Monday, 30 April 2012

Circumcision debated in Sunday Times


The issue of of Unnecessary Male Circumcision hit the Sunday Times letters page on Sunday 29th April following an article on Female Genital Mutilation.

Tristram Penna of London, W1, wrote to the paper to say:

"Male Genital Mutilation (or circumcision) is legal in Britain and frequently undertaken by clerics with no medical training. Surely if the UK in 2007 banned the docking of dogs’ tails by veterinarians we can also ban this."

Ian Glasspool of Middleton-on-Sea wrote to say to point out the "double standard" which he said "leaves us open to accustaions of hyposcrisy particularly If we consier the question of the circumcision of baby boys by other prominent faiths in Britain".

And the 'star letter' on the issue of Unnecessary Male Circumcision came from Dr Anthony Lempert, a GP and Director of the Secular Medical Forum. He wrote:

"Perceived cultural sensitivity should be no bar to protecting vulnerable children from serious harm, especially since many of them later choose a different cultural identity from that of their parents.

"In Britain the genitals of many children are mutilated every year because the family believes it to be in the child’s best interest. The FGM legilslation explicity debars such excuses even where the procedure is considered “necessary” for girls in terms of custom or ritual.

"Why, then, is this still allowed as the justification for performing irreversible surgery on boys – removing the sensitive foreskin without their consent and for no medical reason."

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