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In an effort to promote inclusiveness for all gender groups, the UK National Health Service has removed gender-specific words from medical advice.
The service has been widely criticized as many procedures and methods of examination, patients need to answer inadequate questions from the medical staff.
For example, before undergoing an x-ray or MRI, all men and boys aged 12 and over will be asked if they are pregnant. And on a poster warning about the negative effects of x-rays on the fetus, pregnant women are called “people with internal genital organs.”
“Excessive and sophisticated efforts to include certain groups often end up excluding other groups,” ; said Stella O'Malley, psychotherapist and founder of the Genspect campaign group.
“The NHS needs to go back to plain and simple language if they want to help as many people as possible. The purpose of this poster — keep patients out of harm's way by warning pregnant women that it is dangerous to expose themselves to certain types of examinations. But this poster is inappropriate for that purpose because it is rather obscure. People who do not speak English well will find this text difficult to understand. I wonder who decided that the needs of women are considered less important? — added O'Malley.
The NHS spokesperson defended the use of the poster, saying it was in line with good practice guidelines.
“This poster was created in accordance with “Inclusive recommendations on pregnancy status for ionizing radiation” Society of Radiologists", — he said.
The terms “women” and "girls" have also been excluded from websites and medical protocols and guidelines related to menstruation, breastfeeding menopause, and uterine and ovarian cancer.
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