Michelle Griffin, Social Affairs Editor
THE federal Disability and Sex Discrimination Commissioners Graeme Innes and Elizabeth Broderick have called on the Attorney-General to ban the sterilisation of children – unless there is a compelling medical reason – regardless of whether they have a disability, and of adults with disability without their informed consent.
”It is the [Human Rights] Commission’s position that [sterilisation] shouldn’t occur apart from therapeutic circumstances,” Mr Innes said. ”Even if it is occurring, there should be court supervision, and that is not happening in many cases.”
The sterilisation of intellectually disabled women and girls is seriously under-reported, Mr Innes said, and the Human Rights Commission has anecdotal evidence that girls are still being sterilised by doctors who bypass regulations requiring them to apply to courts for permission. Mr Innes is working with the Family Court of Australia and all the guardianship boards across Australia to update the numbers of officially sanctioned sterilisations.