Spurring enormous debate across the global healthcare community, a leading medical association from the United Kingdom has requested its staff and representatives to no longer use the term ‘expectant mother’, in order to avoid causing offense to intersex and transgender patients.
Instead, the recommendation has been issued to use the term ‘expectant person’, promoting an immediate and strong backlash from those accusing the organisation of political correctness gone mad.
Published late last year by the British Medical Association (BMA) in a 14-page booklet titled “A Guide To Effective Communication: Inclusive Language In The Workplace,” the guidelines state that the term ‘pregnant people’ should be used in reference to any expectant individual.
“Gender inequality is reflected in traditional ideas about the roles of women and men,” a pamphlet explaining the guidelines reads, reports Metro.co.uk. “Though they have shifted over time, the assumptions and stereotypes that underpin those ideas are often deeply-rooted.”
“A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women,” the guideline continues.
“We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers.’”
The guidelines were reportedly published by the group as a means by which to “celebrate diversity”, though this is not how the document has been received by everyone.
Interestingly, the BMA issued a response to say that the guidelines were not in fact published for the information of its member doctors, who work with patients directly on the frontline.
“This is a guide for BMA staff and representatives aimed at promoting an inclusive workplace at the BMA,” the BMA said, according to the Sun.
“It is not workplace guidance for doctors, which is clear from the fact it does not refer to patients.”
The guidelines have been warmly received by some, though for the most part seems to have been interpreted as another example of political correctness being taken too far, perhaps becoming offensive in its own right.