STRASBOURG, France — The European Parliament has petitioned the World Health Organization to cease classifying transgender people as mentally ill, and to eliminate the current classification pf “gender dysphoria” as a “mental and behavioral disorder” in the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases.
“The European Parliament calls on the Commission and the World Health Organization to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioral disorders, and ensure a non-pathologizing reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases.”
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) serves as a global reference on physical and mental troubles. Until 1990, the ICD also classified homosexuality as a mental illness. The list is currently under review — the next version should be finalized in 2015.
“Transgender identities are still considered a mental disorder by the World Health Organization,” said Dutch Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Emine Bozkurt, author of the resolution. “This must be changed urgently, and certainly by the time the next version comes into effect in 2015.”
“Transgender people wishing to live in a body that matches their identity are of course entitled to medical treatment and its benefits, but the negative stigma surrounding them must stop,” she said.
MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda, said that classifying transgender people as mentally ill “means they are not free to decide for themselves, and are often disrespected by the medical profession, their employers and their families.”