(Daily Caller News Foundation) – Northwestern Medicine (NM) hospitals in Chicago will soon allow patients to identify as “X” instead of male or female, according to a Monday announcement.
The hospital system, which is affiliated with Northwestern University, announced on Dec. 18 that the new policy will be implemented for all 11 of NM’s hospitals over 200 outpatient centers. Any patients who identify as transgender, nonbinary or intersex will be able to label their sex as “X” instead of male or female on all legal documents.
Dr. Sumanas Jordan, director of the Gender Pathways Program at NM said that this is simply an effort to “affirm every patient’s gender identity,” according to the press release.
“Northwestern Medicine hospitals and outpatient centers affirm every patient’s gender identity,” Jordan said. “The new medical record designation will enhance communication with patients, align with best practices and help our staff better meet the needs of the diverse population we serve.”
Medical records will also include sections for patients to indicate their gender identity and sexual orientation, according to the announcement. Over 200 employees were involved in creating the new policy and five “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity experts” conducted trainings for staff, including 20 in-person sessions and one online training.
“Gender identity is vital to people’s sense of who we are, and our care providers must have that information to create a comprehensive healthcare plan,” Cindy Barnard, vice president of quality, said in the announcement. “The ‘X’ designation will give us a deeper understanding of our patients’ needs and help us communicate in the most respectful and sensitive way.”
The system’s Gender Pathways Program offers breast augmentation, vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, facial masculinization and feminization surgeries, among others, according to its website. The program also offers hormone therapy without any need for a “letter of readiness” often provided by mental health professionals.
NM and NU did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s media request.