, Volume 196, Issue 11, pp 4429–4447 | Cite as

From ‘Intersex’ to ‘DSD’: a case of epistemic injustice

  • Teri MerrickEmail author
S.I.: Medical Knowledge


The 2005 International Consensus Conference on Intersex resulted in a substantive revision of the lexicon and guidelines for treating intersex conditions. The speed with which the new treatment protocol has been adopted by healthcare practitioners and providers is considered unprecedented. However, a number of intersex people and advocacy groups have complained that the recommended revisions are inadequately informed by the testimony of intersex people. In this paper, I argue that such complaints are valid and that, despite the conference conveners stated intention, the revisions perpetuate the epistemic injustice long endured by intersex people. By analyzing the Consensus Conference and its results as a failed attempt to redress the epistemic marginalization of intersex patients and advocacy groups, I am able to identify lingering institutional hurdles to cultivating the virtue of epistemic justice in biomedical practice.


Epistemic injustice Intersex Consensus conferences Disorders of sex development Patient activism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyAzusa Pacific UniversityAzusaUSA

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