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Jane Bates: Madness of NHS plan to ask patients their gender preference

A directive from NHS England asking health professionals to record the sexual orientation of all patients and service users aged 16 and over is impractical and intrusive, says Jane Bates.

A directive from NHS England asking health professionals to record the sexual orientation of all patients and service users aged 16 and over is impractical and intrusive, says Jane Bates.

Imagine the scene. You are wheezing so loudly it sounds like someone is tuning bagpipes in your chest cavity, you are coughing and your GP looks so exhausted you are not sure which of you will cry first.

Then comes the question: tell me about your sexual orientation and gender preference . There is barely time to rasp ‘mind your own business’ before your allotted ten nanoseconds with the doctor is over.

An exaggeration maybe, but only just. Expecting health professionals to ask all patients about their gender and sexuality is madness, surely. If it is relevant to their situation, then

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