WHO drops ‘transgenderism’ from global disease registry, but adds ‘burnout’ & ‘gaming addiction’

Young journalists club

News ID: 39982
Publish Date: 11:57 - 28 May 2019
TEHRAN, May 28- The World Health Organization has prioritized norm-setting over curbing actual disease, adding burnout and gaming addiction to its International Classification of Diseases and removing transgenderism in a politically correct move.

WHO drops ‘transgenderism’ from global disease registry, but adds ‘burnout’ & ‘gaming addiction’TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Defining “burnout” as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” the WHO’s definition stresses that burnout is more than stress; it’s the “occupational context” that counts. ICD classifications are used by insurance companies for billing purposes; the “only in the workplace” stipulation ensures that a patient burnt out from taking care of a sick family member, for example, or raising a child won’t receive the same insurance coverage as someone putting in 100-hour weeks at the office.

The World Health Assembly, which governs the WHO, officially adopted “burnout” as part of the ICD-11 at its Geneva conference this weekend, updating the blueprint for its 194 member states’ health policies. That a doctors’ conference made “burnout” its number-one priority is no accident – a paper published earlier this year in the Annals of Internal Medicine claims physician burnout costs $4.6 billion annually in the US alone.

More controversial was the addition of gaming addiction to the ranks of drug, alcohol, and gambling addiction. Described as “persistent or recurrent gaming behavior” with impaired control, disruption of life activities, and persistence despite negative consequences, the WHO’s adoption of “gaming addiction” has made strange bedfellows of addiction specialists and industry groups, both of whom have united in opposition to its inclusion in the ICD-11. A paper published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions implores the WHO to “err on the side of caution” and wait for a stronger body of scientific research to be compiled, while multinational gaming group Interactive Games and Entertainment Association warned the WHO’s decision had been made unilaterally “without the consensus of the academic community.”

“Compulsive sexual behavior” didn’t quite make the addiction category – though the WHO did adopt it into the mental health disorder category, an indication of what happens to conditions with few or no advocates or financial interests involved.

“Gender incongruence,” on the other hand, was lifted out of the mental health category altogether, becoming a “condition related to sexual health.” The WHO’s definition remains more conservative than some countries’ – “gender variant behavior and preferences alone are not a basis for assigning the diagnosis,” the ICD-11 reads, meaning it can’t be applied to adolescents before puberty and intersex people are up in arms over language adopted elsewhere in the document, which refers to intersex variations as “disorders of sex development.”


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