For Immediate Release
September 9, 1999
Contact: Cheryl Chase <email@example.com>
SPATE OF NEW INTERSEX ARTICLES IN PROFESSIONAL
Ann Arbor, MI -- Until just a few years, ago doctors
who specialized in handling intersexed (children
born with atypical sex anatomy -- often labeled with
The Summer issue of Michigan Journal of Gender and Law has published "An emerging ethical and medical dilemma: should physicians perform sex assignment surgery on infants with ambiguous genitalia?" by Milton Diamond and Hazel Beh. The article breaks new ground in examining the legal liability of physicians who treat sexual ambiguity in infants with genital surgery. Available from the Westlaw online legal database as 7 MIJGL 1, or from the author's website.
When Christie Littleton's husband died under medical care, she filed a wrongful death suit against the physician. When the opposing side realized that Littleton was a transsexual, they asked the court to dismiss her suit on the basis that legal change of sex is impossible, so her marriage was invalid, and she thus lacked legal standing to sue. This case sets a precedent that could render many people with atypical genes ineligible for marriage. The decision's author noted, but dodged, the complexity of legal sex of intersex people: "I express no opinion as to how the law would view [intersex people] with regard to marriage.
A working group under the British Association of Pediatric Surgeons released a groundbreaking statement regarding the treatment of children with intersex conditions. Incorporating input from medical consumer groups such as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Network, the report states: "While there is likely to be continuing pressure from parents for early corrective surgery, fully informed consent for such procedures would require them to be aware of the possibility of non-operative management with psychological support for the child and family."
Each year, the University of Michigan's Pediatric Urology Department hosts a lectureship in honor of the late John Duckett (a prominent surgeon well known for his hypospadias surgeries). This year, the lectures focused on a single topic: the increasingly evident paradigm shift in medical thinking about intersex.