The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 2012

The Principle of Totality and Integrity

Nicholas Tonti-Filippini
Pages 85-97

Sex Reassignment and Catholic Schools

The author was consulted by two Catholic schools in separate cases of a student and a teacher preparing to undergo sex reassignment. Such cases give rise to special ethical and pastoral concerns. This article discusses the disorders that may lead to sex reassignment, distinguishing between con­genital disorders of sex development (intersex conditions) and gender identity disorder (gender dysphoria). It also notes the ethical differences between the correction of congenital anomalies and interventions to relieve dysphoria: in the former, treatment is meant to restore as much normal function as possible; in the latter, mutilating intervention destroys what were otherwise healthy bodily functions. In Catholic schools, concern for the well-being of an affected student or teacher is required, as is a clear understanding of the condition being treated, the ethical implications of treatment, the privacy issues, the effects on other students and staff, and the effects on a teacher’s ability to give faithful witness to Catholic teaching. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.1 (Spring 2012): 85–97.

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