Legal and Ethical Issues in Medical Treatment of Children with Variations of Sex Anatomy

Posted On: December 27, 2011

What would you do if this was your child? What would you like happen?

Speaker: Anne Tamar-Mattis

Description: An estimated 1 in 2,000 babies is born with a Difference of Sex Development (DSD or intersex condition). Currently, there is much controversy regarding the best course of treatment for those children with DSD born with atypical genitals. However, little attention has gone to the process of decision-making, or to other important questions such as sterilization of children with DSD or protecting privacy rights.

This workshop begins with an overview of the biology of DSD and the basic legal and ethical principles of surrogate consent in pediatric cases. We will then discuss some key legal and ethical questions.

Participants will become familiar with key legal and ethical issues in the treatment of children with DSDs, with special attention to unsettled questions of law and uncertain medical outcomes. Participants will deepen their understanding of the ethics and law of surrogate decision-making for children. Participants will be able to identify potential situations in the treatment of children with DSDs where additional legal or ethical consultation may be indicated.

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