Gay Patient Offended At Outdated Diagnosis
A Southern California doctor in Torrance, California last week diagnosed an openly gay new patient after she did routine tests on Matthew Moore, 46. The tests revealed nothing out of the ordinary for Moore – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a deficiency of B-12.
Moore was not surprised at these findings – “normal for me.” It was what he saw on his report that flabbergasted him upon returning to the office of the doctor, who goes unnamed, in Manhattan Beach. The doctor listed “Homosexual Behavior” as a chronic condition on Moore’s patient plan.
Offensive to Moore
According to the medical records obtained by KNBC4 the television station at which Moore was interviewed, the doctor had affixed code 302.0 to his “chronic” condition. This code refers to homosexuality as a medical condition or illness, a chronic condition that was removed for the Diagnostic Manual for Psychiatrists in 1973.
Said Moore, “Here’s another way that gay people are lessened and made to feel less-than, and then as I thought about it and as I dealt with it, it angered me.”
Moore states that he does not plan on filing a lawsuit against the doctor, but decided to speak up for himself and other gay persons. The doctor defended her position and said that homosexuality should be treated as a chronic illness and “it’s still up for debate on how to treat homosexuality “which she thought of as a disease.
Moore, disagreeing with the doctor, filed a complaint with the doctor’s office. He demanded a return of his $30 co-pay, and received a letter apologizing: “ We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network (which runs the doctor’s office) does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition and we do not endorse or approve of the use of Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality.”
“You Have to Speak Up”
Moore shared his story so others will learn from his experience. “Government tells us, often times, that we’re not equal. Many churches tell us that we are sinners. Doctors tell us we are sick. And it’s gotta’ stop. If I was a fourteen year-old in a small town in Indiana, where I’m from, and I had a doctor tell me or my parents that I was sick because they thought I was gay, it would’ve been very damaging.”