It is an unusual lawsuit that two parents have filed against doctors, but
their claim is that doctors were grossly negligent when they performed
a sex-assignment surgery on their then-16-month-old child, knowing that
there was a significant chance that they were choosing the wrong gender.
If the parents are successful, this could be a landmark pediatric medical
malpractice lawsuit that could influence how other intersex conditions
are dealt with in Ohio.
Very shortly after he was born, the child was determined to have both male
and female genitalia. Instead of allowing the child to develop and choose
which gender he identified with, the child underwent an operation as a
toddler that removed all male genitalia. Unfortunately for the boy and
his parents, the surgeons chose the wrong gender and the now-8 year old
identifies as male.
There is considerable debate in Ohio and across the country on how to handle
intersex children. Some doctors and parents wish to wait until a child
has started developing before undertaking any surgical procedures (assuming
any procedures are requested). Others will insist on operating, guessing
as to what gender the child should be, yet there is a very real risk that
they will guess incorrectly, leaving the child with a body that does not
match his or her gender.
The child’s parents recognize that their son has had an irreversible
sex-assignment surgery that marks him as female, despite the fact that
he identifies as male. While he has been able to transition and live as
a boy, he faces a tough road ahead of him.