WPATH Clarification

July 19, 2008

From the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) website:

In response to questions about medical necessity of transgender treatments and sex reassignment surgery, particularly in the U.S.A., where insurance exclusions often prevent access to health care for transgender people, the WPATH Board of Directors has issued a clarification statement which is now available on the Resources page of the WPATH web site.

Here’s a link to a PDF copy of the full statement on the WPATH site

A couple of selected excerpts:

The current Board of Directors of the WPATH herewith expresses its conviction that sex reassignment, properly indicated and performed as provided by the Standards of Care, has proven to be beneficial and effective in the treatment of individuals with transsexualism, gender identity disorder, and/or gender dysphoria.


The medical procedures attendant to sex reassignment are not “cosmetic” or “elective” or for the mere convenience of the patient. These reconstructive procedures are not optional in any meaningful sense, but are understood to be medically necessary for the treatment of the diagnosed condition.

The statement concludes by requesting health insurance carriers and healthcare providers in the US to “eliminate transgender or trans-sex exclusions and to provide coverage for transgender patients

Now, there’s nothing you could even remotely call news about this. That’s why it’s called a clarification, I suppose – but it’s odd that WPATH should think that health insurers should even need reminding.

I can’t help but wonder if it has any bearing on the forthcoming update of the DSM to DSM-V – see previous posts on the controversy surrounding the appointees to the GID review board here, here and here. Oh, and here.


©2008 Helen G

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