What do doctors do now when they encounter a patient with intersex?
So far as we can tell, most medical centers still practice the concealment-centered model of care that grew out of Hopkins’ optimum gender of rearing system. We still hear many reports of “normalizing” (medically unnecessary) genital surgeries and hormone treatments that were not consented to by the patient, and of adult patients and parents of minors being denied medical records.
What we heard at the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting leads us to think doctors are fairly aware of the controversy surrounding intersex treatment, but are still taking the basic approach of “cut now, maybe ask about quality of life later.”
We are hoping to obtain funding soon for an Audit of Care project which would allow us to visit several medical centers claiming to use a more patient-centered model of care. We hope to find out that they are, in fact, doing progressive work, because if they are, we can hold them up as models of leadership.
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