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American Academy of Pediatrics Statement in Response to Human Rights Watch Report on Treatment of Children With Differences of Sex Development

7/25/2017

The report by Human Rights Watch on the treatment of children born with differences of sex development provides a thoughtful analysis of the perspectives of both those who care for children, as well as parents and patients themselves. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees it’s important that a child’s medical team and parents engage in open, transparent conversations so that parents fully understand their child’s condition and the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment, as well as alternatives, such as delaying surgery.

The care of children with differences of sex development is a rapidly evolving field, and one with an urgent need for additional research regarding treatment outcomes and the best ways to support children and families. Within the American Academy of Pediatrics, physicians who care for children – including pediatricians, endocrinologists, urologists, neonatologists, surgeons, mental health experts and other pediatric subspecialists – continue to discuss how treatment plans should evolve as new understanding emerges. This report from Human Rights Watch is an important addition to that evaluation.

As pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists, we care about the health and dignity of all children, and we are committed to continued examination and discussion of recommended treatments for children with differences of sex development. We share the goal of Human Rights Watch and other advocates of helping children to have a healthy and happy life.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.