Human Rights Watch

multimedia newsroom

US: Doctors Need Intersex Care Standards

Professional Groups Should Stand Against Unnecessary Surgery

Thursday 26 October 2017

(New York, October 26, 2017) – Medical professional associations should enact standards of care for intersex children that rule out medically unnecessary surgery before patients are old enough to consent, Human Rights Watch and interACT said in a report released today. After decades of controversy in the medical community over the procedures, the lack of centralized care standards allows doctors to continue operating on children’s gonads, internal sex organs, and genitals when they are too young to participate in the decision, even though such surgery is dangerous and could be safely deferred.

The 41-page report, “A Changing Paradigm: US Medical Provider Discomfort with Intersex Care Practices,” examines the controversy over the operations inside the medical community and the pressure on parents to opt for surgery.

Once called “hermaphrodites” – a term now considered pejorative and outdated, intersex people are not rare, but their needs are widely misunderstood. Based on a medical theory popularized in the 1960s, doctors perform surgery on intersex children – often in infancy – with the stated aim of making it easier for them to grow up “normal.” The results are often catastrophic, the supposed benefits are largely unproven, and there are rarely urgent health considerations requiring immediate, irreversible intervention.

PHOTOS (1)

MORE LATEST NEWS

International Criminal Court’s 20th Anniversary

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Length 3:04

2 0 0 0 0 0
Ethiopia: Torture in Somali Region Prison

Wednesday 04 July 2018

Length 04:01

3 0 9 0 0 0
France: Child Migrants Left Adrift in Paris

Tuesday 03 July 2018

Length 05:38

3 0 0 0 0 0
US: Undocumented Crime Fighters Deserve Protection

Tuesday 03 July 2018

Length 03:05

2 0 0 0 0 0
Syria: Mass Graves in Former ISIS Areas

Monday 02 July 2018

Length 02:58

2 0 1 0 0 0
Indonesia: Anti-LGBT Crackdown Fuels Health Crisis

Sunday 01 July 2018

Length 03:09

2 0 0 0 0 0
Iran: People With Disabilities Face Discrimination and Abuse

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Length 01:55

1 0 8 0 0 0
US: Poor Medical Care, Deaths, in Immigrant Detention

Thursday 21 June 2018

Length 02:02

2 0 0 0 0 0
Child Detention Tent City Image Illustrates Crisis

Wednesday 20 June 2018

0 0 2 0 0 0
Africa: Pregnant Girls, Young Mothers Barred from School

Thursday 14 June 2018

Length 03:21

2 0 9 0 0 0
Court Ruling Upholds Right of Same-Sex Couple to Live in Romania

Thursday 07 June 2018

Length 2:33

2 0 0 0 0 0
Tunisia: Lax Enforcement of Right to Lawyer

Friday 01 June 2018

Length 02:20

2 0 0 0 0 0
Bangladesh: Landslides Threaten Rohingya Shelters

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Length 01:57

2 0 0 0 0 0
Brazil: People With Disabilities Confined in Terrible Conditions

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Length 06:52

4 0 10 0 0 0
Egypt: Army Intensifies Sinai Home Demolitions

Tuesday 22 May 2018

0 0 6 0 0 0
Afghanistan: Weak Investigations of Civilian Airstrike Deaths

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Length 03:52

2 0 0 0 0 0
Israel Orders Human Rights Watch Official Deported

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Length 02:11

1 0 0 0 0 0