New article: "The Right to Trans-Specific Healthcare in Norway: Understanding the Health Needs of Transgender People"
Former PhD candidate Anniken Sørlie published an article in the Medical Law Review. The article is part of Sørlie's doctoral dissertation which was approved in May 2018.
Anniken Sørlie. Photo: UiO.
Human rights discourse on the rights of transgender people has to a large extent focused on access to correction of legal gender and medical preconditions for this change. Jurisdictions across the world are now beginning to free legal gender recognition from medical interventions and examinations. State bodies have, however, done little to realise the rights of transgender people to adequate healthcare. A key issue is whether international law obliges states to ensure access to trans-specific healthcare.
This article examines the right to healthcare appropriate to transgender persons’ needs. Drawing on in-depth interviews with transgender people living in Norway, it investigates how individuals explain their needs for trans-specific healthcare. It shows that Norwegian healthcare practice uses the diagnosis of ‘transsexualism’ to determine a person’s needs for trans-specific healthcare and as such excludes many from receiving the healthcare they need.
The article analyses whether trans-specific healthcare falls within the ambit of the right to health under Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the right to necessary healthcare under the Norwegian Patients’ Rights Act. It concludes that the Norwegian authorities are obliged to provide equal access to adequate trans-specific healthcare to those who need it.