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Intersexuality and the LawWhy Sex Matters$
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Julie A. Greenberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814731895

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814731895.001.0001

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(p.27) 2 Who Has the Right to Choose My Sex and Genitalia?

(p.27) 2 Who Has the Right to Choose My Sex and Genitalia?

(p.27) 2 Who Has the Right to Choose My Sex and Genitalia?
Intersexuality and the Law

Julie A. Greenberg

NYU Press

This chapter examines the legal and medical doctrine of informed consent and whether it adequately protects the rights of children born with an intersex condition. It also considers legal approaches that could be used to successfully challenge these medical practices. It asks whether parents, in consultation with doctors, should have the legal power to consent to genital modification surgery on behalf of their children with an intersex condition. The chapter first discusses the right to autonomy and the requirement that medical treatment and other procedures be undertaken only with proper informed consent. It then explains how the legal requirement of informed consent is applied to decisions made on behalf of children. Finally, it evaluates three proposed alternatives to the current informed consent procedures affecting children with an intersex condition: to impose enhanced informed consent rules; to delay all surgeries until children mature and can decide for themselves; and to impose some type of external oversight by a court or an ethics committee.

Keywords:   informed consent, children, intersex condition, parents, genital modification, surgery, right to autonomy, medical treatment

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