Since January 2015, the state of Oregon signed transgender related health-care, including sex-change surgery into law.
As the consenting legal age for medical care is 15 in Oregon, teenagers could benefit from this inclusion through Medicaid as well. State-subsidized transgender health-care and sex-change surgery has thus become a hot topic for detractors who claim that parental control is fully lost through this addition.
Yet, for decades teenagers aged 15 have had the right to consent to medical treatment as envisioned in the state’s law. The fact that they can now require sex-change surgery and transgender health-care is a simple extension, state-subsidized or not.
In fact, it is quite rare that the group which became the target of controversy undergoes medical treatment without the parents’ knowledge or consent. In addition, transition health-care and sex-change surgery are lengthy processes safeguarded by a bundle of other provisions enacted in the Oregon law.
Danni Askini, the executive director of Gender Justice League and former Oregon resident stated:
“It’s not like surgery on demand”.
In fact, all transgender health-care covered by Medicaid and not only are designed to curb depression rates as well as emotional suffering associated with gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is the condition that describes the transgender experience of being born into another gender than the expressed one.
Gender dysphoria increases the risk of suicide in the transgender community according to numerous studies that underpinned the transgender related health-care law in Oregon. The law was not specifically designed for 15-year olds as many have argued.
The decision to include transgender health-care and sex-change surgery for Medicaid coverage was taken by the Health Evidence Review Commission. Transgender health-care in Oregon now includes cross-sex hormone therapy, sex-change surgery as well as puberty suppressing drugs.
And while the age for medical consent in Oregon is set at 15, the Oregon Health Authority declared:
“However, nothing in Oregon law requires a health care provider to provide medical services to a minor or safeguard the confidentiality of a minor. In most cases, providers will encourage (and in some cases require) family engagement and support unless it would endanger the patient”.
Since January, Medicaid covered sex-change surgery worth of 30,000 dollars. 10 adults have undergone gender reassignment surgery covered by Oregon Health Plan and 17 teenagers are undergoing cross-sex hormone therapy.
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