NMC directs major changes in Medical Education Curriculum, Textbooks to make them LGBTQIA friendly, details
New Delhi: Complying with the suggestions and views put forward by the Madras High Court on the 'queerphobia' in MBBS and PG medical courses, the National Medical Commission (NMC), while addressing the issue raised by the LGBTOIA+ Community, has directed necessary changes in competencies of CBME curriculum.
Issuing an advisory for all medical institutions across the country, the apex medical regulator has asked the concerned authorities as well as authors to amend the information in the textbooks and not recommend those textbooks and data with unscientific and discriminatory information about virginity, LGBTQIA+ Community, and homosexuals.
Earlier last month, the Madras High Court, while dealing with a plea, highlighted the need of revamping the existing medical courses' curriculum and making them up to date. The bench had observed that medical courses in India reaffirm queerphobia and discrimination against the LGBTQIA + communities.
The court had pointed out that medical professionals often apply treatment methods on transgenders which are more of a conversion therapy camouflaged as medical and mental health support.
The court then adverted to the report submitted by a transwoman doctor, which stated that currently, for undergraduate students studying Forensic Medicine as part of the MBBS course, the medical curriculum describes sodomy and lesbianism as sexual offences, and 'transvestism' (cross-dressing) as a 'sexual perversion'.
Upset by the report, the court said it reflected how queerphobia was being reaffirmed as legitimate throughout the education of a doctor who might go on to become a psychiatrist or any physician who might be approached by a person from the community. The bench pointed out that the knowledge about a patient's gender identity and sexuality may be of interest to a doctor, physician and a mental health professional if it is pertinent in cracking the course of treatment, but the course of treatment cannot be one which aims to "cure" their gender identity or sexuality itself.
The Court then sought the NMC to file a report as to how it will be going to handle this issue in the future by carrying out necessary changes in the curriculum.
Thereafter, in a similar order, the Kerala High Court directed the NMC to review the queerphobia text in MBBS course textbooks.
Now, taking into account the direction passed by the Madras High Court, the NMC has issued an advisory for all stakeholders, authors of medical academic textbooks and institutions.
Stating that it has been noted that that the various textbooks of medical education mainly of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology subject and Psychiatry subject contains unscientific information about virginity and also contains derogatory remarks against LGBTQIA+ Community and homosexuals, the NMC advised:
In this connection, all the Medical Universities/Colleges/Institutions are directed by the NMC:
While teaching UG & PG students wherever the issue of gender or similar kind arise, the mention of Clinical history or complaints or signs/symptoms, examination findings or history about nomenclature shall not be taught in such a way that it becomes/perceived in any way derogatory/ discriminatory/ insulting to LGBTQIA+ community.
Further, all the authors of Medical Text Books are instructed under the advisory to:
Amend the information about virginity, LGBTQIA+ Community and homosexuals, etc. in their textbooks according to the available scientific literature, guidelines issued by the Government, and directions passed by the Hon'ble Courts.
Furthermore, all the Medical Universities/Colleges/Institutions have been directed:
Not to approve the books as recommended books by the University if the books have unscientific, derogatory, and discriminatory information about virginity, LGBTQIA+ Community, and homosexuals.
To view the official NMC advisory, click on the following link:
For more details, log on to the official website of NMC: