Kristina Rodriguez is a lesbian, and she doesn’t think her sexuality should matter when it comes to medical treatment.
She certainly doesn’t think it’s a medical problem. But that’s exactly how her sexuality was listed in her medical history records, she told television station WSOC.
After having blood work done at Lake Park Family Practice of Carolinas Healthcare System in Union Count, Rodriguez said she noticed that “lesbianism” was listed under the heading for medical “problem list.”
“This listed as a medical problem could really set someone back, could mess with their self esteem and could make them think something is wrong with them,” Rodriguez told the Charlotte TV station, adding that she doesn’t want anyone else to feel judged if they have a similar issue with their records.
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She said her doctor and a director of Carolinas Healthcare System told her that her sexuality was listed as a medical problem to protect her from being offended. Rodriguez said her doctor offered to move her sexuality to the notes section of her records after she complained.
Sexuality shouldn’t matter on medical records, Rodriguez said, but if it must be included in records, it shouldn’t be as a medical problem.
Carolinas Healthcare System released a statement following Rodriguez’ complaint:
“Carolinas HealthCare System recognizes optimum care depends on strong relationships between doctors, care teams and patients. To that end, our physicians and care teams seek information to help them understand as much as possible about patients, their families, and their lives to treat them holistically. Health care providers everywhere are working to better understand the best way to include information in the most sensitive and respectful way to each patient. Like other providers, we are continuously working to improve our process and have work underway to enhance our efforts to appropriately collect patient information in accordance with industry best practices guided by the Human Rights Campaign.
Sexual orientation is not a clinical diagnosis and we will be working closely with our physicians and providers to ensure that information included in medical records is appropriate, respectful and consistent with our belief in the importance of diversity. We strongly support diversity and inclusion in all our interactions with patients, the public and our teammates, including creating an affirming environment for LGBT patients and their families.”