Health

Children’s Hospital Removes Gender from Its Patients’ Wristbands

The idea started with a 'gender diversity task force,' but is this safe for all the kids receiving care?

Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado, has removed the gender identification from their patients’ wristbands as part of an effort to support their “unique gender identity.”

The idea started with a gender diversity task force, and is “now being used across the Aurora hospital,” reported local NBC affiliate KUSA.

“We are seeing more and more patients who have diverse gender identities,” Dr. Natalie Nokoff, a pediatric specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, told the news station.

“I think that’s true of programs all across the United States.”

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“We’ve removed #gender markers from patient wristbands and more,” tweeted the hospital.

“See how else we support our #transgender and #nonbinary patients at our hospital,” and included the hashtags #TransHealth #LGBTHealth

One patient, a teenager identified only as “Ben,” said the decision is “huge.”

He’s been a patient at the hospital for roughly two years, and identifies as a female to male transgender.

It’s “bigger than anything on this planet,” he told KUSA. “Looking down and seeing that ‘F’ [female], I’m just like, ‘No. That’s not right.'”

The teen made his comments alongside his mom, Paula Grison, who is a lawyer representing the LGBTQ community, said KUSA. Grison said going to Children’s Hospital Colorado is “more than getting the right medicine.”

She said, “It’s also having care providers who treat you with the respect and dignity you are craving. And that’s what this does.”

The teenager is part of a group of about 800 patients at the hospital’s TRUE Center for Gender Diversity — which stands for “trust, respect, understand, emerge.” The hospital terms the group a “safe space.”

Related: Popular LGBT Activist Renounces Homosexuality, Calls It a Sin

“True is what we stand for — Trust, Respect, Understand, Emerge — so you can stay true to you,” notes the website.

While gender will be omitted from wristbands, Dr. Nokoff said patients’ medical history will still be recorded — thank goodness for that.

“In aspects of their identity or body parts that they have for safety reasons are documented elsewhere, she noted. “That’s still captured in the medical record. We didn’t feel like there was any reason why that had to be publicly displayed on a wristband or sticker.”

Many of the reactions on social media ranged from incredulous to downright confused.

See more about the hospital’s decision in the video below.

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