Health and medical ethics

For an introduction to these issues, see our page on bodily integrity

ABC News: “Female circumcision happening in Australia”

ABC News: “Female circumcision happening in Australia”

ABC News reports that female genital mutilation is happening in Australia: “We bring imams or priests to convince them that there is nothing from both books that says you have to do circumcision to girls. So why are you doing it?” Ms Mohamud is optimistic the practice will end, but she fears migrant communities or…
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fetaldex.org Letter of Concern From Bioethicists

The following letter has been sent to: the FDA Office of Pediatric Therapeutics; the HHS Office for Human Research Protections; Mount Sinai Medical Center (Dr. New’s current institution); Weill Medical School of Cornell University (from which much of this treatment appears to have been administered, under Dr. New’s guidance); Florida International University (where Dr. New…
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Katrina Karkazis, “Fixing Sex” (recommended reading)

Katrina Karkazis, “Fixing Sex” (recommended reading)

Published in November 2008, Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience by Katrina Karkazis is compelling and recommended reading. Meticulously researched and approachable in style, it presents a historical analysis of the treatment of intersex people, together with an analysis of both current medical practice and the impact on intersex people and our families….
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What human rights are affected by early medical intervention?

What human rights are affected by early medical interventions aimed at “normalising” the bodies of intersex infants, children and adolescents? The Yogyakarta Principles In particular Principle 18: B: Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that no child’s body is irreversibly altered by medical procedures in an attempt to impose a gender…
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Intersex Australians are placed on a sex offenders list

Intersex Australians… are Placed on a Sex Offenders Register…

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…
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Six key issues for intersex health, 2009

Issue 1: An end to non-consensual infant genital surgery. OII opposes all cosmetic (non-essential) surgery on infants without their full and informed participation in decision-making and their agreement…

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AHRC’s Paper ‘Surgery on intersex infants and human rights’

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released a paper titled Surgery on intersex infants and human rights. We deeply regret the report’s equivocation on surgery to modify the appearance of intersex infants and children. The report acknowledges such interventions without commenting on their necessity or lifelong consequences. It is available for download here.

Intersex people and photography: US hospital staff photograph unconscious intersex person’s genitals

Intersex people and photography: US hospital staff photograph unconscious intersex person’s genitals

OII Australia is sensitive towards photographic depictions of intersex individuals. The reasons for OII Australia’s sensitivity are exemplified in this article about non-consensual photography. We can’t help but wonder if the photographic voyeurism, and staff attitudes towards this person’s body, impacted on the quality of care that was given – the person is known to…
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