Every Monday EFC busts myths and take names, cutting through the misinformation, disinformation, and straight up nonsense to bring you the facts.Today's blog was inspired by a recent tweet from @christineburns who pointed out that abortion is not the only procedure which requires the signatures of two separate doctors.
As Christine points out, during discussions of Nadine Dorries' failed amendments to the health and social care bill last week some MPs and commentators stated that abortion is the only situation whereby somebody has to obtain the signature of two doctors for the procedure to be granted legal. Abortion rights campaigners are keen to point out that no other medical procedure requires this level of intervention, but, as Christine rightly points out, this same requirement is true of gender reassignment procedures. The 2004 Gender Recognition Act makes legal recognition of a transsexual person's true gender dependent on reports from two doctors and this GIRES document offering guidance to transmen on genital surgeries states that "two referrals supporting your clinical need for genital surgery are usually required before a surgeon will undertake it. In the UK one of these must be from a medical doctor (a gender psychiatrist) and the other can be a psychologist, endocrinologist or GP for instance."
So it's simply not true that abortion is the only procedure which requires two doctors' signatures- thanks again to Christine Burns for highlighting this. Check out her blog Just Plain Sense here. And the RCOG's comments on the requirement of two signatures for legal abortion here.