American Bar Assoc Resolution on informed consent for intersex surgeries

As reported in the ABA Journal, the ABA (American Bar Association) House of Delegates approved a resolution on Monday, February 6, asking medical professionals to obtain consent from minors with intersex traits before doing medical or surgical intervention.

As outlined on the ABA’s website, Resolution 511:
Opposes all federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal legislation, regulation, and agency policy that attempts to impose medical or surgical intervention on minors with intersex traits (also known as variations in sex characteristics) without the minor’s informed consent or assent, and urges licensed professionals not to conduct or propose medical or surgical intervention on minors with intersex traits until the minor requests the proposed care, understands the impact of the proposed care as well as alternatives, is provided with affirming psychosocial supports, and gives informed consent or assent, except when immediate life-threatening circumstances require emergency intervention.

In the thorough, intersex-affirming report released with Resolution 511, the ABA acknowledges that:

“Intersex individuals, particularly children, can be subject to unequal treatment and discrimination based upon their sex traits. This resolution is a logical next step to protect the intersex community from unnecessary and potentially damaging medical or surgical interventions without their consent when they are under legislative assault.”

We are deeply grateful to the ABA for acknowledging the discrimation that intersex people face and working to address it–particularly at a time when we desperately need it as so many anti-trans bills include exceptions to allow nonconsensual medical procedures on intersex babies and children!

The resolution was brought by four ABA entities—-the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Center for Human Rights, the Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice and the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. We thank and commend them for specifying that medical or surgical interventions should be provided only when requested by intersex minors themselves, and only after support is provided and education as to the impact of such procedures, as well as the option of foregoing them.

Read Resolution 511 and full Report here: