Événements The Challenges in Access to Healthcare for Intersex Individuals in Québec and Canada


Please join us for the third McGill Research Group on Health and Law (RGHL) seminar of the year delivered by Professor Yann Joly, Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP), and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University.

His talk will be entitled “The Challenges in Access to Healthcare for Intersex Individuals in Québec and Canada”.

The event will be held Thursday, January 9th, 2020, from 4:00-5:30 PM, in Room 16 Old Chancellor Day Hall (Stephen Scott Seminar Room) at the McGill University Faculty of Law (3644 Peel Streel, entry through 3660 Peel).

Une attestation de participation sera émise sur demande aux membres du Barreau du Québec et de la Chambre des notaires.

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP by emailing rghl.law@mcgill.ca.



The Challenges in Access to Healthcare for Intersex Individuals in Québec and Canada

About 1.7% of the Canadian population falls under the umbrella of “intersex”, including sexual variation at the chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal, and genital levels. For intersex patients, healthcare is fraught with difficulties due to the various harms they suffer, including the concealment of medical information and trauma due to non-consensual pediatric surgical procedures.

In June 2017, three former US Surgeon Generals published a policy brief recognizing the psychosocial harms caused by the stigmatization of intersex individuals. Furthermore, in October 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called for a ban on medically unnecessary "sex-normalizing" surgical interventions on intersex children. Unfortunately, intersex individuals still face serious human rights violations, discrimination, and stigmatization. Qualitative research, on which best practices and medical policies can be based to prevent these prejudices, remains underdeveloped. Additionally, there is presently a lack of Canadian-specific guidance or explicit legal protections to guide healthcare providers in their relationship with intersex patients.

This seminar will present the development of our project on access to healthcare for the intersex population in Québec and Canada, focusing on the following aspects: 1) presentation of the main objectives of the project; 2) challenges posed by research with the intersex community; 3) identification of foreign laws and policies of interest for the Canadian context; and 4) a description of the next steps to enable the development of public policies allowing better access to healthcare for this marginalized population.



YANN JOLY, Ph.D. (DCL), FCAHS, Ad.E., is the Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP). He is also an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics cross-appointed at the Bioethics Unit, at McGill University. He was conferred the honorary distinction of Advocatus Emeritus by the Quebec Bar in 2012, and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2017. Professor Joly is a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU) Sectoral Commission for Natural, Social and Human Sciences. He is the current Chair of the Bioethics Workgroup of the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC), and of the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). He is also a member of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) Committee on Ethics, Law and Society (CELS).

Professor Joly’s research interests lie at the interface of the fields of scientific knowledge, health law (biotechnology and other emerging health technologies) and bioethics. He has published his findings in over 120 peer-reviewed articles featured in top legal, ethical and scientific journals. He served as a legal advisor on multiple research ethics committees in the public and private sectors. Professor Joly also sits on editorial committees and acts as a reviewer for a wide range of publications in his field. In 2012, he received the Quebec Bar Award of Merit (Innovation) for his work on the right to privacy in the biomedical field.