Extract from OII Australia’s response to the Australian federal Department of Health and Ageing discussion paper on a New National Woman’s Health Policy:
Some intersex individuals need anti-androgen medication. Because those medicines are not recognized treatments for the specific diagnosis the only path to that medication is to register the intersex person in question as a potential sex offender at the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Canberra. That register also contains the names of numerous transsexual individuals who can only gain access to anti-androgens because of this inappropriate medication protocol. This is an outrage against those who are different!!
Comment by Gina Wilson in Polare 80 (the emphasis is Gina’s):
O.I.I. Australia supports the right to appropriate medication. Where treatment protocols call for standard medication, those who do not fit the diagnosis paradigm cannot readily access appropriate medication. For instance, a diagnosis that classifies an intersex person as male will not allow that person access to apparently female medications despite the person being female. Medicine often assumes standard sex and gender outcomes for intersex, so that a person who has A.I.S. diagnosis is always assumed to be female. Access to surgery and medication for that person as a male can only be obtained by being diagnosed with a mental illness. Some intersex individuals need anti-androgen medication. Because these medicines are not recognised treatments for the specific diagnosis the only path to that medication is to register the intersex person as a potential sex offender at the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Canberra. That register also contains the names of numerous transsexual individuals who can only gain access to anti-androgens because of this inappropriate medication protocol. This is an outrage against the sex and gender diverse!
Extract from Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) paper Sex and gender diversity, Report of initial consultation:
Other responses noted that the health system is not inclusive of people who are sex and gender diverse. Several responses mentioned that in order to receive specific hormone treatment a person must be labeled a sexual deviant.
Androcur is prescribed to block and reduce production of testosterone in men with testicular cancer, prostate cancer or other androgen-aggravated cancer or to convicted sex offenders to reduce sex drive and chemically castrate if taken in high doses. Because one of these reasons must be given to prescribe Androcur, and the patient is not a male with cancer, the one left is ‘reduction of drive’ – and this means, that to have this medication the patient will then have the letters “SD” on their medical record for Sexual Deviant.
Extract from the AHRC’s Sex Files: Sex and Gender Diversity forum (names replaced with initials, and the forum itself has now been closed down):
B., you might be interested to know that one of my friends has been denied a “Blue Card” to work with kids, as she has been on Androcur and is listed as a Sexual Deviant, and I understand that stays on your records at HIC central for all time. K.A.N.
For those who may doubt:
We have read such comments on other websites. Members of OII Australia have been placed on this list of ‘sexual deviants.’
When it becomes clear that you would greatly benefit from taking Cyproterone Acetate, your doctor is required to ask you if you will assent to being placed on the register, they warn you of the implications, and you can choose to go on it or not to, bearing in mind that choosing in the negative may not be beneficial for your medical treatment. Then, each time a prescription needs to be issued, your doctor must phone the Therapeutic Goods Administration, quote your reference number, wait for a yes or a no, and then issue the prescription.
Similar ordeals are required of intersex males whose bodies require HRT incorporating testosterone. Morgan has written an article about what he goes through to obtain testosterone and how it intimately affects his life – HRT: Suffering the System, Not the Medication.
These processes are deeply humiliating – and the ongoing humiliations sometimes cause intersex people to stop taking all the medication they need (at least one member of OII Australia, for example). These practices have got to stop.
Update: In November 2012, research by the Star Observer has established that individuals can pay for non-PBS Androcur and avoid such listing. Cost differentials are significant.
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