A prominent children’s hospital publicly apologized Thursday for performing cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex infants and pledged to end the practice.
“We recognize the painful history and complex emotions associated with intersex surgery and how, for many years, the medical field has failed these children,” the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago said in a statement. “We empathize with intersex individuals who were harmed by the treatment that they received according to the historic standard of care, and we apologize and are truly sorry.”
The apology, signed by the hospital’s CEO and three head physicians, comes after activists, over a yearslong campaign, called on the institution to ban cosmetic genital surgery on intersex infants, which is irreversible. The signatories also committed to “evolving” their policies going forward and stated that the hospital would not perform such surgeries unless medically necessary or with willful consent from fully informed patients.