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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 17, Issue 2, Summer 2017

John A. Di Camillo
Pages 213-223

Gender Transitioning and Catholic Health Care

This essay discusses basic concepts that Catholic health care ministries should understand concerning so-called gender-transitioning interven­tions. Since genuine healing encompasses the whole person, transgender issues must be addressed in the full realistic terms of a body–soul union not merely in relation to experienced desires and feasible physiological modifications. For necessary clarity, the essay explains key distinctions between the terms disorders of sex development, gender dysphoria, and transgender. It argues that only bodily acceptance efforts can offer authentic healing in response to gender dysphoria, while all forms of gender transitioning, from psychological counsel­ing to cross-sex hormones and surgical “reassignment,” always contradict the good of the whole person. The essay concludes by emphasizing the significance of the educational role of Catholic health care and its call to witness even in the face of problematic recommendations by respected medical associations.