The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has issued a statement calling for an end to genital-normalizing surgeries without the consent of the affected person. Specifically, paragraph 88 (recommendation 3) of the Rapporteur’s report on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in health care settings reads as follows:
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons: The Special Rapporteur calls upon all States to repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery, involuntary sterilization, unethical experimentation, medical display, “reparative therapies” or “conversion therapies”, when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned. He also calls upon them to outlaw forced or coerced sterilization in all circumstances and provide special protection to individuals belonging to marginalized groups.
You can see the full report on the United Nations web site.
This comes sixteen years after Dr. Diamond first wrote:
Perform no major surgery for cosmetic reasons alone; only for conditions related to physical/medical health. This will entail a great deal of explanation needed for the parents who will want their children to “look normal.” Explain to them that appearances during childhood, while not typical of other children, may be of less importance than functionality and post pubertal erotic sensitivity of the genitalia. Surgery can potentially impair sexual/erotic function. Therefore such surgery, which includes all clitoral surgery and any sex reassignment, should typically wait until puberty or after when the patient is able to give truly informed consent.
Dr. Diamond says:
When Ken Kipnis and I wrote our first critique of how the medical community was dealing with intersex matters in 1998, and then when I brought it up to them at the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting in 1998, I felt we were gnats that would be dismissed and strongly decried.
And when Hazel Beh and I wrote our first legal and ethical paper on the subject of how intersexed individuals ought be ethically and legally dealt with in 2000, little did we think how the idea would spread.
The ball was picked up by others, particularly Anne Tamar-Mattis who founded AIC (Advocates for Informed Choice), and all those efforts have paid off in ways that could not have been predicted. The UN recognition is obviously a major accomplishment. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the importance of what we have all been working toward.
I am Dr. Milton Diamond of the University of Hawai‘i Medical School. I am the one who unraveled the John/Joan case.
I am looking for two people that were born in the Atlanta Northside Hospital in 1985. They accidently had their penises burned off during what should have been routine circumcisions.
In particular, I am looking for the one that, without your permission, was surgically changed from being a boy to a girl. The reward will be to yourself for finding out how and why you were treated as you were. More importantly, your experience can inform and reward scientists and physicians around the world that what was done to you was either appropriate or not.
It is my belief you are probably now living as a man. I believe what was done to you was both unfortunate and wrong.
I would also like to find the one maintained as a boy. Importantly, your experience can also inform and reward scientists and physicians around the world that what was done to you was either appropriate or not. It is my belief you also are probably now living as a man.
Your identity will be kept confidential. Everything you relate will be held in confidence, at your discretion. I only want to pass along your experiences with publication and on this web site, to prevent the mistake from being repeated on others. You will both be rewarded by knowing you will be helping thousands of infants from wrongful surgery.
I will be in Atlanta in September to attend and speak at the Southern Comfort Conference and the meeting of the World Professional Association of Transgender Therapists. I can be reached beforehand at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (808) 956-7400. I can be met at one of the meetings.
Please get in touch. The world will be grateful for the information you provide.
Any others that might be able to help, please get in touch.
Thank you and Aloha,
Dr. Milton Diamond
Recommended book on Klinefelter's Syndrome
The KS Story - You are not alone
An account of Klinefelter's Syndrome by Iain W. McKinlay (47,XXY) , with a foreword by Professor Milton Diamond Ph.D.
NEW ZEALAND DOCUMENTARY ON INTERSEX
A television documentary fronted by Mani Bruce Mitchell has been televised in New Zealand in July 2011, and has been very well received. It has been divided into segments of approximately ten minutes each and placed on Youtube, so that anybody anywhere can watch it. (Dr. Diamond makes a brief appearance in Part 2.)
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08LEXo9ajmY
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44nLMsc_GGo
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LnP4dnVHjM
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkJeRDq-8aA
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtED32wQFaA
HJERNEVASK ( "BRAINWASH")
DOCUMENTARY SERIES ON THE NATURE-NURTURE ISSUE IN BOY/GIRL BEHAVIORS
The series is in Norwegian with English subtitles. Each episode is around 40 minutes in length.
Part 1: The Gender Equality Paradox - http://vimeo.com/19707588
Part 2: The Parental Effect - http://vimeo.com/19893826
Part 3: Gay/Straight - http://vimeo.com/19869748
Part 4: Violence - http://vimeo.com/19921232
Part 5: Sex - http://vimeo.com/19921928
Part 6: Race - http://vimeo.com/19922972
Part 7: Nature or Nurture - http://vimeo.com/19889788