Despite significant progress in legal protections for—and the visibility of—LGBT people over the past decade, LGBT communities continue to face systemic obstacles to quality health care such as refusals of care, substandard care, and inequitable policies and practices in health care settings. These experiences of discrimination correlate with significant health disparities, including greater exposure to violence, higher rates of tobacco and other substance use, mental health concerns, HIV, and cancer. These disparities are even more pronounced for LGBT people who are also members of other groups that face discrimination because of race, ethnicity, or other aspects of identity—such as people of color and immigrants, among others.
In this seminar, students will learn about LGBT health law and policy issues from a variety of perspectives—including medicine, public health, women's studies, and U.S. foreign policy—and gain a better understanding of the social mistreatment and ostracism of LGBT people at both the individual and community level. Topics covered will include international human rights law, LGBT-inclusive data collection, clinical and cultural competency, and health issues facing LGBT youth and elders. This course will also examine the ways in which LGBT individuals and families are treated under federal, state, and international law and how these policies impact access to health care and contribute to health disparities.