Psychiatry's ethical involvement in gender-affirming care

Australas Psychiatry. 2018 Oct;26(5):460-463. doi: 10.1177/1039856218775216. Epub 2018 May 21.


Objective: To reflect on the role of psychiatry in authorising physical treatments for Gender Dysphoria and to examine the quality of evidence for gender-reassignment.

Method: A Medline search was performed with the subject term "transsexualism" or "gender dysphoria" and "outcome" or "follow-up" in the title. Studies published from 2005 onwards reporting psychosocial outcomes were selected for review.

Results: Most available evidence indicating positive outcomes for gender reassignment is of poor quality. The few studies with robust methodology suggest that some patients have poor outcomes and may be at risk of suicide.

Conclusion: The author raises questions about the implications for ethical treatment of transgender individuals.

Keywords: ethics; gender dysphoria; gender-reassignment; transgender.

MeSH terms

  • Gender Dysphoria / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / ethics*
  • Psychiatry / ethics*
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery / ethics*