As of January 1 2017, the Danish Health Data Authority discontinued the use of the transgender diagnosis codes “F64 Gender identity disorders” with the underlying codes. A set of new codes for treatment are instead created in a neutral chapter, where transgender is no longer considered a disease or disorder.
Words matter, says Linda Thor Pedersen of the rights organization LGBT Denmark. “It was very important, that terms like incongruence, disturbance and problem were left out of the codes used by the country’s medical community to track care.”
“The change”, she says, “makes it a code instead of a diagnosis whereas the old system made indirect discrimination possible.
Even though Denmark no longer considers transgender people mentally ill, the National Danish Health Board is still to update the treatment in congruence with the new codes. Today, any treatment requires a very long and draining psychological evaluation before any medical intervention.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, even though we’re moving in the right direction. It’s our opinion that health care in connection with treatment of transgender people should happen with informed consent instead of psychiatric evaluations,” said Linda Thor Pedersen.
The old diagnosis “Transsexualism” is replaced by the new code “Contact related to being transgender” and “Gender identity disorder“ replaced with “Contact related to transgender identity issues”.