Informed Consent in the Medical Care of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Patients

AMA J Ethics. 2016 Nov 1;18(11):1147-1155. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2016.18.11.sect1-1611.


Informed consent as a model of care has evolved as an alternative to the standard model of care recommended by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's Standards of Care, version 7, which emphasizes the importance of mental health professionals' role in diagnosing gender dysphoria and in assessing the appropriateness and readiness for gender-affirming medical treatments. By contrast, the informed consent model for gender-affirming treatment seeks to acknowledge and better support the patient's right to, and capability for, personal autonomy in choosing care options without the required involvement of a mental health professional. Clinicians' use of the informed consent model would enable them both to attain a richer understanding of transgender and gender-nonconforming patients and to deliver better patient care in general.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gender Dysphoria* / diagnosis
  • Gender Dysphoria* / therapy
  • Gender Identity
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Services for Transgender Persons / ethics
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent*
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Mental Health*
  • Patient Rights*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Sex Reassignment Procedures* / ethics
  • Sex Reassignment Procedures* / psychology
  • Standard of Care
  • Transgender Persons*
  • Transsexualism*