Medical Student and Professors Examine the Financial and Psychological Costs of Self-Castration in a Transsexual Woman

Article ID: 586259

Released: 28-Feb-2012 2:00 PM EST

Source Newsroom: George Washington University

Newswise — WASHINGTON (February 10, 2012)— Michael S. Irwig, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine, Anton Trinidad, M.D., PhD., associate professor of Psychiatry, and Matthew St. Peter, a fourth year medical student at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, co-authored an article in the Journal of Sexual Medicine entitled, “Self-Castration by a Transsexual Woman: Financial and Psychological Costs: A Case Report.” Dr. Irwig and his co-authors discuss the case of a transsexual woman who presented to the emergency room after undertaking self-castration. The full article can be viewed here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02621.x/abstract

The researchers concluded that the health care costs associated with treating a patient after self-castration were almost four times greater than having an elective outpatient surgical castration and that further research in this area of medicine needs to be conducted.

“Patients who choose to perform self-castrations often face significant financial barriers as elective castration is typically not covered under health insurance plans in the United States” said Dr. Irwig. “They are often frustrated at the slow pace of their male-to-female transition.”

In order to reduce the number of self-castrations, urologists who are willing to perform surgery on transsexuals must be identified and more pressure needs to be put on health care insurance companies to cover the procedure. These tactics are a few measures that can reduce the financial costs to patients and to the health care system.

About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:Founded in 1825, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.


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