Published: 14th October 2021
NCM directs institutes to refrain from being derogatory against LGBTQIA+ community in class or textbooks
The advisory was in pursuance of the direction that was issued by the Madras High Court recently regarding the same issue
The National Medical Commission (NCM) issued an important advisory for all medical institutions with regards to the “unscientific information” rampant across various textbooks of medical institutions with regards to virginity and the derogatory remarks against the LGBTQIA+ community. The notice laid stress on these issues in subjects such as Forensic Medicine, Toxicology and Psychiatry, it pointed out.
In the advisory dated October 13, 2021, all medical universities, colleges and institutions, when teaching UG and PG students, were requested to be careful while getting into subjects such as gender and related subjects including “clinical history or complaints or signs/symptoms, examination findings or history about nomenclature”. It needed to be thought in a way that isn't, or even perceived to be, derogatory, discriminatory or insulting to the LGBTQIA+ community.
It did not stop at that. It asked authors of medical textbooks to refer to available scientific literature, guidelines issued by the government and directions passed by the courts and accordingly amend the information provided in the books. It even cautioned medical universities, colleges and institutions with regards to giving approvals to books that contained "unscientific, derogatory and discriminatory information".
Thus, the advisory directly addresses this particular issue of the LGBTQIA+ community and the necessary changes in the competencies of CBME. It was also in reference to Madras High Court's judgment from last month that brought to light the fact that "queerphobia", which was in direct reference to the prejudicial attitudes and behaviour towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) people, that was prevalent across medical education.