Danish Doctors Call Circumcision Mutilation

The Danish Medical Association (Lægeforeningen) issued a document on January 20, 2014 in which they state that circumcision is a mutilation and a violation and should be legally banned.

http://www.laeger.dk/portal/page/portal/LAEGERDK/Laegerdk/Nyheder?public_visningsType=1&public_nyhedsId=93720

The Danish Society of Family Physicians (Dansk Selskab for Almen Medicin=DSAM; Direct translation: Danish Society for General Medicine) then released a short statement agreeing with this Danish Medical Association document. http://www.dsam.dk/flx/forsiden/nyheder/kommentar-til-vejledning-om-omskaering-af-drenge/

The Danish newspaper BT released an article about these events. The article appears at http://www.bt.dk/danmark/danske-laeger-omskaering-af-drenge-er-lemlaestelse.

An apparent discrepancy with the dates exists because the BT article is dated the day before the date of the DMA document but the DMA document actually appeared on January 20.

Steven Svoboda
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child


Circumcision should always be performed in medical treatment facilities

 

21 January 2014

It is totally unacceptable to allow circumcision of male infants less than two months at locations other than a medical treatment facility, according to the Medical Association calling the Board of Health to change the rules .

Health recommends a draft revised guidelines on circumcision to boys who are older than two months have surgery performed at a medical treatment facility. This rule should of course also apply to the youngest children who undergo this surgical interventions .

"Boys who are younger than two months, of course, entitled to the greater security it provides, the operation is performed at a medical treatment facility. Circumcision like any other interventions lead to complications, and therefore it is important that the operation takes place in a framework that protects the child as possible - regardless of age. The Board of Health should ensure in the new guide," says Mads Koch Hansen, president of the Association.

Circumcision should be a personal choice
He stresses that the Medical Association is fundamentally opposed to male circumcision unless there is a medical reason such as phimosis for carrying out the operation.

"It's very intrusive that adults may decide that the newborn to undergo a surgical procedure that is not medically justified and if power is lifelong. When a boy when the age of majority, he may even decide, but until then the requirements of the individual's right to self-determination prevail," says Mads Koch Hansen.


 

Here is a translation of the article from BT about these developments. The article appears at http://www.bt.dk/danmark/danske-laeger-omskaering-af-drenge-er-lemlaestelse.

Danish doctors: Circumcision of boys is mutilation

by Jens Anton Havskov

BT (Microsoft translation)

January 20, 2014

Doctors are now speaking out: circumcision is a violation and should be banned

General practitioners have drawn a thick line in the sand on a - in more than one sense - sensitive area: Circumcision of boys is the same as mutilation, unless there are specific medical reasons for it.

The Danish Society of General Medicine, DSAM, has laid this out in a consultation response to the Health Protection Agency, which has set a deadline for Tuesday 21st January to come up with objections and comments to a new revised draft Board "Guidance on Circumcision of Boys".

The Danish Society of General Medicine has approximately 3,000 members and includes, among others, two-thirds of all the country's general practitioners, so that it is a group that speaks with authority.

In response to the Health Protection Agency it gives the clear message:
"The Health Agency has sent 'Guidance on Circumcision of Boys' in consultation. The DSAM's [Board] of Directors has discussed the draft consultation and agree that circumcision may only be performed when there is a medical indication for it. If circumcision is performed without a medical indication, it is a case of mutilation."

Genital mutilation of girls was made illegal in Denmark in 2003. But baby boys can still legally be circumcised, an action that is done for religious reasons by Jews and Muslims.

It is estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 baby boys are circumcised at home each year, and some of those for the sake of religion, in private.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Morten Frisch, MD PhD, is one of the most notable [op]ponents of circumcision. He has researched the topic and has, among other things. published an article in 2011, which aroused international attention. In the article he [went over] the many negative consequences, circumcision has or can have, not only physically but also psychologically.

Morten Frisch says to BT:

"It's earth-shattering that the practitioners now, for the first time, [have come] out and found at the outset that circumcision is the same as mutilation. This is a very important signal, and it may very well be the beginning of the end for boys' ritual circumcision in Denmark."

Master of Laws Hans Jørgen Lassen has through his specialty exposed that Denmark is moving on the edge of both the Danish law and international conventions by allowing circumcision. Together with Morten Frisch, he has - like DSAM - sent a consultation response to the health protection agency. The two write, inter alia:

"Circumcision of boys who cannot [demur] is a violation of their bodily and sexual integrity. There is no difference in principle between cutting the genitals of a little girl and a little boy. Both violate the child's right to decide over their own body. This was also the conclusion of the two resolutions in the autumn of 2013 from the Nordic Children's Ombudsmen and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Through an examination of Danish legislation in this area, which was the subject of Hans Jørgen Lassen's thesis at law school in 2013, it became clear that the legal basis for boys' circumcision without medical indication being able to take place with impunity in Denmark, is thin, almost non-existent."

It has not been possible to get a comment from DSAMs President Lars Gehlert Johansen.

 

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