Finnish Pediatric Surgeon Mika Venhola recently denounced corrective surgeries on intersex infants and children. In his youtube interview from early April, Dr. Venhola states that when he was obliged as a medical student to perform “corrective surgery” (you can see him use air quotes in the clip) on an intersex baby he felt, “it was such a huge human rights and children’s rights violation that he swore he would never do it again and

[he] hasn’t.”

He was also moved to continue investigating if corrective surgeries were being performed elsewhere in the world and to obtain a consensus of his colleagues on the issue. What he found was that as of the late-90’s, most doctors were recommending and performing surgeries on intersex children despite the growing decent of intersex adults who survived these surgeries. Dr. Venhola calls this arrogance and continues to advocate among his colleagues for the rights of intersex people.

The interview goes on to discuss his insights on the medical approach to both intersex and transgender people. As an ally to both, he has a strong human rights analysis.

His final assessment provides an analogy that if you give a surgeon a hammer they are going to see a nail. Venhola urges that intersex children don’t need ‘a nail’, that they do not need to be ‘fixed’ and that medical intervention is only necessary in response to medical crisis.

More doctors stepping forward in solidarity means move power for the intersex human and civil rights movement. Thanks Dr. V!