Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 1995 – 2000
This report was commissioned by the Federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in December 1997. This report concentrates on the sterilisation of girls and young women. Sterilisation procedures are performed on girls with intellectual disabilities and all cases that have come to the attention of relevant authorities (including the Family Court of Australia, state Supreme Courts, and state Guardianship Tribunals) have involved the sterilisation of girls with intellectual disabilities. This is not to say that boys with intellectual disabilities are not subject to sterilisation procedures. The report poses a range of unanswered and grave questions about the fundamental breach of human rights and well-being of children subject to unauthorised sterilisation procedures. It suggests that a genuine concern for protection of the child’s best interests should be about a broader advocacy of the child’s interests not simply the narrow legal questions of who should make the decisions and how they should be made. The report suggests that fundamental to the success of protecting and ensuring best interests is the support and cooperation of a broader community of medical practitioners, human service providers, specialist consultants in disability, advocates and others. Any weak link will compromise positive outcomes for the child. Copyright 1997.
This is an extract from Jones M & Marks LAB “Female and Disabled: A Human Rights Perspective on Law and Medicine” in Petersen K (eds) Intersections: Women on Law, Medicine and Technology Dartmouth 1997, p49-71. The chapter analyses the issue of sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities. Reproduced here with permission of the authors. Copyright 1997.