On the occasion of the International Day of Intersex Solidarity and Remembrance, November 8, we question ourselves in our news podcast “Minute Papillon! “. How to protect the rights of intersex people? Intersex people are people born with sex characteristics – genitals, gonads, hormones – that don’t fit typical definitions of male or female bodies.
About 1.7% of the population is affected, with about 13,000 births per year. Although intersex concerns a significant number of people in our country, intersex people still suffer discrimination and violations of their fundamental rights, according to the Intersex and Activist Collective (CIA),
The ban on conformation operations
Math, a member of this collective which organizes a “quizaine de la visibility intersex”, calls in this podcast for the cessation of surgical operations carried out on intersex people. These operations aim to “conform” the person to a female or male gender. Even if, in the vast majority of cases, variations in sexual characteristics are not dangerous to health. Among these operations, there are vaginoplasties, reductions of the clitoris, or removal of the testicles.
The CIA denounces unnecessary interventions, carried out too young, when the person is not able to give their consent. The collective considers these surgeries illegal. Because, according to article 16-3 of the Civil Code, “the integrity of the human body can only be damaged in the event of medical necessity for the person, or exceptionally in the therapeutic interest of others. “.
Introduce the notion of “vital necessity”
Today, French law prohibits surgical mutilation in the Public Health Code, except for “very serious” medical reasons. When the question of intersex was addressed during the debates on the bioethics law, many political representatives judged that this law was sufficient to regulate practices.
However, according to Flora Bolter, co-director of the LGBTI + Observatory at the Jean Jaurès Foundation, “this is not enough, since [cet argument] was never retained when intersex people denounced the mutilations they had suffered. “. According to this official, the rule is vague concerning the case of intersex people. And she and does not name what are the “very serious” medical reasons. These cases are however known and remain very rare.
This is why, in this podcast, Flora Bolter calls for a rethinking of the law to include the notion of vital necessity, otherwise the decision to operate will always be a choice of doctors. “We end up with doctors who practice law, and it’s very problematic,” she insists. For too long, according to Flora Bolter, the issue of intersex has been treated as a medical problem, when it is a question of respect for fundamental rights.
” Wait a minute ! » is the news podcast of 20 minutes. Feel free to share this episode on social networks. You can subscribe to this podcast for free, rate it and comment on it on your favorite listening platform or app, including Apple podcast or Spotify. To write to us: [email protected]