What we should care about is health - reduction of morbidity and mortality. Too often, we instead pay attention to whether something is 'normal.' A hospital may spend several million dollars separating a pair of conjoined twins, even though that separation is likely to leave them worse off.
According to my mother, there pretty much wasn't anything I wouldn't eat as a child. Not just try, but eat. I was even inclined to dig into stuff about which she expressed open disgust - lobster and other shellfish, and cheap Chinese food with pepper so hot it made your gums feel like a medieval dentist had been at them.
After I dropped out of college at the age of 19, I became a mortgage broker, and when I went back to school I thought about going into real estate law. I probably would have made a lot more money and died of boredom by now.
You can't go into new life experiences without the understanding that yeah, you may fail, but knowing you might fail can't stop you from trying.
Conjoined twins simply may not need sex-romance partners as much as the rest of us do. Throughout time and space, they have described their condition as something like being attached to a soul mate.
Doctors are human animals. They want to be loved, they are tribal, they instinctually favor stories over scientific evidence, they make mistakes, and even small gifts make them susceptible to being biased.
Ironically, when I've asked my straight friends to join me in hanging a rainbow flag, they answer, 'But someone might think we're gay,' not realizing that is exactly the point. To be mistaken for the oppressed is to momentarily become the oppressed.
A hospital may spend several million dollars separating a pair of conjoined twins even though that separation is likely to leave them worse off.
I don't have the panic I used to have, meeting people who are androgynous, but when you meet someone whose identity is unclear, that throws your own identity into flux because the way we treat each other is very gendered.
When I ask my medical students to describe their image of a woman who elects to birth with a midwife rather than with an obstetrician, they generally describe a woman who wears long cotton skirts, braids her hair, eats only organic vegan food, does yoga, and maybe drives a VW microbus.
When all is said and done, science actually takes hard work and a willingness to sometimes find out that your most cherished hypothesis is wrong.
Doctors are human animals. They want to be loved, they are tribal, they instinctually favor stories over scientific evidence, they make mistakes, and even small gifts make them susceptible to being biased. If we took doctors seriously as human animals, we might hurt them - and they might hurt us - a lot less.
No matter how little we think anatomy should matter to one's social and political rights, surely we can't pretend biology doesn't matter in sports. Surely there's a reason we don't let adults play in the t-ball leagues, and a reason most women athletes want their own leagues.
I actually completely suck at being a bioethicist. What I do is history of medicine and patient advocacy. Patient advocacy is actually the opposite of bioethics, because bioethicists are the people who increasingly set up and justify the systems we patient advocates have to fight.