Journal article Open Access

Legal Regulation of Gender Change

L.B. Strus

The article deals with protection of human rights based on gender. Transsexualism is understood as a feeling of personal belonging to opposite sex. It has been stated that the right to change sex should have a clear legal regulation but legal “release” should be taken into account when using this right. The procedure should be exercised based on medical report after a thorough examination and observance of the person to avoid an immediate wish or decision made under the influence of fashion or life circumstances, short term juvenile interest or when young people want to express or assert themselves in society. Gender change is not only presented by changes in appearance but in internal views, mentality, social role in society, and family. At the same time, society changes its attitude to the person. 

The approach of European member states is divided in groups: i) member states which do not have requirement to hormone treatment or operation for legal identification of gender change (Great Britain, Finland, Sweden). It was possible to recognize gender in these countries by proving gender dysphoria in front of the competent authority; ii) member states where it is necessary to undergo hormone or surgery interventions for legal recognition of gender change (majority of European states like Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Poland).

It has been concluded that the lack of legal regulation of medical peculiarities and not family and civil law regulations makes it impossible for the person to exercise his/her rights. The lack of the notion ‘gender change’, clinical guidance which allows the doctors to identify means and tactics of the patients’ treatment depending on the diagnosis and individual features can contribute to unreasonable dissemination of various ways of patients’ ‘treatment’ which in the end contradicts the official understanding of transsexualism as a stable sense of personal belonging to opposite sex. 


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