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Critique Essay Law/Legal Natural Sciences Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Contemporalis homo sacer: Barriers to accessing healthcare services for trans populations

By Kinnon R MacKinnon, 2017

Objective: to examine the lived experiences of trans-identified individuals accessing mental health care, and in particular, their perceptions of barriers to access. Method: this qualitative study was conducted using interpretative phenomenological analysis and supported by Agamben’s theory of Thanatopolitics. Eleven one-to-one, semi-structured interviews were Results: in our analysis, we identified the following main barriers regarding access to the healthcare system: healthcare providers’ performance; and thanatopolitics of erasure. Through the analyzed experiences, we identified the existence of a (psychiatric) panoptical despotism lead by healthcare institutions, healthcare providers and public policies. Thanatopolitical psychiatrization and other passive erasure strategies have a cumulative impact because trans-bodies are not counted or not recognized fully as healthy individuals with specific health conditions. Conclusion: the findings show that although there has been some progress, numerous challenges still remain in order to overcome the barriers to accessing healthcare services.

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