Health and medical ethics

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

Sydney Morning Herald: “‘Anti-lesbian’ treatment”

Sydney Morning Herald: “‘Anti-lesbian’ treatment”

The original article that the two Australian-published versions of this story is from the LA Times newspaper and was written by LA Times journalist Shari Roan. The article was titled Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality and it was published on Sunday 15th August 2010. The original article quotes Alice Dreger, Ken…
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Jo Proctor

Jo Proctor: “Neo-eugenics and its war against human biological diversity”

Neo-eugenics or ‘new eugenics’ is the term given to modern medicine’s rapidly evolving biotechnological ability to identify and terminate a raft of congenital variations at increasingly early stages of fetal development. On June 30th, OII published an abstract originating from Lille University in France. The paper, published in the Journal of Pediatric Urology – http://www.jpurol.com/article/S1477-5131%2810%2900200-7/abstract…
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CARES Foundation: “Surgery consideration for girls with classical CAH”

CARES Foundation: “Surgery consideration for girls with classical CAH”

We encourage parents and society to appreciate intersex people, rather than treat us as problems to be fixed. We note that CARES denies the existence of male-identified CAH people, and plentiful statistics that show a low birth-rate, low marriage rate and high rates of “same sex attraction” among CAH “females.” So you have just been…
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On dexamethasone and the making of “normal”

On dexamethasone and the making of “normal”

In 2009 Dr Reis’s book, Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex, examined the cultural contexts that both inform and drive western medicine’s attitudes and responses to intersex bodies. Beginning with the profound homophobia of the 19th through to the 21st centuries, to the taboo topic of neo-vaginal dilation, Reis challenged standard medical practices…
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Star Observer: “Opposition to genital drugs”

Star Observer: “Opposition to genital drugs”

The Star Observer reports on CAH and dexamethasone: Bioethicists have criticised the use of an experimental drug to reduce the risk of girls with a congenital disease being born with an intersex condition and make them conform to sex and gender stereotypes. Girls born with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) often have enlarged genitalia, and in…
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Alice Dreger in Psychology Today: “Can You Hear Us Now?: Is it ethical for doctors to stimulate little girls’ clitorises?”

Professor Alice Dreger writes in Psychology Today’s blog, “Fetishes I Don’t Get”: In a brief article entitled “Bad Vibrations” just posted at the Hastings Center’s Bioethics Forum, my colleague Ellen Feder and I express our shock over the follow-up techniques being used by pediatric urologist Dix Poppas at Weill Medical College of Cornell University on…
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Hospital - stock photo courtesy of Freepik

WPATH disorders intersex while depathologizing transgender

From the ‘Response of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health to the Proposed DSM 5 Criteria for Gender Incongruence’: (4) Adding a specifier of “with or without a Disorder of Sex Development” is an improvement over the need to use the “Not Otherwise Specified” diagnosis because individuals with intersex conditions may have a similar…
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On genital surgeries

On genital surgeries

Intersex refers to atypical internal and/or external anatomical sexual characteristics, where features usually regarded as male or female may be mixed to some degree. This is a naturally occurring variation in humans.

Emi Koyama at Bioethics Forum: “Why I am Suspicious of Bioethics”

Emi Koyama at Bioethics Forum: “Why I am Suspicious of Bioethics”

Although OII Australia does not favour the use of “condition” in connection with intersex; this article encapsulates the problems of intersex ‘normalization’ and especially the chemical ‘normalization’ of unborn children. I fear that the campaign to hold the main propagator of the dexamethasone treatment accountable would, if not accompanied by sustained challenges to more fundamental…
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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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