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Trans man ‘threatened with axe in hospital ward’ by another patient’s family

Josh Milton October 9, 2019
(Stock photo via Elements Envato)

(Stock photo via Elements Envato)

Trans Australians actively avoid healthcare out of fear of discrimination and abuse – with one man reportedly threatened with an axe by another patient’s family – a damning study revealed.

La Trobe University PhD student Lucie Kerr surveyed 537 trans, non-binary and gender diverse people across Australia on their experiences of the country’s healthcare system.

According to researchers, trans patients are refused care, routinely deadnamed and are forced to educate medical professionals in finings that Kerr said are “deeply worrying”.

“We urgently need widespread training and education within the healthcare system,” she said, reported QNews.

“Although some reported having found understanding, well-informed doctors, most of our findings are concerning,” Kerr said in the report, ‘TRANScending Discrimination in Health and Cancer Care.’

Trans patient has life threatened with axe, and nurse allegedly just said: ‘You can’t bring that in here.’

One participant, a trans man suffering with lung cancer, described how doctors stripped and scrubbed him with no privacy.

As a result, a nearby family took photographs of him and shared the photos online.

Moreover, the patient then alleged that the family threatened his life with an axe.

(Stock photo via Elements Envato)
(Stock photo via Elements Envato)

“They said I was a waste of space and they were going to kill me,” he told the researchers.

“I kept trying to relay to the nurses and the doctors that my life was being threatened.

“They thought I was hallucinating.

“Eventually the dude came with an axe.

“A nurse who stopped him, she just said to him: ‘You can’t bring that in here.’”

Trans man assigned to a women’s ward.  

While another trans man detailed his ongoing frustration with hostile staff deadnaming him.

After being assigned to a woman’s ward, he objected, but his nurse was unmoved.

“You were born a woman, you will behave like a woman,” the nurse allegedly said, according to the man.

As a result, the man cancelled his post-operative appointments and vowed not to return to the hospital.

The man is not alone, research suggested, with many trans and gender-diverse patients reporting barriers between them and the healthcare they crucially need.

Around 59 percent of participants stated that mistreatment prevented them from accessing healthcare. While nearly seven in 10 trans patients said an inability to find a doctor they felt comfortable around had stopped them from seeking help.

‘[Trans] patients deserve the same level of dignity and respect as other patients,’ researcher stresses. 

Moreover, 41 percent of those who required emergency care had, at one point, avoided going because of their gender identity.

Almost a third reported having to educate a healthcare provider on a trans or gender-diverse issue.

“These patients deserve the same level of dignity and respect as other patients,” Kerr said.

“But at the moment, that’s not always happening.

“The majority of trans and gender diverse people will not always disclose their gender in a healthcare setting because they’re afraid of mistreatment.

“And the healthcare system does not collect meaningful data on gender.

“This means that their needs frequently go unconsidered, and this results in poorer health and wellbeing for this community.”

More: anti-trans violence, Australia, trans healthcare

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