Sex Change Laws in Thailand
At present, there are numerous treatment options for permanent sex change operations without standardized rules and clear guidelines for treatment. Therefore, in order to ensure protection of citizens wishing to undergo a sex change operation, the Medical Council, in the role of a professional organization controlling and overseeing the standards of professional medical care, has stipulated the rules as follows:
Subject to the authority under section 21 (3) and (chor) and with the approval of the Special Presidential Committee under section 25 of the Medical Profession Act 2525 B.E., which is a law with some provisions dealing with the limits placed on rights and freedoms of persons, the Constitution of Thailand 2550 B.E. (2007 A.D.), section 29, including section 43 and section 80 (2), permits such action pursuant to the authority under the provisions of law. The Medical Council Committee has therefore issued regulations as follows:
Clause 1. This regulation is called “Regulation of the Medical Council Concerning Ethics in the Medical Profession Rules for Treatment in Sex Change Operations 2552 B.E. (2009 A.D.).”
Clause 2. This regulation will come into force after a period of 180 days elapses from its publication in the Government Gazette.
Clause 3. After the Regulation of the Medical Council Concerning Ethics in the Medical Profession Rules for Treatment in Sex Change Operations 2552 B.E. (2009 A.D.) for maintaining ethics in the medical profession comes into effect, all other rules and regulations prescribed formerly, or any conflicting and inconsistent with this regulation are to be revoked, and this regulation is to be used in its place.
Clause 4. In this regulation:
Treatment for a sex change procedure means treatment of an illness or an abnormal state of mind by undergoing an operation to change (the physical characteristics) from a male to a female or a female to a male. It includes an operation or other treatment intended to permanently change physical characteristics or sex hormones, for example through removal of the testicles in their entirety.
“Psychiatrist” means a person engaged in the medical professional who has received a diploma or a license showing knowledge and competence in the medical profession in the field of psychology or child or teenage psychology from the Medical Council.
“A person engaged in a medical profession entitled to perform a sex change surgery” is:
A person engaged in a medical profession who has passed a training program or presents knowledge, competence, and experience in performing sex change surgery with certification from the Medical Council.
“A doctor specializing in the endocrine system” means a person engaged in a medical profession who has received a diploma or a license showing knowledge and competence in the medical profession in the field of endocrinology and metabolism, pediatrics endocrinology and metabolism, and obstetrics-gynecology from the Medical Council.
Clause 5. Performing a sex change operation according to this regulation is permitted in the event:
- the ailing person is 18 years old or older but not yet 20 years old and must receive consent from an authorized guardian;
- the ailing person is 20 years old.
Clause 6. In the event a person engaged in the medical profession is to perform a sex change operation to treat a person with behavior indicating confusion regarding his or her sexual identity and wishing to undergo a sex change operation, the rules and procedures must be followed according to the published guidelines of the Medical Council, and the person must pass an evaluation and certification from two psychiatrists that the operation must be performed.