Health and medical ethics

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

Jenny Brockie, on SBS Insight

SBS Insight screen episode on intersex people and medicine

On 7 November, SBS Insight screened a program on the medicalisation of intersex people. Several members and directors of OII Australia participated, in addition to parents and clinicians. The full episode is available to view online.

Hospital - stock photo courtesy of Freepik

Clinical opposition to early intersex medical interventions grows

Clinicians are increasingly raising their voices in opposition to forced and coercive interventions, including Physicians for Human Rights and the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, but more action is needed – particularly in Australia.

OHCHR symbol

Shadow report submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

OII Australia has submitted a shadow report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, endorsed by the Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia, Disabled People’s Organisations of Australia, National LGBTI Health Alliance, and People with Disability Australia. It provides evidence of continuing harmful practices in Australian hospitals, with support from Australian governments and the Family Court, and makes a number of recommendations, based upon the 2017 Darlington Statement.

Victorian government logo

Gaslighting in Victoria

In mid 2016, OII Australia made a submission to the United Nations Committee against Torture documenting human rights violations against intersex people in Australia. Since around that date, the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria has systematically removed evidence of human rights violations, including psychosocial justifications for surgeries such as “marriage” prospects, and…
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The Family Court case Re: Kaitlin [2017] FamCA 83

The Family Court of Australia has recently published a new case involving an intersex child, this time where the parents sought consent for their child, an adolescent, to obtain treatment for “gender dysphoria”. Unlike in the recent Family Court case Re Carla (Medical procedure) [2016] Fam CA 7, the case was not supported by a…
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RightsTalk, 22 February 2017: Anna Brown, Imam Nur Warsame, Morgan Carpenter, and Ed Santow

Morgan Carpenter: RightsTalk on protecting the rights of intersex people

On 22 February 2017, co-executive director Morgan Carpenter spoke at an Australian Human Rights Commission RightsTalk, on “Creating Equality – The Role of Law in Protecting SOGII Rights”. The event was hosted by Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow, with Anna Brown, Director of Advocacy and Strategic Litigation, Human Right Law Centre and Imam Nur Warsame,…
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Miraculous thinking

We’ve had interviews like this piece, by Prospekt Magazine. Telling our personal stories is always challenging, bringing old wounds back to the surface. Alexander Berezkin, the interviewee in this article by Tatiana Kondratenko about intersex people in Russia, is to be congratulated. The problem with interviews like this is that Alexander’s story is incidental to…
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The Family Court case Re: Carla (Medical procedure) [2016] FamCA 7

The Family Court has recently published a decision on the sterilisation of a 5-year old child and, unfortunately, it reveals that: earlier genital surgery that “enhanced” her genitals without Court approval was viewed without concern, and with no evidence of necessity. The idea of “enhancing” the genitals of an infant or young child is disturbing….
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South Australia (image source: Wikipedia)

Apology to South Australian LGBTIQ communities

Witnessed by members and representatives of the South Australian LGBTI communities, on 1 December, the Hon. J Weatherill, Premier of South Australia put the following motion to the House of Assembly: 1. That this house recognises that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer community members have been discriminated against by South Australia’s legislation….
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UNSW Law Journal

“Fixed at birth”, paper by Aileen Kennedy

With kind permission from both author and journal, we are pleased to share a paper by Aileen Kennedy entitled “Fixed at birth: Medical and legal erasures of intersex variations”, published earlier this year by the UNSW Law Journal. There is complicity between the medical and the legal construction of variations of sex development as pathological…
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Allowed?

Body shaming is an intersex issue

Please note that this post contains distressing images. It intersperses quotations about intersex infants and children with quotations about the bodies of public figures. Body shaming is an intersex issue, perhaps even more than any other issue. It stunts people’s lives and provides rationales for harmful medical interventions. If you want to know why openly…
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