Monday, 14 May 2012

UK trails Norway in moves to end circumcision after baby death

Leading authorities in Norway – where a 2-week-old baby boy has died from circumcision complications – are calling for a ban on Unnecessary Male Circumcision in Norway.

The state ombudsman for children, Reidar Hjermann, has proposed the introduction of a lower age limit for non-medical circumcisions of 16 or 18 which would effectively ban ritual circumcision.

In the UK, the authorities have been conspicuously silent about the need to tackle Unnecessary Male Circumcision despite the fact that a UK midwife was charged with the manslaughter last month after a  baby who bled to death

In Norway, Trond Markestad, a pediatrician and leader of the Norwegian Medical Association (NMA) ethical council, believes that circumcising a boy on non-medical grounds is unethical and “should not be a prioritized public responsibility.” 

“This is a medically unnecessary procedure, with the threat of complications, and is done to a person that can not give consent” he said. 

Other notable organisations calling for ban include the Norwegian Humanist Association and the Medical Faculty of Oslo Universitu. A spokeswoman for the Justice Policy Centre, Jenny Klinge, said ritual circumcision of young boys should be banned in line with the country’s laws protecting girls from circumcision.

The news from Norway places further pressure on leading organisations to speak out against the practice of Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK.

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