American Medical Association Calls for Updated Gender Change Requirements

The American Medical Association follows in the steps of the World Health Organization, making it easier for transgender people to obtain accurate identification.

BY Parker Marie Molloy

June 10 2014 8:31 AM ET

The American Medical Association on Monday adopted a policy declaring that transgender individuals should not be required to undergo genital surgery in order to update legal identification documents, including birth certificates.

Just days after New York became the sixth state to allow trans individuals to update birth certificates without proof of surgery, the AMA has amended its official policies to advocate for similar action nationwide.

“Birth certificates are primarily used for legal matters, not medical,” the new AMA policy states. "Requiring sex-reassignment surgery places a burden on an already marginalized population."

The nation's preeminent medical authority supports the abolition of surgical requirements in an effort "to ensure accurate gender markers on birth certificates."

Historically, the AMA's policies regarding transgender health policy have often been more progressive than actual public policy as implemented by lawmakers and courts. The AMA currently supports the inclusion of transition-related healthcare in public and private insurance plans, which remains an ongoing struggle within the U.S. insurance system itself.

Last week, the World Health Organization issued a similar ruling on the topic of birth certificates and surgical requirements.

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