The British Medical Association is urging staff and representatives not to refer to pregnant patients as “expectant mothers” because it may offend transgender and intersex men.
The suggestion was published in an internal BMA pamphlet titled “A Guide to Effective Communication: Inclusive Language in the Workplace,” according to the Evening Standard.
“A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women,” the guide reads. “We can include intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers.'”
Trans men are those who were born biologically female — with female anatomy — but have chosen to identify as men.
The guide goes on to suggest that “gender inequality” arises from “traditional ideas about the roles of women and men.”
The pamphlet, according to Fox News, also advises against using the term “Christian name,” because not every family is religious, suggests the term “family name” instead of “last name,” and encourages avoiding masculine terms such as “manpower” and “mankind.”
Philip Davies, a Conservative member of Parliament, called the policy “completely ridiculous.”
“If you can’t call a pregnant woman an expectant mother, then what is the world coming to?” he said.
All of this follows news of Britain’s first pregnant woman who has transitioned to a man. Hayden Cross, 20, was born a female but legally identifies as a man and was undergoing hormone treatments. However, after becoming pregnant, Hayden put the treatments on hold.
The guide also asks representatives to use the phrase “the elderly” rather than “older people,” “accessible lifts” rather than “disabled lifts” and to call those who are biologically male or female “assigned male or female.”
The BMA said the goal of the leaflet was to promote equal rights, but the association insists it is not a guide for doctors.
“This is a guide for BMA staff and representatives aimed at promoting an inclusive workplace at the BMA,” a spokesperson said. “It is not workplace guidance for doctors which is clear from the fact it does not refer to patients.”
While the BMA does not regulate or certify doctors in the U.K., as the General Medical Council does, it is a trade union offering protections for British medical doctors.