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photo First Do No Harm
Total Patient Care for Intersex
From the Intersex Society of North America

'Intersex' describes a range of conditions in which a person is born with mixed or ambiguous sexual anatomy. This video argues for a new understanding of this condition and for a new, patient-centered standard of care.

The traditional medical standard of care has called for 'normal' gender identity to be 'assigned' through genital plastic surgery in infancy or childhood, and to be reinforced by controlling the amount of information given to parents and patients. Many patients over the years have been subjected to multiple surgeries without either they or their parents fully understanding what was being done.

Over the past decade, new medical evidence and advances in healthcare ethics have led to calls for a new approach. The Intersex Society of North America argues that intersexuality is a problem of trauma, secrecy, and stigma, not of gender; that early surgery is unnecessary and often harmful; that withholding information from parents and patients is unethical and destructive; and that professional mental health services for parents and patients are essential elements of good care.

This video outlines the problems with current practices, and provides guidelines for a new standard of care that is more advanced both scientifically and ethically. The program is based on a panel discussion involving medical professionals, an adult with intersex condition, and a parent. Though addressed primarily to medical and mental health professionals, it is quite accessible to lay audiences as well.

20 minutes
© 2002
Purchase $149 DVD
Order No. QA-368

Reviews
"Effectively advocates for a new, patient-centered standard of medical care, more scientifically and ethically advanced than today's norm. A frank discussion on the issues surrounding intersex conditions. Recommended." Video Librarian

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