New guidance on decision-making relating to medical interventions for people born with variations in sex characteristics
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has published guidance on how to make decisions which uphold an individual’s human rights when deciding about medical interventions for people born with variations in sex characteristics (sometimes referred to as intersex people).
The AHRC held an inquiry following complaints about human rights violations related to medical interventions conducted without an intersex person’s full and informed consent. Many of these interventions take place during infancy or childhood.
The report, ‘Ensuring health and bodily integrity: towards a human rights approach for people born with variations in sex characteristics’, is based on the findings of the inquiry and outlines principles that should be used when making decisions about medical interventions on people born with various sex characteristics. It recommends that legislation should be put in place to ensure these principles are adhered to.
The report also makes a series of recommendations about:
- ways that medical care should be provided to intersex people
- support that should be provided to intersex people and their families
- educating the general population to reduce stigma relating to variations in sex characteristics