Ethics and Children with Differences in Sex Development and Gender Nonconformity

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Society once considered children born with atypical genital anatomy to be freaks of nature. Until recently, doctors labeled these children “hermaphrodites” and urged early appearance-altering surgery. While times have changed, somewhat, medical interventions continue despite mounting evidence of long-term harms associated with both medical and surgical “treatment.” In the last few years, family, public, and medical attention has increasingly focused on children who feel trapped in the body of the “opposite” sex and wish to live as the other gender. Controversy continues about how often these feelings persist into adulthood and when to use medical interventions, such as hormone blocking to prevent full pubertal development, to support the gender nonconformity. When should society constrain clinicians from intervening in these contentious arenas?

sept 28 calendar iconJoin us for Joel E. Frader’s lecture on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from noon till 1 pm in person or online.

Joel E. Frader, MD, MA, is the A Todd Davis Professor of General Academic Pediatrics and Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. He received a B.A. from Columbia University (1970), a M.D. from Tufts (1974), and a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania (1980) where he was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. He is active in and served in leadership positions for national organizations concerned with pediatrics and bioethics. He teaches, consults and conducts research in bioethics and palliative care, focusing on ethical issues involving children in the health care system and innovation in health care. He has special interest in ethics in organ transplantation, children with differences in sexual development (intersex) and gender nonconformity, decision making at the end of life, and the ethics of human subjects research.

In person: This lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

Online: Here are some instructions for your first time joining the webinar, or if you have attended or viewed them before, go to the meeting!

Can’t make it? All webinars are recorded! Visit our archive of recorded lectures. To receive reminders before each webinar, please subscribe to our mailing list.

About Michigan State Bioethics

Devoted to understanding and teaching the ethical, social and humanistic dimensions of illness and health care since 1977.
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