#MacworryMedSchool - Student Letter to Macquarie University Dean re: LGBTIQ Health Considerations
Medicine and Health Sciences
6 August 2017
Dear Professor Patrick McNeil,
The Australian Medical Association and Australian Medical Students' Association (AMSA) have expressed deep concerns that a new medical degree at Macquarie University will not address the shortage of internship places and post-internship training resources in Australia. While I echo the concerns of Federal AMA President Dr Michael Gannon and NSW AMA President Dr Brad Frankum as a medical student studying in the same state as the new medical degree, I am particularly moved to writing for the protection of the prospective Macquarie medical students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ).
I am gravely concerned about the personal safety of the students enrolled in this new medical degree. The compulsory 5-month placement in Hyderabad will subject them to the criminalisation of homosexuality and the homophobia in India. The Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises //carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal //. The punishment for consenting adults can be life imprisonment.
In the LGBTIQ Health Policy 2016, AMSA asks Australian medical schools to avoid stigmatising models of sexuality, sexual orientation, intersex status and gender identity, as well as to develop modules on anti-discrimination legislation and the legal responsibilities of medical
professionals to LGBTIQ individuals (https://www.amsa.org.au/…/…/LGBTIQ%20Health%20%282016%29.pdf).
May I ask what measures of protection, both legally and personally, will Macquarie University offer to support students who are LGBTIQ during placement in India?
Will Macquarie University actively inform students applying to this new degree of about legal and social norms in India, inclusive of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code?
WIll Macquarie University join in the advocacy to repeal the Section 377?
I humbly ask for reconsideration of the proposed medical degree, and the protection of the prospective Macquarie medical students who are LGBTIQ.
//The AMA has urged the Federal Government to reject Macquarie University’s “ill-conceived” plan to open a medical school for full-fee paying students.// https://ama.com.au/aus…/macquarie-medical-school-plan-panned
"50 years ago, UK decriminalised gay sex but India still hangs on to this colonial legacy" The Times of India, 30 July 2017: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/…/articlesh…/59826138.cms
Published: 09 Aug 2017