as if they were the opposite sex with uninterrupted affirmation. There are limits to how far other people should be forced to enable a belief they actually don't hold, particularly in situations that cause them distress and to be doubtful about or withhold their consent.

I live in an area with a high Muslim population, many of whom are elderly and many of whom do not speak English. My GP surgery goes to huge lengths to try and encourage those women to access health care, to know they have access to chaperones, to female health care professionals. When they request this female hcp and they're faced with someone they know is biologically male but they are expected to not show or respond to this for the sake of that person's feelings - who exactly benefits from this? Because it sure as hell isn't the patient. Who surely is the first concern in this situation.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 19:01:32

And the healthcare professionals roles that carry out mammograms, cervical smears, and general ward duties will be nursing and healthcare assistants who overwhelmingly are...guess what... female!

So the 'that's just stupid, you'll be delaying your treatment' argument falls down a little. As Michelle says, involuntary intimate care is very different from unplanned emergency life-saving care.

littlbrowndog Sat 23-Nov-19 19:01:49

Erasing of women’s and girls boundaries.

That’s what this is

Uncompromisingwoman Sat 23-Nov-19 19:01:51

If it's for a prostrate / internal exam, then of course saraclara

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 23-Nov-19 19:01:53

It's worth noting that the originals of those notes were pertaining to a specific intimate procedure, a mammogram if I remember correctly.

That of course shouldn't make any difference, but I thought it was interesting the hospital chose to not mention that part.

DeeZastris Sat 23-Nov-19 19:02:57

If you have trust in professionals why not just get rid of chaperones all together? 🤦‍♀️

christmasathome Sat 23-Nov-19 19:03:41

Last week i had to go have an ultra sound and knew it was likely to need to be a vaginal one. I was horrified when i walked to a man. This was a planned procedure with about 3 weeks notice. I can't understand why it wasn't scheduled with a female. As soon as i was told they needed to do a vaginal one i asked for a female. None available so I'm now waiting for a new appointment. At no point did i think about his discomfort at being rejected. This is a very personal procedure and I don't think its unreasonable to be comfortable with your practitioner.

JasBBGG Sat 23-Nov-19 19:03:48

@Uncompromisingwoman this isn't representative of the vast majority of medics though is it? I have a male friend who is a GP he says his worst type of day is where he has a succession of female examinations, there is nothing he hates more and makes him uncomfortable because he knows they are. Most people aren't pervs. There will always be some "dodgy" people in all
Professions unfortunately. But given the shortage of medics professionals we face I don't see how this can be a choice. Again I would always prefer a female of course I would, I just recognise it isn't realistic. I think only around 30% of medical consultants are female anyway so you're looking at 30% of a pot that is too small if you need a consultant.
I am all for choice and female rights but I think this is unrealistic in the present climate.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 23-Nov-19 19:03:51

It's worth noting that

Sorry I skimmed the thread and missed that had already been pointed out blush

OhHolyJesus Sat 23-Nov-19 19:05:49

I've had a male GP examine me with a female chaperone. The Dr looked at my breasts whilst a female employee was the other side of the curtain. It was an emergency appointment, if it had been a routine appointment I would have requested a female HCP, because that would make me more comfortable. At no point will I be considering validating the 'lived experience' of an HCP when receiving treatment because it's completely irrelevant at a time when we are discussing MY health.

(I have read a story of a Dr which was rejected by a patient for surgery based on their skin colour which I think is truly awful.)

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 19:05:59

Whilst I appreciate people have religious views I don't think this should come in the way of your health.

I've also seen Madigan advise orthodox Jewish or Muslim or Jehovah's Witness women that they need to just get over their lifetime faith and beliefs if they happen to clash with the needs of someone identifying as a woman. Just put aside the inconvenient bits as they're a bit silly and out dated.

It doesn't show a whole lot of respect or empathy for others to put it mildly. Or much multi cultural awareness.

CaptainKirksSpikeyGhost Sat 23-Nov-19 19:06:46

his isn't representative of the vast majority of medics though is it


does it make the impact on women any less?

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 19:07:55

So if a male patient says he'll only be treated by a male doctor, is that okay?

of course, why not?

Toseland Sat 23-Nov-19 19:08:23

I didn't care whether it was man, woman or an out and proud trans as long as she got seen
Yes but what did your Nan think?

Many people won’t mind but I think there should be an option.

Gwenhwyfar Sat 23-Nov-19 19:08:32

It's not just a trans issue is it? Sometimes you have to have a male doctor. I always ask for a female GP, but I know that if it's an emergency or a specialist is required, I might need to be seen by a man.
The only time I've seen this posted on a wall was when I was at A&E in a Muslim area and I agreed with it. You can't always refuse treatment from a male doctor.

Gwenhwyfar Sat 23-Nov-19 19:09:28

"So if a male patient says he'll only be treated by a male doctor, is that okay?

of course, why not?"

I've seen a male patient ask for a male GP. No problem with that.

JasBBGG Sat 23-Nov-19 19:10:23

@Michelleoftheresistance my mum, and indeed her whole family are JW. Yes I tell her it's ridiculous because it is. If she had needed a blood transfusion when I was a baby and I'd lost her my life would have been very different.

I get people have beliefs I'm surrounded by it. My belief is prioritise your health as you've not got much else without it.

FadingStar Sat 23-Nov-19 19:11:11

Having been around a number of male doctors on a personal level and heard the way they speak about their female patients (absolutely disgusting and the oblivious patients would have thought they were receiving good care, of that I have no doubt) I will NEVER see a male doctor for anything. And I don't care if their damn feelings get hurt.

forkfun Sat 23-Nov-19 19:11:54

I find it so sad that every time this topic crops up there are women who fail to understand why some women might choose to be treated by female healthcare professionals. Let me spell it out for you. I was sexually abused as a child and teenager of the course of about 6 years. I've had my body touched against my will by a male more than I care to remember. When I'm having a smear test, a breast exam or frankly even any other non-emergency procedure I much prefer being treated by a woman. I'm able to relax more. I don't have flashbacks or PTSD symptoms. I don't think it's unreasonable for me to ask this.

Uncompromisingwoman Sat 23-Nov-19 19:12:58

JasBBGG I take the sexual abuse / secret filming and abuse by male medics very seriously. If women prefer to protect themselves by asking for a female practitioner, then that right should be respected, especially for intimate procedures. It's a real worry when people who claim to be part of the medical profession choose to erode women's boundaries and shame them as has happened here.

MrsSnippyPants Sat 23-Nov-19 19:16:27

It’s ridiculous you should even have to spell it out forkfun. Women are allowed by law to request a female practitioner and should be allowed to do so, and be accommodated, where reasonable, just because THEY SAY SO.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 19:16:39

This is trying to rationalise away women's right to say no.

This is not about general treatment, this is about specific situations involving intimate care in which it has always been accepted and made known to female patients that they can request a female hcp. No one is suggesting actually in these documents that women should not have the right to have a female hcp: they are just suggesting that if the woman hcp they send is in fact biologically male, the woman is not supposed to perceive them as male. So insisting that women should just accept male hcps in all circumstances is missing the point.

Yes you can actually always refuse treatment from a male doctor, and I've never worked anywhere that staff wouldn't do their best to find a female member of staff or find a way to get that patient feeling comfortable and safe. You do realise that some women will not attend for intimate care such as smears or mammograms if they cannot have a female hcp? Some will not be allowed to accept care under those circumstances. Many will come from groups that struggle to access healthcare.

birdsdestiny Sat 23-Nov-19 19:16:40

In addition to that

birdsdestiny Sat 23-Nov-19 19:18:11

Sorry about that! Was about to say if they are telling women that they are being treated by a woman when it is actually a man why on earth would I trust anything they said about my treatment.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 19:19:22

Jas that's lovely for you. But can you accept that other women have different needs? Different perspectives? Because you telling them to get over it because you're ok probably isn't going to win many hearts and minds.

And expecting them just to get over it in this context is really, in essence about prioritising the wishes and feelings of transwomen over female patients and their best interests. About insisting that female people's first concern, even when receiving health care, is to prioritise the male in the situation.

JasBBGG Sat 23-Nov-19 19:20:32

And obviously if self ID wasn't allowed then it wouldn't be so much of an issue anyway - that I do get! If someone ID's as non binary and you can't tell what the f they are - what then?!

JasBBGG Sat 23-Nov-19 19:21:49

@Michelleoftheresistance I would never prioritise trans rights believe me.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 19:22:15

As I can't upload the image from Susan's twitter thread of NHS Glasgow and Clyde's advice, here's some of one of the 'case studies' referenced in the guidance:

A nurse is summoned to a patient's bed in a female ward. The patient appears to be agitated. When asked what's concerning her, the patient explains she didn't expect to be sharing a ward with a man and points to the bed opposite. She states it's inappropriate to have 'him' in the ward with the other women. She tells the nurse she can't relax and wants 'him' removed from the ward..... the nurse listens and tells the woman she'll see what she can do. She says she understands that having a transgender person on the ward will be upsetting to other women and leaves to talk with a senior colleague about the matter.

The response to the patient's concern isn't appropriate and breaches legislative protection afforded to transgender people. Someone's trans status can not be disclosed to a a third party without the expressed permission of the trans person and the assumption that others in the ward will feel uncomfortable is unfounded. In this instance there is no need to disclose or seek permission to disclose gender identity. The nurse should work to allay the patient's concerns - it would be appropriate to re-iterate that the ward is is indeed female and that there are no men present. Her duty of care extends to protect people from harrassment and should the woman continue to make demands about the removal of the transgender patient and be vocal in the ward about it would be appropriate to remind her of this. Ultimately it may be the complainant who is required to be removed.

Gaslight the concerned woman, criticise the nurse, and then remove the female patient if she continues with her concerns. As someone pointed out, interesting that the 'nurse' is stereotypically a 'she'!

birdsdestiny Sat 23-Nov-19 19:23:57

It is never going to end well when you write lies into policy.

FadingStar Sat 23-Nov-19 19:24:25

That case study is only a case study in how to abuse women. That's it. angry

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 19:26:01

I'm not sure providing intimate care to an unwilling, distressed and effectively coerced patient is a 'right'. For anyone. In fact I'm suspicious of the motives of any hcp who would wish to do that.

TimeTravellingDiamond Sat 23-Nov-19 19:28:41

Will probably be criticised for this but really don't think women should have to have male drs doing intimate examinations.

Had an appointment at the GUM clinic recently. Needed an internal exam and was really surprised when i had a male dr. Made me so uncomfortable. I panicked and said I didn't want him to examine me. Luckily was able to be seen by a female dr instead. What I don't understand is how she was in an appointment with a man at the time. Why was he not allocated the male dr and I the female dr? I was on my period at the time too- that only added to me not wanting a male dr.

I had to have LLETZ treatment for CIN2 as well and the male dr who did it left instruments hanging out of me whilst casually standing chatting to his male colleague. That's just poor never mind sex but was humiliating.

Siameasy Sat 23-Nov-19 19:28:47

What strikes me is not that it isn’t very practical/realistic etc but that the TRUST say it is UNACCEPTABLE to make the request in the first place

Whether you personally care or not the trust say women (and presumably men?) who do care are behaving unacceptably. The trust do not accept that it is ok to ask for a same sex practitioner.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 19:29:30

The nurse should check with the transgender patient and sensitively ask if everything is OK. If the transgender patient has heard any of the discussions it is imperative that she is given every assurance that the matter will be dealt with. If the transgender patient is visibly upset and there is spare capacity it would be appropriate to offer her the option to move to a single room, although this must be with the patient in mind rather than conflict avoidance. (Only one of the patients is 'in mind' here)

General appreciation of transgender issues is very low in our communities and often this is used as a rationale for behaviour that is essentially transphobic. (What, not wanting to be in a single-sex ward with someone who is of the other sex?)

Here we go people, that famliar strawman... If a white woman complained to a nurse about sharing a ward with a black person, or a heterosexual male complained about being in a ward with a gay man we would expect our staff to behave in a manor [sic] that deals with the behaviour immediately.

Therefore, if a woman on a single-sex ward complains about being in a ward with a person with a penis, deal with it immediately. (And yes, Mx Quentin, we're focusing on the penis here! But not yours!)

Cynara Sat 23-Nov-19 19:31:38

I'm now fortunate enough that if I needed medical care from a medical professional I'd accept it from whoever was qualified to provide it. However, this privilege is relatively recent. When I was 18 I was violently sexually assaulted by a stranger on the street. For many years afterwards I was deeply suspicious and fearful of men. This affected me to the point that I was unable to be in an enclosed space alone with one. For example, if I was in a lift and a man got in, I'd have to get out. This was not a conscious decision-making process; it was driven by the visceral panic response I had to the proximity of a man. My heart pounded, I felt sweaty, terrified, trapped. I guarantee that I would have had this response in a medical consulting room if confronted with a transwoman. I am not a transphobe (in the real-world sense) but I am certain that my fear response would have made no distinction between a man and a transwoman because of the biological reality of transgenderism. For the sake of women in the position that I once was, we cannot prioritise hurt feelings and failure to validate ideology over the genuine needs of (possibly) traumatised women.

Siameasy Sat 23-Nov-19 19:32:09

I had a bad experience with a male gynae. I’m probably not alone. I felt something he did was really untoward but I just didn’t feel I could say anything; I wasn’t 100% sure but . enough to still cringe now. I was meant to go back (birth injury) but I won’t go back unless I see a female. Luckily I don’t live in Brighton

MIdgebabe Sat 23-Nov-19 19:32:33

Erm...if an obviously male person is placed on a female ward, then the health professionals are effectively announcing the trans persons trans status, which , being illegal, suggests that a trans person should be given a private space

Siameasy Sat 23-Nov-19 19:35:29

X posted. Sorry about your experience Cynara.

NewarkShark Sat 23-Nov-19 19:36:50

If a white woman complained about sharing with a black woman that would be reprehensible.

However given we don’t segregate wards by race, but do segregate them by sex, it’s a totally meaningless comparison.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 19:38:26

TimeTravelling that reminds me, the male gynae who did my LLETZ for CIN2 made the whole experience uncomfortable for many reasons.

At the time, young and scared, I just put up and shut up, thankful for getting treatment.

However, several years later that male gynaecologist was struck off, following a serious of complaints from women louder and braver than I was at the time.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 19:41:25

Wards are not normally separated by race or sexuality. They are normally separated by sex. There's actually a vast amount of fuss about not having mixed sex wards.

If the woman has asked why she's sharing a ward with a male then quite obviously the trans status is apparent and breaching anyone's privacy is irrelevant. The woman is asking why they are on a mixed sex ward, and being frankly gaslighted and lied to that a biological male is a biological female, despite the evidence of everyone's eyes. So the woman is being required to pretend.

And yes. Only one patient is worthy of consideration here, only one set of feelings matter, only one person's interests are centred. Blatant bias. Again, the primary requirement upon a female patient is to prioritise and service the needs of a biological male.

stillathing Sat 23-Nov-19 19:42:08

There is a huge difference between being treated in an emergency and specifically requesting a female practitioner to perform a mammogram or smear test - neither of which are emergencies & can therefore be rescheduled in the event of staffing issues. I mean, that's obvious isn't it? A lot of shit goes out the window in an emergency and we tend to pick up the pieces after.

Having one's request overridden for a planned procedure is in itself a potentially re-traumatising experience for many victims of sexual violence. The very essence of sexual violence is for one's bodily autonomy to be disregarded by somebody in a position of power over you. To be considered just flesh, an object to be used.

Actually many scenarios within the NHS can make one feel similar and can be harder to deal with for survivors of sexual abuse but for obvious reasons, intimate procedures are going to be particularly stressful, even with a female practitioner. It's recognised that the best way to treat survivors with ptsd is to help them feel in control of as many aspects of the procedure as possible.

Many people with ptsd freeze in the event of perceived threat. The idea of a letter was so that a woman could ask in advance in case she was unable to stop a procedure with a male that she hadn't consented to.

I'm pretty incredulous that this has happened and that people are actually attempting to argue its OK.

Kantastic Sat 23-Nov-19 19:43:55

I'm not sure providing intimate care to an unwilling, distressed and effectively coerced patient is a 'right'. For anyone. In fact I'm suspicious of the motives of any hcp who would wish to do that.

It's a bit like the "rights" of male police officers to strip search women, which we saw discussed the other day.

It's quite astonishing how much of what is encompassed by "trans rights" is what no decent person would EVER insist on.

Siameasy Sat 23-Nov-19 19:44:25

And to underline’s unacceptable for boring old me to ask for a’s therefore also unacceptable for my 85 year old grandmother to ask for a female, it’s unacceptable for my 18 year old niece to ask for a female, it’s unacceptable for a rape victim to ask for a female, it’s unacceptable for someone who has previously been molested by a male gynae to ask for a female, it’s unacceptable for a victim of FGM to ask for a female....Disgraceful

LetsSplashMummy Sat 23-Nov-19 19:45:24

Even if someone would accept life saving treatment from a man, it doesn't make them hypocritical to not accept intimate screening from a man- these are very different situations.

Let's say you know there is lower uptake in screening in religious minorities and abuse survivors. You have the choice between saying "oh well, if they're going to be coy, they can just die at higher rates," or asking how to increase screening rates and listening when they tell you that female only care would be a solution.

This isn't some daft gotcha game, where you twist their words and try to find a way to encroach on their boundaries inch by inch (if you'd be okay when dying on a road... if you'd be okay with a man if ...). This isn't about winning, it's about healthcare access and respect.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 23-Nov-19 19:49:21

This isn't about winning, it's about healthcare access and respect.

Why wouldn't any caring, open minded person be willing to provide people with same sex hcps if that's what they wish and prefer, makes care easier for them, enables better health care for all? Why wouldn't it be ok to provide a wide range of options and provisions that respect everyone's needs?

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 19:50:40


This isn't some daft gotcha game, where you twist their words and try to find a way to encroach on their boundaries inch by inch (if you'd be okay when dying on a road... if you'd be okay with a man if ...). This isn't about winning, it's about healthcare access and respect.

Great wording! I think someone's done a 'Green Eggs and Ham' version of this - maybe we need a healthcare-focused one.

FadingStar Sat 23-Nov-19 19:54:13

That's why I think that despite this evil 'guidance', most HCPs on the ground will do their best to ensure female patients are listened to and respected and have the choice of female nurses and doctors. Well, I hope that's the case, anyway. But there are monstrous people in every profession.

Siameasy Sat 23-Nov-19 19:54:29

It's a bit like the "rights" of male police officers to strip search women, which we saw discussed the other day

Exactly that. Because if you tell the Male police officer who has started gender reassignment that he isn’t allowed to search females you're admitting he’s not actually female and that has to be covered up at all times; no one is allowed to admit this

Anything that lets the light in must be blocked

handbagsatdawn33 Sat 23-Nov-19 19:54:39

Just be grateful that ANYONE is attending to your problem.

CaptainKirksSpikeyGhost Sat 23-Nov-19 19:57:53

Just be grateful that ANYONE is attending to your problem.


I hope you've not read through the thread because as a response that's disgusting.

Kantastic Sat 23-Nov-19 19:58:30

Personally, I'm not traumatised or anything, but if I have a choice between a routine cervical smear from a man and no cervical smear, I'll just live with the increased the cancer risk. Smears are unpleasant enough anyway.

The same goes obviously for a cervical smear from a transwoman , except with much more strength of feeling. I would never under any circumstances be willing to receive intimate care from a transwoman who had deliberately applied for a job administering cervical smears or mammograms or other female-specific care.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 20:00:32

Just reflecting on the amazing job that trans rights activists have done on 'hearts and minds'

That people would happily sign-off NHS guidance that equates a female requesting that her single-sex boundaries are respected to being similar to racist and homophobic behaviour.

And that so many people will nod along, yep, that's awful, terrible woman, remove her. Evil transphobe.

And the accompanying minimisation - just be grateful/not a problem for me.

FadingStar Sat 23-Nov-19 20:04:33

It never fails to a amaze me that, despite the millions of women raped and abused and murdered by men every day, people STILL can't understand why women want to decide who touches them and who has access to them.

Bodily autonomy for men? Of course! Bodily autonomy for women? Nah!!!

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 23-Nov-19 20:05:46

Where does the discrimination end? The NHS is already talking about (quite rightly!) stopping treatment for people who ask for a doctor of a specific race. I don’t believe anyone should be saying they want to be treated by a ‘natal’ female — but if you do have issues with past sexual abuse etc you can certainly ask for them to be considered by having a third or even fourth person in the room.

Siameasy Sat 23-Nov-19 20:08:34

I don’t believe anyone should be saying they want to be treated by a ‘natal’ female

Why not? Why should they not say that they want a female?

Is it really beyond you to see why a female rape victim would only want a female to do a smear?! I cannot believed it is beyond your comprehension

Kantastic Sat 23-Nov-19 20:08:58

Where does the discrimination end?

Women already have the right to ask for a female health care practitioner; that's been established for a long time. Men also have a right to ask for a HCP of a specific sex. The "discrimination" ends there. That's it. Your question implies a slippery slope which has been proven in practice to not exist.

FadingStar Sat 23-Nov-19 20:09:42

Race and sex are two entirely different things. It isn't discrimination for a woman to only want treatment from women. We don't have to let men touch us ffs! Especially as so many of them have PROVEN they cannot be trusted around women.

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 23-Nov-19 20:09:56

Read my full response siamesy you get the answer hmm.

ClientListQueen Sat 23-Nov-19 20:10:17

I'm not generally bothered - I had a GUM exam by a male doctor who was great and fixed my recurring thrush issues. If I need emergency treatment, I don't care who does it

But for a coil fitting I requested a female, because I hate having it done, I'm on my period, scared and I just feel more comfortable. What bugged me was specifically requesting a female, 10 weeks before the appointment, I turn up to a male. I had to wait a long time for the appointment and what if I had requested them for specific reasons and couldn't have had a coil fitted? I did eventually have it done, it was incredibly painful and this time I asked to go to the complex patient clinic because I know the only person who does those is female

FadingStar Sat 23-Nov-19 20:10:53

I can't believe people are trying to force women to let men touch them intimately. What the actual FUCK!

stillathing Sat 23-Nov-19 20:12:29

I can't believe people are trying to force women to let men touch them intimately. What the actual FUCK!

It's incredible isn't it?!

littlbrowndog Sat 23-Nov-19 20:12:52

Yep fading

And we got women on here defending it ffs

littlbrowndog Sat 23-Nov-19 20:13:11

Erasing boundaries as ever

ScrimshawTheSecond Sat 23-Nov-19 20:14:33

this provokes such a visceral reaction in me. I've had to edit most of my post.

- the arrogance. The assumption that patients should lie back and do as they're told, that the medics know best, better than the woman, even when it comes to such deeply personal issues, that a woman's consent is so utterly meaningless.

What on earth would give me confidence in the care of someone who encounters a stress/trauma response in a vulnerable patient and decides it's not acceptable to their politics?

This is just sweeping away patient consent. It makes me feel sick.

forkfun Sat 23-Nov-19 20:15:24

I, as a rape and abuse survivor, do NOT want more people in the room. That's the fucking last thing I want @GrumpyHoonMain. I just want to be treated by a woman without a penis. It's not that difficult to understand. Being touched my men is difficult for me. I still suffer from complex PTSD. Your comments are truly heartless.

DeeZastris Sat 23-Nov-19 20:16:06

There really does seem to be a concerted effort to destroy women’s boundaries.

littlbrowndog Sat 23-Nov-19 20:16:18

No grumpy.

Some of us don’t want men touching us intimately.

Whether there 3 or 4 or 5 people watching

What abou5 that is you don’t get ?

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 20:16:47

Where does the discrimination end?

This word 'discrimination' becomes an interesting device when applied to intimate physical spaces and procedures.

Are we 'discriminating' against what you call natal-men when we choose not to get undressed beside them? Is that discrimination? Am I discriminating against a male if I choose to move away from them if they are undressing in the same space as I am?

Should I be called-up on my 'discrimination' for not letting them be present in my space at all/any times, however vulnerable I may be at that time, because I am female and they are male?

Are we 'discriminating' against these natal-men when we ask that female prisoners should not be told to share the same cell-space with them?

Are we 'discriminating' against these natal-men when we ask them that we'd rather a female instead carried out intimate procedures?

Discrimination starts to lose all meaning, for me, if this counts as discrimination.

And again, why would anyone need a third or fourth person in the room? What are the reasons that this would be accommodated for the person with a history of sexual abuse, but not just the basic 'not a male, please' request?

Uncompromisingwoman Sat 23-Nov-19 20:16:48

I sincerely hope that the tone deaf posters on here advocating ignoring women's boundaries and forcing them to receive intimate care from men are nothing to do with health care (or work with children, the vulnerable or even people generally). Some really insensitive posts.

FadingStar Sat 23-Nov-19 20:17:19

It's unbelievable. How much would it actually take to have just a little bit of empathy for your fellow women and just shut up and listen when they say NO to men.

NeurotrashWarrior Sat 23-Nov-19 20:18:43

Choice is everything. My comfort and dignity trumps any HCPs feelings.

It really is.

I had a female Gyne consultant make me feel stupid and a female nurse put me off smears for life when I was 20, whereas the male gyne consultant was nice however I fully reserve the right to choose a female dr for certain things. I certainly wanted a only female dr to check my bulging vulval veins when I was pregnant.

Only a female lactation consultant knows exactly what it's like to breastfeed. Even if they're a transman.

My practice offer the choice on the phone. So it would make an absolute mockery of doing that.

ScrimshawTheSecond Sat 23-Nov-19 20:20:25

For those who don't understand why some women may have an (apparently irrational) response to males providing intimate care: child abuse, sexual assault, rape, birth trauma, domestic violence.

All of these experiences are unfortunately very common.

There are also some women with religious objections.

At what point do you stop dismissing womens' consent and preferences? Where do you draw the line? Is it acceptable for a rape survivor to have a trauma response to a strange man being involved in her care? No?

NeurotrashWarrior Sat 23-Nov-19 20:21:06

The problem arises where it would be possible to be seen by a natal female but the hospital decides that a transgender woman counts as female and removes the right of the patient to elect someone with the same anatomy as them.


stillathing Sat 23-Nov-19 20:21:18

The problem with identity politics is it can mask power imbalances within relationships, which persist regardless. The race analogy used is especially poor because it switches the power imbalance - white people hold power over black people; men hold power over women. So women requesting not to be touched by males cannot be the racist white person in that analogy.

But it gets tricky because many patients, even those who aren't survivors of abuse, will feel as though the doctors and nurses are in a position of power over them. Being treated in a hospital can make one feel extremely vulnerable. One lacks a lot of agency about timings and where one has to be and what one has to do; what one can wear, who or what can be with you. The staff have the power to treat you and to treat you with respect, or not.

Hepsibar Sat 23-Nov-19 20:22:38

When allocated a Male midwife, although he was perfectly qualified, I did request to change to a female. I tried to stick with him as I knew logically but I just felt uneasy and then felt v worried about what people felt me swoping.

pombear Sat 23-Nov-19 20:22:45

Is it acceptable for a rape survivor to have a trauma response to a strange man being involved in her care? No?

From the look of it, Scrim, both from some responses on this thread, and the NHS guidance, no, it's not acceptable. sad

littlbrowndog Sat 23-Nov-19 20:22:47

It’s not irrational I just want a woman to do my care and I ask for it

I don’t want to turn up and there’s a guy


Stop trying to break down our boundaries as women

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