New Zealand intersex children undergo unnecessary surgery on a daily basis and need to change

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Until very recently, people with intersex variations were often unseen, stigmatized, and routinely discriminated against. Intersex Awareness Day So today (October 26th) is an opportunity to find out how much progress we have made and how far we still have to go.

Estimated 1.7-4% Many people around the world are intersex. That is, they do not meet the norms of typical women and men.

In particular, the rights Children Intersex variations are being scrutinized.

Infant or early childhood surgery is still considered an option, question You are currently being asked how to prevent your child from receiving unnecessary treatment or treatment, and how to get your child’s consent for the necessary interventions.

Surgery may be delayed

Intersex people Changes in sexual characteristics It can occur spontaneously at the level of chromosomes, hormones, and / or anatomical structures.

There are many variations. Hypospadias, in which the urethral meatus appears below the penis, is the most common. Although not a health issue, surgery to change the appearance of the hypothalamus is “daily” in many places, including Aotearoa in New Zealand.

latest Ministry of Health data Shows that between 2017-18, 265 people under the age of 15 were diagnosed with hypospadias and had 206 surgeries. Eighty-five percent of these surgeries were performed on children under the age of five.

These surgeries may be postponed until the children are older and can give or refuse consent. There is no clear biomedical basis for such surgery, which is not life-saving and puts the child at risk (surgery inevitably does).

There are some Gonadal variation May be life-threatening (affecting ovarian or testicular development) Surgical treatment, Some variations of sexual traits are life-threatening in infancy.

Surgery on children with genital changes may appear to promote well-being, but research highlights the harmful effects of surgery aimed at producing more.Man” that’s all “woman“The appearance of the genitals.

Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as overseas counterparts Intersex people Those who spoke publicly opposed the intervention they received as a child.

Who agrees?

The problem with genital surgery is Legal rights New Zealanders with variations in sexual characteristics, including rights to Garbage medical care, And rules regarding informed consent.

The young age at which most surgery is performed means that consent is provided by the parent who has the right and responsibility to determine important issues affecting the child, including extraordinary ones. medical care..

By such a decision, the best interests and welfare of the child in a particular situation Top priority Consideration.A right Enough information Included in the Health and Disability Services Rights Code.

In essence, all New Zealanders respond to a description of their condition, a description of the available options, including the risks, side effects, costs and benefits of each option, and an honest and accurate answer to the question, including findings. I have the right.

However Defender of intersex Aotearoa in New Zealand claims that they and their families are isolated from sources and other people in similar circumstances.

And the current reaction to intersex variations is becoming more complex. Insensitivity It reflects a gender binary Western structure that classifies individuals as either male or female, depending on their cultural context.

International progress

The issue of genital surgery is drawing attention under international law.For example, the right to be protected Deterioration treatment Extended to Healthcare settings In 2013, a UN Special Rapporteur called for the abolition of legislation permitting genital normalization surgery if “conducted or administered at the discretion of the person concerned and without informed consent.”

Overall, Right to health Violation if the state does not take steps to prevent infants from being medically unnecessary, irreversible and involuntary Surgery And treatment.

In 2016, United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child Recommended Aotearoa New Zealand develops and implements healthcare protocols for intersex children based on children’s rights and sets the steps and procedures that health teams should follow.

This followed the submission to the Commission from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Human Rights Commission.. The UN Commission called on the State to avoid unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood and to guarantee the child’s right to physical integrity, autonomy and self-determination.

In response to the Recommendations UN Commission, and domestic advocate, Ministry of Health has instructed the Pediatric Society to establish Intersex working group Develop Guidelines For babies born in intersex.

However, so far, it has not been able to make a significant difference in the practice of surgical interventions in children’s genitals.

Aotearoa New Zealand can do better

in the meantime, Supporter We will continue to seek legislation to postpone intervention until the children themselves are able to agree and express their opinions.

At the heart of any policy, legislative or medical development must be the right of the child to be free from discrimination.

Children have the right to hear their voice. This means that, with the exception of life-saving treatment, interventions need to be postponed until the child has the ability to make decisions.

If necessary, a skilled and independent advocate should be appointed to represent the interests of the child. Current medical practice in Aotearoa, New Zealand is well below these goals.

Anatomy texts should show sex as a spectrum that includes intersex people

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New Zealand intersex children undergo unnecessary surgery on a daily basis and need to change

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