Issues concerning and directly affecting the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQ+) people, many of which are related to human rights, still remain open. Around the world and in various societies, LGBT people still face serious discrimination and marginalization that threaten their right to high-quality healthcare (Radix & Maingi, 2018). Significant psychological and peer pressure often manifests into depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders in LGBT people which remains one of the main concerns of the global healthcare industry.
However, it is important to note that the health issues of the LGBT community also include, in addition to psychological and mental health issues, many other topics. Among these are the breast and cervical cancer, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as STDs and hepatitis. Especially acute nowadays stands the problem of restricted access to medical assistance for transgender people (Kcomt, 2018). Additionally, there are more legally unacceptable issues such as attempts to “treat” homo/bisexuality via conversion therapy, denial of medical care based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and “outing” of LGBT teenagers to their parents. Thus, it is crucial to understand that different groups of the LGBT community have their own specific needs, problems, and barriers in the field of healthcare.
The ethical basis of the professional activity of a nurse lies in the concepts of humanity and mercy. Nurses are the first line of interaction between the patient and the healthcare system, therefore, they need not only to offer medical assistance but also educate the community they are working in. A possible intervention that could help relieve the burden of health-related issues from LGBT people is the provision of relevant, evidence-based, and ethical education on the most important topics. Such topics could include cancer prevention, safe sex and protection measures, and healthy strategies for coping with stress. According to Bristowe et al. (2017), “knowledge of local LGBT friendly support services was recognised as important, enabling professionals to signpost individuals towards support” (p. 31). Additionally, it could be useful to include anonymous counseling for LGBT teenagers as they are the most vulnerable group of community due to their dependence on parents. Overall, continuous and quality education is a perspective and valuable measure that can be effectively used to relieve issues associated with LGBT people healthcare.
Bristowe, K., Hodson, M., Wee, B., Almack, K., Johnson, K., Daveson, B. A., Koffman, J., McEnhill, L., & Harding, R. (2017). Recommendations to reduce inequalities for LGBT people facing advanced illness: AccessCare national qualitative interview study. Palliative Medicine, 32(1), 23–35.
Kcomt, L. (2018). Profound health-care discrimination experienced by transgender people: Rapid systematic review. Social Work in Health Care, 58(2), 201–219.
Radix, A., & Maingi, S. (2018). LGBT cultural competence and interventions to help oncology nurses and other health care providers. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 34(1), 80–89.