Gender Reassignment Surgery: Is It Ethical?

Better Essays
Topics: Transgender
Jennifer Hopkins
Dr. McDonald
Hu 101: Ethics
June 29, 2010
Gender Reassignment Surgery: Is It Ethical? I found this topic interesting because it is not often looked at from an ethical point of view. In my research I found that most of the controversy surrounding sexual reassignment was which procedures to use and also a few theological viewpoints which varied considerably which I will not be going into. At this current time, there are psychological protocols in place before a person can have surgical procedures done to help minimize buyer’s remorse so to speak (Hausman, Fall2000). So I feel that gender reassignment surgery is ethically permissible as long as the patient has followed all psychological protocols and has been prepared for the change.
First of all; what is gender reassignment surgery? This is a very complex question with many answers, so I’d like to examine total surgery. Total gender reassignment surgery consists of 2 parts, ‘top surgery’ where the chest is augmented to resemble a more gender appropriate physique. Meaning either breast implantation or breast removal. The second part is ‘bottom surgery’ where the genitals are fashioned to match the desired sex. Genetic men are castrated and then the tissue is formed to resemble the external vagina, also called a vaginoplasty (Sharma, Damayanti; Dahiya, Krishna; Chechi, Kunika; Sirohiwal, Daya, Jun2008). Genetic females are given a hysterectomy and then a “groin-flap” technique is used to form a penis from present external tissue (Phillips). This procedure is called a phalloplasty (Leriche, Albert; Timsit, Marc-Olivier; Morel-Journel, Nicolas; Bouillot, André; Dembele, Diala; Ruffion, Alain, may2008). But before any of this can take place a patient must first follow certain social changes. These include therapy for a number of years, publicly cross dressing full time for a number of years, as well as hormone therapy (Phillips).
There are some reports of attempted sex change surgery as far back



Cited: Hausman, B. L. (Fall2000). Do Boys Have to be Boys? Gender, Narrativity, and the John/Joan Case. NWSA Journal , 114. Web. Leriche, Albert; Timsit, Marc-Olivier; Morel-Journel, Nicolas; Bouillot, André; Dembele, Diala; Ruffion, Alain. (may2008). Long-term outcome of forearm flee-flap phalloplasty in the treatment of transsexualism. BJU International , 1297-1300. Web. Phillips, M. A. (n.d.). Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About a Sex Change but were afraid to ask. Retrieved 06 26, 2010, from The Transgender Support Site: http://heartcorps.com/journeys/everything/introduction.htm#human_sexualtiy_101 Sharma, Damayanti; Dahiya, Krishna; Chechi, Kunika; Sirohiwal, Daya. (Jun2008). Vaginoplasty with Amnion Grafting: An Experience. Journal of Gynecologic Surgery , 61-65. Transzone. (n.d.). Is this the World 's First Recorded Sucessful Sex Change? 06 26, 2010, from Transzone: http://www.transgenderzone.com/features/sex_change.htm

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