Being treated for a serious illness can be scary and confusing. At St. Jude, we want every patient to feel as safe as possible. One (1) way we do this is by treating everyone with dignity and respect. Our goal is also to provide care that supports each person’s gender. St. Jude does not discriminate against you, your family, companions, or visitors based on sexual orientation, gender identity, identification as LGBTQ, or any sex stereotype.
To make sure you receive quality care at St. Jude, you should feel comfortable telling the staff about your sexual orientation and gender identity if you want to. You or your child may choose whether to share information on sexual orientation and gender identity with St. Jude staff. If you or your child gives us information on sexual orientation and gender identity, St. Jude staff will not discriminate against you because of it.
This page explains how St. Jude keeps and uses information on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also answers some other questions from patients and families.
What does LGBTQ mean?
LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning. These 5 terms do not describe every sexual orientation and gender identity. But St. Jude’s policy against discrimination protects people of every orientation and identity.
Why would someone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender share that with a St. Jude health care provider?
St. Jude does not require anyone to share information about sexual orientation or gender identity. But this information can help your St. Jude team give better care. For example, information on sexual history helps your team know what screening tests you need. Knowing your gender identity helps St. Jude staff use your preferred name and pronouns, such as “he,” “she,” or “they.”
St. Jude will make sure the team uses the name and pronoun you feel most comfortable with. This can be your legal name or another name you prefer. But you should know that St. Jude staff might need to check your legal name sometimes. For example, they might need to be sure you are the person listed on legal or medical records such as your birth certificate.
What does St. Jude do with the information I share?
The table below shows how we keep and use information in certain situations. It also tells you how we honor your wishes. If you have questions about other situations, please ask.
|If you ...
||St. Jude will ...
|Tell us that you only want to share information on gender identity and sexual orientation with providers you choose.||Honor your wishes. Please tell the people you share with to keep this information private. You can choose if you want to share this information with any health care providers. But we do ask you to remind the provider to keep the information private.|
|Tell us that you do not want information on gender identity and sexual orientation in your St. Jude medical record.||Honor your wishes. You can choose if you want to share this information with any health care providers.|
|Tell us that you want information on gender identity in your St. Jude medical record.||List your information in the “Gender Identity” section of your medical record. Other people may see your medical record. This includes your parents if you are under 18. This handout explains who else might see the information.|
|Tell us that you want information on sexual orientation in your St. Jude medical record.||List your information in the “History” section of your medical record. Other people may see your medical record. This includes your parents if you are under 18. This handout explains who else might see the information.|
|Tell us that you want your preferred name and pronoun in your St. Jude medical record.||List your preferred name and pronoun in your medical record. You can change this in person or call Patient Registration at 901-595-2010.|
If you change your gender identity while you are a St. Jude patient, you may tell your caregivers, but you do not have to. You may tell certain providers and not others. You can also ask providers not to share the information. Please read the section below on who can see your information.
Who can see your information?
You need to know that if your gender identity or sexual orientation is in your medical record, some people and groups may see it. This includes people and groups with legal access to your records. Some of these are:
- St. Jude doctors and nurses and other staff,
- Your parents or legal guardians, if you are under 18 – Or over 18 if you give them authority,
- Insurance companies – Now and in the future,
- People or groups the law or a court order says may see your records,
- Organizations that make rules for hospitals, including the U.S. government, and
- Anyone you give written permission to see your records – You usually give this type of permission on a form called a “HIPAA form” or “authorization form.”
How can I share my information?
You can ask any member of your St. Jude team to call you by the name and pronoun you prefer.
Patient Registration asks new patients what name they prefer. So when you register, you may share your gender identity if you want to. But you may also share information on gender identity or sexual orientation any time, with anyone on the St. Jude team. We can put this information in your medical records if you ask. You can also ask any team member to keep the information private.
What should I do if I think someone discriminated against me for sexual orientation, gender identity, sex stereotype, or identifying as LGBTQ?
You can talk to a member of your St. Jude team or the nursing coordinator. You can also ask the Patient Relations Coordinator or another member of the staff to help you.
If you want to file a formal grievance, you can contact the Patient Relations Coordinator for St. Jude.
Phone: 1-901-595-8383, -1-866-278-5833, or 1-901-595-1040
Patient Relations Coordinator
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105
You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. You can file online through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/portal/lobby.jsf. You can also file by mail or phone. You can write to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW Room 509F, HHH Building Washington, D.C. 20201. You can also call 1-800-368-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD). You can get complaint forms at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/filing-with-ocr/index.html.
Do you have other resources for LGBTQ patients and families?
Yes. A list of resources is below. These groups are not part of St. Jude, and St. Jude has not checked them. So we cannot recommend these groups, but they might be helpful.
- Advocates for Youth. https://advocatesforyouth.org/issue/lgbtq-health-and-rights/
- Lambda Legal. Resources for LGBT Youth by State. http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/publications/downloads/fs_resources-for-lgbtq-youth-by-state_1.pdf
- PFLAG. https://www.pflag.org/
- OUT Memphis. https://outmemphis.org/
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).
ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).
تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1 (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).