A children’s hospital located in Chicago became the first one in the United States of America to apologize for the harm it caused intersex children. The official statement was published last week. The clinic expressed its regret that intersex people had to go through cruel cosmetic surgeries based on the outdated standard of health care, used in the past.
Treatment that doesn’t treat
Intersex babies are born with different variations of body parts connected with male and female bodies. Their sex anatomy can’t be clearly labeled as male or female.
Doing surgeries on the infants to ‘correct’ their genitalia and make them look less ambiguous is a quite common practice even now. However, in most cases, such procedures aren’t medically necessary. Some doctors support the practice, claiming that the baby will fit in better growing up. At the same time, cosmetic genital surgeries have tons of negative side effects, such as sterilization, incontinence, sex issues, and nerve damage.
After years of effort, advocates for intersex people managed to improve the situation. Thus, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital is the first medical institution nationwide to admit that correcting surgeries performed on intersex babies are harmful and wrong.