Critics of circumcision have argued that the practice could be illegal on minors under the Offences Against the Person Act and have attacked the British Medical Association's position on the procedure as 'unethical'.
Earlier this month, Men do complain (MDC) and NORM-UK chairman Dr John Warren and colleagues, pictured below, delivered an open letter to the BMA arguing that 'a child who has no disease, no injury or no dangerous abnormality has no need of any type of treatment or irreversible surgery' and that to carry it out just to please the parents 'violates the autonomy of children'.
The letter goes on to say: 'any surgery that is performed without the patient’s personal consent and without therapeutic need is clearly an assault. Any cut made without consent or therapeutic need “that breaks the continuity of the skin” is a wounding under the (Offences Against the Person) Act 1861.'
Richard Dunker of MDC said: 'The current attitude of the medical authorities towards circumcision is inappropriate in an era where children’s individual rights are increasingly recognised. Adults have a duty of care and responsibility to nurture their children but this does not extend to a power to authorise non-therapeutic removal of a body part, however trivial a doctor may consider it to be.
'It is hard to see how protecting children from unnecessary genital surgery is not in the public interest when prosecutions for touching the genitals of children are vigorously pursued. In a non-therapeutic circumcision such touching is done with impunity.'
Page created on August 10th, 2011
Page updated on August 12th, 2011