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  • Medical students unite worldwide for marriage equality

    AMSA (that's us!) has joined AMSA (that's the Australian Medical Students’ Association) and signed on to their draft policy statement which was submitted to the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), calling on governments worldwide to legalize same-sex marriage.

    The Australian Medical Students' Association President Mr. Ben Veness said, “We reject discrimination based on gender and sexuality in all its forms. Legislation marginalising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals contributes to their increased mental health risks. LGBTI individuals are more likely to attempt suicide and have an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders and drug addictions. There are no health arguments in favour of defining marriage as a legal union solely between a man and a woman. As medical students, we want to see every individual have the best opportunity for good health. Marriage equality will help achieve this.”

    The Australian medical students will be traveling to Baltimore, Maryland, next month to present their policy at the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations General Assembly. Read more here.

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  • Steps toward equality but still a long way to go....

    By Lexi Light
    Chair, AMSA Gender & Sexuality Committee

    Last week’s national elections brought the re-election of President Barack Obama, along with keeping Democratic control of the Senate and Republican control of the House of Representatives.

    With the re-election of President Obama, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will now have the opportunity to be carried out over the next 4 years. While the age of medical coverage on one’s parents plan until 26 is already in effect, we will soon be seeing many other aspects of the ACA put into action. This includes expanded coverage to women’s health care for which contraceptive counseling and contraception is only the beginning. The mandate also covers annual well woman visits, STD and HIV screening, prenatal care, breastfeeding support, mammograms, and intimate partner violence services. This is a huge victory for women, and one step closer to AMSA’s goal of universal healthcare coverage for all people in the United States.

    Additionally, Maine, Maryland, and Washington State all passed “marriage equality” amendments and Minnesota voted down the bill that would have constitutionally defined marriage as between a man and a woman. In a 2006 article, “I Do, but I Can’t” the authors address that lack ...

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  • Where do we draw the line between rights and benefits?

    Carl G. Streed Jr.
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

    Following the unjust denial of Janice Langbehn's right to be at the bedside as her partner of 18 years, Lisa Pond, lie dying, Pres. Obama directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to address hospital visitation, medical decision-making, and other health care issues that affect LGBT patients and their families, resulting in the granting of hospital visitation rights to patient chosen designees.

    "...the failure to have [Americans'] wishes respected concerning who may visit them or make medical decisions on their behalf has real consequences. It means that doctors and nurses do not always have the best information ... It means that a stressful and at times terrifying experience for patients is senselessly compounded by indignity and unfairness. And it means that all too often, people are made to suffer or even to pass away alone, denied the comfort of companionship in their final moments while a loved one is left worrying and pacing down the hall." Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies

    But this past weekend, the Republican Presidential hopeful made clear ...

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  • Why AMSA Cares that Obama Came Out In Support of Marriage Equality

    Carl Streed
    Baltimore MD
    AMSA National LGBT Policy Coordinator

    Earlier today, President Obama said, "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

    These words follow a impatient wait for the President to "evolve," but a wait well worth the significant impact for same-sex couples in the United States. After Vice-President Biden's remarks, many feared that the White House would distance itself from the issue in preparation for the upcoming national election; and there was some movement away from the vice-president's statements. But today, following the disappointment in North Carolina and Colorado, the President has finally aligned himself with the beliefs and wishes of millions of Americans.

    Why does the American Medical Student Association care about a political and social issue some would argue is removed from health care, from the clinic, from medical education?

    AMSA cares about marriage equality because it affects the lives of our patients, it affects the well-being of our communities. Without federal marriage equality, same-sex couples are less likely to have employer-sponsored dependent coverage, ("exclusion [...] from civil marriage and the failure of domestic partnership benefits to provide insurance parity contribute to unequal access to health coverage"), ...

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