Johns Hopkins Medicine in Maryland has enacted a new, woke ID badge policy requiring a “usage guide” for preferred pronouns and names.
The new policy allows hospital staff to include preferred pronouns and even preferred names on badges, presumably to match their “gender identity,” with limited exceptions.
The policy is apparently so fraught with issues, the hospital felt it necessary to create a detailed guide with 50 possible pronouns and instructions for their proper usage, reports Fox News.
The pronouns reportedly include “aerself, faerself, ve, xe, per,” and “ae.”
“Ae cleaned the office all by aerself,” reads one example sentence. “I gave faer the key,” reads another.
In addition to pronouns, the guide also reportedly details the proper usage of titles, instructing staff to use “Mr.” for men, “Miss” for women, or “Mx.” for “nonbinary or gender diverse people.”
In a podcast published by the hospital, its director of LGBTQ+ Equity and Education, Paula Neira, said the policy went into effect in March 2022, citing a change in Maryland law.
A spokesperson for the hospital said it adopted the new policy as part of its commitment to, “fostering a supportive, diverse and inclusive community.”
“As part of this focus and in compliance with Federal and state regulations, we enable our faculty, staff and employees to choose the way their names are displayed on their identification badges,” the spokesperson said.
As the hospital touts the change in the name of inclusiveness, critics warn it could negatively impact the relationship between medical providers and their patients.
Retired professor and former associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, says there must be “clear” communication between a doctor and a patient.
Goldfarb currently serves as board chair for Do No Harm, a collaborative of medical professionals, students and policy makers dedicated to “protect[ing] healthcare from a radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology.”
In addition to the obvious issue of misidentifying a patient or doctor, Goldfarb fears the badge policy could interfere with communication and ultimately with the doctor-patient relationship.
“The most important component of the physician-patient relationship is the ability to have clear and appropriate communication,” he said. “To use pronouns associated with one’s identification badge suggests that an individual has a particular ideological and political perspective.
“For some patients, this may be off-putting and actually damage the physician-patient relationship. Also, using a name that suggests a different gender from what the patient can clearly identify also could damage the physician-patient relationship, and should be avoided.”