Woman diagnosed with 'homosexuality' during medical appointment

Following a medical examination, a 19 year-old woman was given a report in which she was diagnosed with homosexuality as her 'current illness'.

Close up of hands writing a report in a medical environment
Image: Pexels

In 1990 homosexuality was removed from the list of mental illnesses by the World Health Organisation, and yet a young woman has just been diagnosed with homosexuality in Southeast Spain.

Having visited her gynaecologist for a menstrual condition, the 19 year-old was medically examined and then given a report which included the line ‘Current illness: homosexual’.

“At first, I thought it was funny, but it just isn’t,” said the young woman following her appointment at the Reina Sofía hospital in the city of Murcia on Monday, October 4.

The woman’s mother, who is also a health worker, spoke with the digital news outlet elDiario.es and told them that the doctor had asked for her daughter’s consent to include her sexual orientation in the report.

The young woman agreed, thinking that the detail may have been relevant until she was handed the piece of paper which revealed her diagnosis.

Following the incident, the young woman and her family reached out to Galactyco, a local LGBTQ+ collective, who have lodged a formal complaint on their behalf. The complaint was directed at Murcia’s regional government, the regional health ministry, and the regional health service. Not only do the family and collective want an apology, but they also want answers.

“The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses in 1990, and yet, 31 years on, there are still some professionals in Murcia’s health service who view sexual orientation as an illness,” a statement from Galactyco read.

They added that the legal rights of the patient had been ignored when she was diagnosed with homosexuality and they alleged that this was not an isolated incident.

The statement continued, “Our association has received countless reports of degrading treatment because of sexual or gender orientation. We find it alarming, unacceptable and intolerable that there are professionals today who are responsible for our health, but who ignore the realities of LGBTI people.”

A spokesperson for the regional health service told elDiario.es that they were aware of the incident and that, following initial investigations, the error seemed to have been made “when the patient’s details were taken”.

They said that “all necessary measures would be taken to properly establish the facts and to proceed accordingly” and the hospital would be offering an apology to the patient.

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