China drafts guidelines for sex change surgeries

June 17th, 2009 - 4:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, June 17 (ANI): In a bid to regulate country’s sex change surgeries, Chinese Health Ministry is set to issue its first clinical guideline on such medical operations.

The ministry is now soliciting public and professional opinions on the draft guideline. The coming guideline aims to regulate and standardize sex reassignment surgery, part of a treatment for gender identity disorder in transsexuals, China Daily quoted a release on the Ministry of Health website, as saying.

According to expert estimates, nearly 2,000 Chinese have undergone sex-change surgery while 100,000 to 400,000 are still considering it.

In the draft, the MOH sets minimum criteria for both surgical candidates and medical institutions. Candidates for the surgery must be older than 20 and single.

They are also required to prove a persistent desire for a sex change, to live for at least five consecutive years full-time in the new gender role, and to engage in mental therapy for at least one year.

The candidate must provide proof from police that he or she has does not have any criminal offenses in the past. Police must agree to change the sex status on the identity card of the prospective receiver before the operation can take place.

Qiu Renzong, bioethicist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said some clauses in the draft are inappropriate.

“As long as a person meets the physical and mental requirements, she or he should be granted the permit to have the surgery. The police should change the sex of the receiver on the identity card accordingly,” he said.

He Qinglian, a veteran sex-change surgeon, said all stakeholders, including the hospital and prospective receivers, should be highly cautious about this surgery, as the receiver may not like his new role.

Xiao Feng (alias), a transsexual in Beijing, said he visited different doctors and got varied opinions. Some suggested the sex-change surgery while others did not.

“I was confused by the different ideas and I hope the government can set scientific and uniform guidelines for such surgery,” he said. (ANI)

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