British group: To avoid offending patients, don’t use term ‘expectant mother’

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A prominent association representing medical professionals in Great Britain has asked its staff not to use the term “expectant mother” to avoid offending transgender and intersex patients, leading some critics to slam the organization for being too “politically correct.”

The guidelines, 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,” asks them to instead use the term “pregnant people.”

“Gender inequality is reflected in traditional ideas about the roles of women and men,” a pamphlet explaining the guidelines reads, according to “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 pamphlet continues. “We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers.’”

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The Sun reported that the group released the guidelines to “celebrate diversity.”

Among other stipulations, the guidelines also advise against using the term “Christian name,” as not every family is Christian, and the term “family name” in lieu of “last name,” as well as the avoidance of masculine noun-derived terms like “mankind and manpower,” reported.

“The elderly” should be avoided in favor of "older people," and "accessible lifts" used instead of "disabled lifts," the guidelines state, and people who are "biologically male or female" instead should be referred to as "assigned male or female," the news website reported.

The Sun reported that the guidelines have been released on the heels of news that revealed Britain’s first pregnant man, 20-year-old Hayden Cross, of Gloucester, was putting hormone therapy on hold to conceive. Cross was reportedly born a woman but is now legally a man. He is pregnant with donor sperm, the Sun reported.

The BMA has noted that it did not intend for the guidelines to apply to its nearly 156,000 doctor members, who interact directly with patients during their care.

“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.”

While some people on Twitter have applauded the association’s decision, arguing that it promotes inclusivity, others have suggested the guidelines are overly sensitive.