Friday, 22 June 2012

Medics urged to ban circumcision as baby boy bleeds to death

The British Medical Association will be urged to debate the banning of Unnecessary Male Circumcision at its annual meeting next week after a baby bled to death in Queens Park, London.

The tragic case of 28 day old Angelo Ofori-Mintah is the latest in string of deaths and injuries that have prompted some doctors to call for laws that protect girls from unnecessary genital cutting to be extended to protect boys.

The news of Angelo’s death came in the same week that The British Association for Community Child Health reported in it’s quarterly newsletter that a baby boy's skull was fractured during a ritual circumcision performed on a kitchen table in Bristol.

Now Dr Antony Lempert, GP and Director of the Secular Medical Forum, will be calling on the BMA to debate the banning of Non Therapeutic Circumcision in the UK at the start of its annual meeting.

Other cases that have helped push the issue up the agenda include the case of a Salford midwife who will be tried for manslaughter later this year after a boy she circumcised bled to  death, and a report in The Journal of Public Health that found that nearly 1 in 2 Muslim boys circumcised in an Islamic school in Oxford ended up with medical complications.

There is currently a growing demand across Northern Europe to outlaw the practice with the junior member of Norway’s coalition government calling for a male circumcision ban earlier this month and medical associations in Sweden an The Netherlands also opposing the practice.

Britain’s leading anti-circumcision charity, NORM UK, is heading for Rotterdam next week for an international conference on the Doctor And The Foreskin (subtitle Circumcision: forbid, deter or encourage?)

The Campaign To End Unnecessary Male Circumcision estimates that more than half a million boys living in the UK will be subjected to medically unnecessary circumcision before their 16th birthday.

And the anti-circumcision movement is growing in the UK with campaigners from the group Men Do Complain planning to protest outside the British Medical Association’s Annual Representatives Meeting in Bournemouth next week.

The campaign founder, Richard Dunkcer, says they will be protesting because “cutting the genitals of healthy boys who cannot consent is profoundly unethical".

Another group, Genital Autonomy, is planning a mini-conference in at Keele University in July to bring together leading experts and practioners to debate “How Can We Prevent unnecessary Male Circumcision”.


  1. I am minded to recall a newspaper report I once read about a young baby in the rear seat of a car who was killed when his mother had to brake sharply due to the bonnet releasing without warning and a lorry travelling close behind collided with her car. The report proclaimed it to be a tragic but freak accident with not the slightest reference to the fact that the lorry driver was actually guilty of the manslaughter of the child. Myopia continues to thrive in our midst.

  2. Why won't the news media publicise each and every death, and severe injury, caused to a child from genital mutilation?

    It is also far too easy to impede justice by with-holding evidence, so often it is alleged that police investigations get now-where because the perpetrators and witnesses will not talk. A solution to this must be found.