Sterilisation and intellectually disabled people in New Zealand—still on the agenda?
Hamilton, C. (2012). Sterilisation and intellectually disabled people in New Zealand—still on the agenda? Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 7(2), 61-71.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7070
Support through care and protection within a medical framework, rather than through the idea of independence within the least restrictive environment, continues to guide service provision for intellectually disabled people in the sexuality area. Past practices have included use of involuntary sterilisation. This article outlines the outcome of a search for information undertaken because of concerns that use of sterilisation-related procedures may remain embedded in contemporary approaches to sexuality support management. Verified instances of hysterectomy carried out between 1991 and 2001 were uncovered. Documents tabled at a Parliamentary Select Committee in 2003 expressing concerns about use in relation to young disabled girls were also found. Requests for sterilisation-related procedures exemplify how the right of all vulnerable citizens to full bodily integrity is currently adjudicated in New Zealand. It is suggested that further research is needed to pinpoint and address the underlying social customs through which requests for such procedures are negotiated and resolved.
The Royal Society of New Zealand.
This article has been published in the journal: Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online. © 2012 The Royal Society of New Zealand. Used with permission.
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