There are a large number of potential situations that can be considered medical malpractice. While most people first thing of surgical error, some of the lesser-known categories of medical malpractice are beginning to get attention in recent years.
One landmark case involves an intersex child from South Carolina. His adopted parents have recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on his behalf. This is due to the fact that surgery was performed on him after his birth parents lost custody of him. While he was under the care of social service, it was decided between social service and doctors that the child would have corrective surgery. This surgery made him look like a girl. While his adopted parents initially raised him as a girl, they stopped when he continued to insist that he was a boy and began to look into the case.
When it comes to intersex children, these decisions are not uncommon. Up until recently, they were not contested either. Many doctors recommended immediate surgery on any intersex infants who did not fit into either one gender mold or the other. It was also highly recommended for parents to raise their children as whichever sex that they most closely visually resembled. In many cases, the parents would also keep the condition under wraps. This is either because they felt shameful or because they feared that they or their child would be ostracized.
While there is still a long way to go when it comes to equality for intersex people, this lawsuit is a step in the right direction. If the parents succeed, it will let others know that operating on an infant or young child without their understanding or consent may no longer be tolerated in the future.
Source: ABC 6 News, "Intersex surgeries spark move away from drastic treatment," Lindsey Tanner, April 17, 2015