Plea in Delhi HC seeks Ban on Medically unnecessary Sex-Selective Surgeries
New Delhi: Urging the Delhi High Court to direct the State Government declare a ban on medically unnecessary, sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except for life-threatening situations, an organization has recently filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in this regard.
The petitioner organization has also sought direction upon the Government and other concerned authorities for framing a detailed policy or guidelines that would specify the conditions when medical surgery on intersex infants and children can be performed.
The public interest litigation was filed by Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation through advocates Robin Raju, Yash Prakash and Deepa Joseph, reports ANI.
The petitioner organization claimed to be at the forefront in spreading awareness about the necessity to ban sex-selective surgeries on infants with intersex traits.
The petitioner said that the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) in January 2021 had given a considered opinion that the Respondent Delhi government and its state Ministry of Health and Family Welfare should declare a ban on medically unnecessary, sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except in cases of life-threatening situations but no decision has been taken on the opinion of DCPCR.
"That the issue of sex-selective surgeries or medically unnecessary normalizing surgeries has a long-lasting drastic psychological impact on the minds of intersex people and deters them from even seeking medical attention in future. This aspect is proved by recent news reports that examine the reasons behind reluctance to seek medical help despite having symptoms of Covid-19 among a significant number of intersex people," stated the petition.
The petitioner also mentioned the Supreme Court earlier order where the top court held that "none shall be forced to undergo medical procedures, including sex reassignment surgeries, sterilization, hormonal therapy, as a requirement for legal recognition for their gender identity" and the Madras High Court earlier ruling where it directed the Government of Tamil Nadu to issue a Government Order enshrining the mandate of the Supreme Court so as to effectively ban sex reassignment surgeries on intersex infants and children.
The plea further mentioned that relying on the decision of the Madras High Court, three doctors had submitted a plea before DCPCR. In that plea they had pointed out the instances where intersex people were treated as disabled, and hence the petition mentioned that approached through a medical lens, reducing them to an impairment leading to medical interventions could in turn lead to long term impairments requiring lifetime medical care, adds Live Law.
The petition also pointed out that the three doctors in their plea before DCPCR, had submitted that most of the time the surgeries were conducted without prior and fully informed autonomous consent.
Responding to the plea, DCPCR had appointed Anjali Gopalan and Gopi Shankar Madurai, the founders of the petitioner organization, as its advisors to take a considered decision.
Afterward DCPCR, on the basis of a response of the Delhi Medical Council, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, had opined back on 13 January 2021,that the Delhi Government should declare a ban on the sex selective surgeries.
Seeking implementation of the opinion of DCPCR, the petition also said that the inaction on the part of the respondent is illegal, and arbitrary, thus violating the fundamental rights of the Petitioner guaranteed under the Constitution of India.