Here’s some good news for people like Princess Phoenix and all the others in China who’ve ever felt like they were born the wrong gender, the Ministry of Health has released new guidelines for sex change operations.
As Chen Huanran, a renowned plastic surgeon and gender-realignment specialist, told the Global Times, the regulations are desperately needed:
“China finally has its regulations on sex-change operations. It’s very significant since the legislation for transsexuals represents somewhat a nation’s development in civilization,” he said. “The situation that half of the surgeons currently in the nation are disqualified. The regulations offers more protection to patients.”
Some of the new rules mentioned include:
- Only upper first-class polyclinic or cosmetic surgery hospitals with approval from the health department can carry out sex change operations.
- Surgeons need to have more than 10 years of plastic surgery experience, inlcuding five years with sex change operations and at least 10 independently performed operations on reconstructing reproductive organs.
- Patients must be 20 or above with documented psychological reasons for wanting a sex change.
Unfortunately, there was no word in the Global Times article on whether previously proposed regulations – such as needing to be free of a criminal record, needing to have lived publicly as the other gender for over two years, needing to be single and needing police approval – made it into the new ministry guidelines. We’ve got our fingers crossed that they’re not.
But at least they’ll make cases like singer Li Ying’s – whose botched operation caused a “recession” in his genital area and resulted in years of unsuccessful litigation against the hospital – hopefully more rare.