“Whilst some intersex variations require urgent medical intervention during childhood, most do not. Despite this, people with intersex variations continue to have their right to medical autonomy violated through unnecessary surgeries and procedures that seek to “normalize” one’s physical appearance.” said Ms. Sophie Keen, AMSA President.
Australia recently joined 52 United Nations Member States in signing the Joint Statement on the Human Rights of Intersex Persons, calling for measures to protect the autonomy of intersex children and adults.
Despite signing this joint statement across consecutive years, no legislation has been introduced that prevents unnecessary surgery on children with intersex variations across Australia’s States and Territories.
Intersex Human Rights Australia estimates that 1.7% of live births are intersex; which is about as common as being born with red hair or green eyes.
Legislation to prevent non-consensual surgeries on intersex people is urgently needed to protect hundreds of thousands of Australians from unnecessary medical procedures and the trauma that accompanies having their autonomy violated.
The Australian Human Rights Commission released a report in October, outlining twelve recommendations ensuring a human-rights-focused approach to decision making on medical interventions for people born with variations in sex characteristics.
AMSA is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students. AMSA Queer aims to represent Queer identifying medical students and promote Queer health education. AMSA has affirmed the Darlington Statement and Yogyakarta Principles plus 10.