Across Europe, Doctors Still Treat Homosexuality Like An Illness

"LGBT people have the same rights...to healthcare as everyone else."

A new report shows that a large number of doctors across Europe still think being gay is an illness.

A survey conducted by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights interviewed medical professionals from 19 member states and found that as many as 50% of doctors in some countries still treat homosexuality as if it were an illness.

The report reveals that in countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, medical professionals spoke of “catching” homosexuality. In Romania in particular, over half of the doctors referred to homosexuality as a disorder.

In one response, from a Romanian nurse, LGBT people were described as “plague stricken.”

“We consider that these illnesses are generated by the fact that these people had an unhappy incident during childhood and then they try somehow to respond to this need in a different way than the other people,” she said.

“When [a homosexual] goes for the first time to a medical department then it is for sure that that person is regarded by employees, starting with the bodyguard and ending I don’t know where, as plague-stricken.”

Michael O’Flaherty, director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, said that this report highlights the work that still needs to be done in the fight for LGBT equality.

“LGBT people have the same rights to education, to healthcare and to be treated equally as everyone else. They too have the right to live their life in dignity, free from fear and discrimination,” he said.

“FRA’s latest findings reveal how some doctors still wrongly believe that homosexuality is a disease. They underscore the need for the EU and its Member States to empower public officials to act on their duty to deliver high quality service to help end the suffering many LGBT people experience.”

In addition to addressing problems facing the gay community, the report also shows that trans people continue to suffer due to a lack of awareness in healthcare.

h/t: Pink News

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