Monday, 26 November 2012

UK Midwife On Trial For Causing Death In “Backstreet Circumcision”

A Manchester midwife has gone on trial for the ‘manslaughter by gross negligence’ of a four-week-old boy who bled to death after she performed a ‘backstreet circumcision’ in his home.

The case reminds us that doing nothing about the issue of unnecessary male circumcision in the UK is no longer an option.

It is alleged that Mrs Grace Adeleye carried out the procedure with no anaesthetic or local pain relief and left a "ragged" wound which caused the baby to bleed to death in April 2010.

Unlike girls in the UK, boys have no legal protection against adults who want to perform medically unnecessary surgery on their genitals without anaesthetic in backstreet settings such as homes, restaurants and community centres.

The midwife in this case is not charged with performing the act, but performing the act in a negligent way

In an similar case earlier this year, a baby boy bled to death after Rabbi Mordehai Cohen, who performed a ‘backstreet circumcision’ at a home in Queens Park, London, advised his concerned mother to stem the bleeding from the wound with Vaseline (petroleum jelly), but he was not considered to have been negligent.

In a case in Bristol, a baby boy's skull was fractured during a ritual circumcision performed on a kitchen table but no-one was ever held to account for the injury.

Everyday, as many as 100 Unnecessary Male Circumcisions are performed in the UK, a practice which can cause death, disability, disease, pain and discomfort and physical damage.

Complications are common, two boys a week are being admitted to the Emergency Department in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and one boy a month comes close to death as a result of male circumcision.

In Oxford, a survey revealed that 45% of ‘backstreet circumcisions’ performed at an Islamic school led to complications

In Manchester, up to three boys every month to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital because of bleeding after 'backstreet circumcisions' performed in people’s homes.

In the Manchester case reported on the BBC websitefour-week old Goodluck Caubergs died the day after nurse Grace Adeleye carried out the procedure without anaesthetic, Manchester Crown Court was told.

The jury heard the 66-year-old only used scissors, forceps and olive oil at an address in Chadderton, Greater Manchester in April 2010.

Mrs Adeleye denies manslaughter by gross negligence.
The court heard the medic and Goodluck's parents are originally from Nigeria, where the circumcision of newborns is the tradition for Christian families.

Mrs Adeleye, of Sarnia Court, Salford, was paid £100 to do the operation as Goodluck's parents did not know the procedure was available on the NHS.

It is alleged the defendant, who is also a midwife, left a "ragged" wound that bled and her post-operative care was inadequate.
The family home, where the procedure took place, is a mile and a half from Royal Oldham Hospital.

Adrian Darbishire QC, opening the case for the prosecution, told the jury: "The allegation essentially here is that the care she provided in the course of that procedure was so bad that not only did it cause the death of that young baby wholly unnecessarily, but it amounted to gross negligence and a crime."

The court heard that up to three children a month are admitted to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital because of bleeding after home-based circumcisions - a danger the nurse should have been aware of.

Mrs Adeleye went to Goodluck's home on 16 April 2010, telling his mother to fetch some olive oil and a bowl of warm water and stripping the baby to his vest, the jury was told.

The defendant brought her "instruments" out of her handbag and dipped a pair of scissors into the water in a kidney dish.

She carried out the procedure with no anaesthetic or local pain relief before cleaning the wound with cotton wool and applied a bandage, the court heard.

Between 30 and 40 minutes after surgery, Mrs Adeleye left without making any proper checks on the patient, Mr Darbishire said.

Later, the parents found the bandage had come off the wound, which dripped with blood and there was blood in Goodluck's nappy.

Mr Darbishire said even a small amount of blood loss is dangerous and the loss of just one sixth of a pint of blood can be fatal for a newborn.

A post-mortem examination revealed Goodluck's death was caused by a loss of blood.

The trial continues.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Chief Rabbi Accused Of Lying About Circumcision Damage

The former Head of Child Surgery at Copenhagen’s largest hospital has accused the Danish chief Rabbi of lying.

In a startling interview on Danish TV, the Danish  Chief Rabbi, Bent Lexner, claimed that he has overseen the circumcision of around one thousand baby boys over 40 years and that there hasn’t been one complication.  

However, one of Denmark’s leading pediatricians, Dr Preben Kirkegaard, says that he has seen several cases every year of baby boys with circumcision complications including life-threatening conditions – and says some of these were carried out by the Chief Rabbi who claims there has never been a complication.

Even without Dr Kirkegaard’s powerful testimony the claim that there has never been a complication is startling as all surgery carries risk – even circumcisions carried out by skilled surgeons in medical settings.

The TV feature also carries an interview with Kjeld Koplev a Danish radio journalist who was born into a Jewish family and circumcised as a baby who says:

“It is torture and mutilation of male infants. Why should a Rabbi who doesn’t have a medical education be allowed to do that?”

To read a full transcript of the interview click here now.

To see the TV interview with English subtitles click here now.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

1 in 3 Israeli Parents Don't Want To Circumcise

More evidence that the campaign to End Unnecessary Male Circumcision is a global grassroots movement comes from Israel where more and more parents are choosing not to circumcise their sons.

An extensive article on circumcision in Israel by the country's oldest daily newspaper - Haaretz - reveals that nearly a third of Israeli parents would prefer not to circumcise their sons.

Quoting an informal online survey conducted by the Israeli parenting portal, Mamy, around 5% of Israeli parents no longer circumcise their children because the object to disfiguring their children's bodies or they don't want to inflict pain on their children

According to the newspaper, increasing numbers of Jewish parents are choosing not to have their sons circumcised and support groups have been set up to help parents agonizing over the decision. 

The internet is also playing an important role in increasing the anti-circumcision movement in Israel with the Tapuz portal hosting a forum in Hebrew called 'Forgoing Circumcision' which reports a constant growth in traffic over the past decade. 

To read the full article click here now 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

End Male Circumcision Blog On Russian Radio

Our Campaign to End Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK has featured on Russian Radio as part of a 30 minute debate including:

Glen Poole of The End Unnecessary Male Circumcision blog, Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum, Rabbi Josh Levi and Professor David Katz

Friday, 20 July 2012

UK Circumcision Campaigners March On German Embassy

An invitation from Richard Duncker  at Men Do Complain

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please come and support the delivery of a letter supporting the Cologne ruling on male circumcision to the German Embassy at 23 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PZ at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon leaving time to get there and get home.

Please no independent banners etc. The current climate needs to be respected. There will be some t-shirts and A3 cards hold. Also of course copies of the letter. I know time is tight, short notice but if you can lend your support it would be great to see you.

Meet at Hyde Park tube at 14:30 then walk to the Embassy for 15:00.



Saturday, 14 July 2012

When Circumcision Goes Wrong In The UK

When baby boys are bleeding to death in our communities as the result of being subjected to a medically unnecessary surgery its time to take action. Here are just some of the reasons why doing nothing is no longer an option (click on the links for more information):

When baby boys are being injured and killed by a medically unnecessary practice it's time to take action - please click here to sign our online petition and help us End Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK.

Birmingham NHS Bosses Stay Silent As Botched Circumcisions Put 100 Boys In A&E

Two boys a week are being admitted to the Emergency Department in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and one boy a month comes close to death as a result of male circumcision.

The startling information was uncovered by a Freedom Of Information request which also revealed that Hospital bosses are remaining silent on the issue.

Rob Checketts, Director of Communications at Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has confirmed that the hospital conducted an audit of 105 boys admitted to the Emergency Department with circumcision related complications in 2009. He said the audit has been sent to commissioners at Birmingham & Solihull NHS Cluster but that the commissioners had not replied.

He said the audit was produced because the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Emergency Department wanted to investigate if the appropriate aftercare was being provided to the high volume of boys being admitted with circumcision-related complications. 

Mr Checketts also confirmed that in 2011, 11 baby boys aged 0-1 years old were admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit with life-threatening complications directly caused by circumcision.

The circumcision complications they were treated for included life threatening haemorrhage, shock and sepsis (which is the body’s immune system overacting to an infection)

Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum said:

“There are practically no therapeutic indications for circumcision in this age group so these 11 boys nearly died for an operation they didn't need. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg.

“We don't yet know whether or not the circumcisions were performed in hospital or in the community but we do know that Birmingham primary care trust has commissioned a circumcision service so it is likely that a significant proportion of these were done on the NHS.”

Friday, 13 July 2012

Circumcision Campaign on BBC Men's Hour

The Campaign to End Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK will be featured live on BBC Men's Hour this Sunday evening.

Spokesman for the campaign, Glen Poole, will be a studio guest alongside a spokeswoman for the Jewish Community, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner.

The programme will be broadcast at 9pm this Sunday (July 16th) on BBC Radio 5. Click here for more programme information.

End Male Circumcision campaign on BBC World Service

Our Campaign to End Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK was featured on the 'World Have Your Say' discussion show on the BBC World Service on Thursday 12th June.

The programme can be heard for a limited time via podcast - click here to listen now to the 23 minute podcast.

There is also a longer edition of the programme featuring three leading female campaigners against unnecessary male circumcision including Dr Jenny Goodman - a Jewish mother opposed to the practice; Georganne Chapin of Intact America and Marilyn Milos, founder of NOCIRC in the US.

You can hear the longer version of the programme, also for a limited time, by clicking here now.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

New York Times debates banning circumcision

The New York Times is running a debate on circumcision after a court in Cologne, Germany, ruled that parents can not have boys circumcised unless there is an urgent medical need.

It asks in particular if other jurisdictions follow this example, with laws to delay the procedure until boys can decide for themselves and give informed consent.

Holm Putzke a German law professor argues in one article that "all human beings should be able to make their own decisions about whether their genitals are to be injured, all the more so if such a procedure is irreversible and not medically necessary".

 In another article John V. Geisheker, executive director of Doctors Opposing Circumcision, makes the following point:

"All varieties of nontherapeutic, unnecessary, religious, ritual or cosmetic genital cutting imposed on children, regardless of motive, are legally indistinguishable. Each poses inarguable physical injury and psychological harm for the child. Moreover, the child, with rights to religious choice of his or her own, and an ethical right to an “open future,” has not yet expressed any personal religious beliefs or preferences whatsoever."

To read the full debate in the New York Times click here now

Monday, 2 July 2012

UK Male Circumcision Blog In Daily Mail

Just two months after launching this blog, the Campaign To End Unnecssary Male Circumcision in the UK has been mentioned in the Daily Mail.

In a report on the recent German court ruling that circumcision is illegal, the Mail quoted our article on the ruling stating:

Glen Poole, who runs the End Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK said; 'The news is a huge victory for ‘intactavists’ worldwide. A massive resistance to the practice is taking shape.' 

Click here now to read to full article or cick to sign our petition online today

Friday, 29 June 2012

British Humanists call for circumcision ban

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed a German court ruling that the circumcision of young boys for non-medical reasons constitutes bodily harm. 

The national charity which works on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity has called for a debate on the outlawing of non-therapeutic infant circumcision in the UK.

According to an article on male circumcision in The New StatesmanAndre Copson, CEO of the British Humanist Association, thinks it is "an open and shut case, ethically speaking" on the grounds that "respect for the autonomy of a person requires that they give consent for irreversible procedures affecting their body like cutting pieces off their genitals".

Pavan Dhaliwal, BHA Head of Public Affairs, makes a more detailed comment at

She says: "It is wrong to carry out genital surgery on a child when the procedure has no medical justification, carries a risk of harm, is irreversible, and when the child is not in a position to give their consent.  Female genital mutilation is already illegal in this country, and there also needs to be legislation to outlaw the circumcision of male children, when it is not carried out for medical reasons.  

"This would not constitute an attack on religious freedom, because boys would still be allowed to be circumcised when they reach an age to consent, should they choose to undergo the procedure out of a believe that their covenant with god required it.  But infants are too young to give their consent, and their right to bodily integrity must take precedence over the religious beliefs of their parents.’"

Jewish Mum speaks out against circumcision

The doctor, psychotherapist and a Jewish mother - Dr Jenny Goodman  - spoke out against male circumcision on BBC's Woman's Hour yesterday (Friday 29th June). 

In an interview with Jenni Murray that included opposing views from Ibrahim Mogra an Imam form leicester and a member of the Muslim Council of Great Britain.

Dr Goodman said:

"Circumcision is removal of the foreskin, part of the baby’s body, without the baby’s consent and it does cause pain, it does cause damage and it very frequently causes complications that bleeding and infection, which are complications for any surgery, but the kind of complications we accept if surgery is being done to save life and limb.

"So on the one hand I do think the child has the right to remain intact and not be injured. On the other hand we have two sets of human rights in terrible conflict here. We have the child’s right to its human body, to not to be hurt, but we also have the right of religious freedom and they’re both real and they’re both valid rights, but I think when they come into conflict like this my instinct would be to say the child’s rights have to come first.

"However the law can be a blunt and heavy-handed implement and I would far rather that we outgrew the practice of male circumcision by a grassroots movement from below. And I can tell you it is  beginning with the mothers, because what happens to a mother when a baby has part of his body removed with pain and trauma and the danger of bleeding, is the mother is instantly disempowered.

"Her natural instinct to cherish and protect the child and keep him from all harm is brought into immediate conflict with her loyalty to her tradition, her tribe, her community. And she is told that if this procedure isn’t done he cannot be part of his community. Now that is a circular, self-perpetuating argument with an element of the Emperor’s new clothes

"If you don’t circumcise that’s not an irrevocable decision, a boy or a young man can choose that for himself later on. My problem is imposing this on helpless infants and in most  clutures helpless mothers as well."

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

German court rules male circumcision illegal

In a groundbreaking decision, a regional court in Cologne, Germany has ruled Unnecessary Male Circumcision illegal.

The following post is based on a google translation of an article which appeared in the German Financial Times -  you can read to google translation by clicking here

The ruling concerned a Muslim doctor who had circumcised a four-year-old boy at the request of the parents Two days later the boy was bleeding from his penis and the mother took him to the children's emergency room.

Local prosecutors became aware of the case and indicted the circumciser. The district court initially found the procedure to be legal but the prosecutor and she appealed.

At the appeal the district court ruled that the circumcision constituted "serious and irreversible impairment of physical integrity."

According to the article, this means that the circumcision of boys for non-medical reasons in future with be considered an assault and anyone who circumcises a boy in Germany is liable to prosecution.

Neither the parents nor the right to freedom of religion guaranteed in the Basic Law can justify this procedure, the court ruled.

Every year in Germany, several thousand boys are circumcised in their early years at the request of parents. It is the first time a German court has ruled the procedure is illegal.

The news is a huge victory for "intactavists" worldwide and the article acknowledges that a "massive resistance"   to the practice is taking shape. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Racist, Sexist Telegraph Readers Think Genital Mutilation Is Hilarious

Online readers of the UK’s Daily Telegraph are engaging in racist, sexist and sexually violent jokes about the genital mutilation of African men, just one day after it was reported that an African baby bled to death in London as the result of an Unnecessary Male Circumcision.

In a week when circumcised men were being chased through the streets of Africa  by knife wielding gangs intent on cutting off their foreskins – click here for a report from Uganda – online readers of the UK’s Daily Telegraph exchanged racist, sexist and sexually violent jokes about circumcising African men.

The comments were under an article about male MPs in Zimbabwe getting circumcised as part of a misguided HIV/Aids campaign – which you can read by clicking here – and included comments like:

SEXIST: “Well, that's the most intelligent part of them gone!”

RACIST: “I usually treat myself to a Waitrose Black Pudding….not sure I could put one of those  black things in my mouth again”

SEXUALLY VIOLENT: “They should have castrated the whole bloody lot of them!!”

Other comments included:

Spikey: Perhaps we could persuade our politicians to have it done but this time keep the bit they remove and throw away the rest.

Nice_Guy_Nacho: An advertisement has appeared in the "sits vac" columns of The (Zimbabwe) Herald. "WANTED:
Surgeons with experience in circumcision - salary, Z$ 30,000 p.a. (plus tips )."

ColinPowis: Well, there'll be no more choking the chicken for a while. And Moses said to Pharoah  '' Pharoah ....Let that chicken be”

Mummyknowsbest : “Well thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I usually treat myself to a Waitrose Black Pudding for saturday tea , perhaps today I will give it a miss. Not sure I could put one of those  black things in my mouth again. I guess its a age thing - Oh well!”

Feisty: A stitch in time saves 9...”

prettyboyguy: “When Robert Mugabe was circumscribed, they threw away the wrong bit. Let's hope his compatriots do not make the same mistake.”

JohnDevries: “Well, that's the most intelligent part of them gone!”

Anotherjack: “They cut off the wrong heads.”

nickwain: “Why stop at the foreskin...........”

rastus321: “They should have castrated the whole bloody lot of them!!”


You can email your thoughts to The Daily Telegraph here:

Or if you can feel the comments constitute a hate crime report click here to report the matter online

Men with foreskins chased by mobs with knives

Uncircumcised men are being chased through the streets naked by knife wielding gangs intent on cutting off their foreskins according to reports from Uganda.

A misguided campaign aimed at reducing HIV transmission through mass circumcision has gone badly wrong in Uganda with knife wielding gangs chasing uncircumcised through the streets intent on cutting off their foreskins.

More than 200 men have been attacked; 2 have come close to death; police have used tear gas to disperse gangs; terrified men are rushing into hospital to have emergency circumcisions to avoid being violently attacked for having a foreskin and surgeons have been arrested and charged with assault.

The Africa Report carries a shocking story of one naked victim being chased through the streets of Mbale in Uganda by a gang of more than 50 and a scalpel wielding surgeon. The man sought sanctuary in the Resident District Administrators office where guards fought off the assailants.

Other men have not been so lucky. According to a report in The Atlantic Wire more than 40 men have been subjected to forced circumcision in two days due to a "disturbing mix of cultural and science-based values". The men who fell prey to the forced circumcision campaign were targeted because their wives or girlfriends were part of the Bamasaba tribe, which prescribes circumcision to all males from the age of 15

 "We are helping those who feared getting circumcised through cultural processes," said program leader Badru Wasike, who told Africa Report that it was a cultural and health exercise. "We are aware that circumcised men do not easily get infected with HIV/AIDS. Since they love our relatives we want them to be safe."

It is estimated that a total number of about 220 people have been circumcised from the time the exercise began.

Dr. Jaffer Balyejjusa a senior Consultant surgeon at Mbale regional Referral Hospital has condemned the act of forceful circumcision.

He said that so far they have received two cases where the victims had been circumcised badly putting lives in danger.

The Ugandan Observer newspaper reports that business in Mbale was paralysed when unruly youth stormed the streets and began indiscriminately circumcising anyone they came across.

Many businessmen of different ethnicities, that do not practise circumcision, locked their shops and fled. Those captured yelled in pain as they were circumcised in front of onlookers in the suburbs where different ethnic groups reside or do businesses.

Police engaged in a hide-and-seek game with errant youth and used tear gas to disperse crowds and three traditional surgeons involved in this operation have been arrested and face charges of forcefully inflicting harm on their victims.

At least 46 men between the ages of 30 to 70 rushed to Mbale referral hospital to be circumcised to avoid having their genitals mutilated by angry mobs.

Police Commander Micahel Ongica said.

“Some members of the business community have come to us seeking security because these hooligans are attacking anyone they presume uncircumcised. We shall arrest and prosecute anyone found loitering in town looking to destabilize peace in the name of circumcision”

Human rights activist Keneth Mabonga told The Africa Report "Men were told to unzip on the streets to ascertain whether they had been circumcised. That is not only unfair but also inhuman."

In and insightful report in the Ugandan newspaper The Observer, Patience Akumu describes the rising problem of forcefully-circumcised men reveals a failure to acknowledge men as victims of gender-based violence:

"Tales of the brutal arrests and forceful circumcision the men go through are rife, but somehow they never receive that much attention. It is hard for society to fathom that the macho men can be on the receiving end of physical and verbal attacks, particularly in the private arena where they rule as kings. Sexual and gender-based violence campaigns almost always focus on women as victims and the men only feature as perpetrators." 

Some cultural leaders condemned the act. John Musila, a spokesman for the Bamasaba tribe said:

"We as Bamasaba condemn indiscriminate cutting of non-Bagisu. In our culture, non-Bamasaba cannot be forced into circumcision unless they accept on their own. Those forcing non-Bamasaba into circumcision should not be associated with our culture and those doing it, should be cautioned"

Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, MPs are setting aside political differences to promote mass circumcision - click here for the story - and an African baby bled to death after being circumcised in London