Let it be: The right to personal autonomy of persons with intersex / DSD

  • Auteur(s):
    Pieter Cannoot
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The Belgian legal system devotes very little attention to the situation of persons with intersex/DSD. Although intersex/DSD is a common phenomenon, data about the prevalence of medical treatment regarding persons with intersex/DSD and their living conditions are rare. Persons with intersex/DSD are currently put under particular pressure by the legal system because of its binary normative character. The conceptualisation of “sex” according to the binary (male/female) maintains the pathologisation of intersex/DSD and reinforces the focus on sex normalising treatment on children who are too young to provide their informed consent. This contribution specifically deals with the legal challenges of sex normalising medical treatments, sex registration by the government and discrimination of persons with intersex/DSD, from a human rights approach. It will focus on the right to personal autonomy of persons with intersex/DSD and provides several possible scenarios to improve their legal status in the Belgian legal system.

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