Podcast Available for Download: Steven Discusses Charleston and Keele Conferences, European Good News on Maria Sanchez Show


On November 22, 2013, I appeared on the "Maria Sanchez Show." Maria is a longtime friend of ARC and intactivism; we did our first show together way back in the year 2003.
In this half-hour-long show, released by Maria on November 25 and now available as a downloadable podcast at http://mariasanchezshow.com, we discussed some recent landmark events:
1) Pediatrics Ethics Conference in Charleston: On October 18-19, I participated in the Twentieth Annual Thomas A. Pitts Lectureship in Medical Ethics, held at the Medical University of South Carolina pursuant to a conference titled, “Ethical and Legal Issues in Pediatrics.” I was the only non-physician invited, and debated the AAP’s Dr. Michael Brady in a talk entitled, “Newborn Male Circumcision--Is It Ethical; Is It Legal?” I also appeared in a “Seminar on Pediatric Controversies” opposite Brady and Douglas Diekema, also an AAP Circumcision Task Force member. As they each personally told me later, two (!) of the five physician presenters who are not AAP Task Force members were completely convinced by our arguments and went from being pretty strongly pro-circumcision prior to the event to coming to oppose the procedure based on our arguments. This was a true team victory, with my co-author, ARC Legal Advisor Peter Adler, Aubrey Taylor, and Angel Alonso Terron providing awesome support and asking some hard questions the AAP Task Force members simply could not answer.
2) On September 16, I spoke at the University of Keele in the UK, analyzing the 2012 Cologne court case holding that male circumcision violates human rights and the law and the German legislation attempting to overturn that court case. I discussed four distinct reasons the legislation is invalid and the earlier court decision is soundly based in medical ethics, law, and human rights. The talk went very well and the questions afterwards were quite perceptive. Awesome presentations were given by a number of others including Antony Lempert, James Chegwidden, Anne Lindboe, and Lena Nyhus.
3) In early October, the National Post, one of Canada's major newspapers, published an article that I was invited to write after submitting a letter in response to the National Post's reprinting of Mark Joseph Stern's article, "'Intactivists' Against Circumcision."
4) Even since my last appearance on this show in early September, we are seeing a consensus continuing to emerge in Europe among medical associations, legislators, courts, and similar bodies that circumcision violates the rights of the child and should be illegal. Recent declarations have been issued by Sweden's Ombudsman for Children and representatives of four leading Swedish physicians’ organizations, by the children's ombudsmen from the five Nordic countries, by the Council of Europe, and even by the United Nations. In late September, while I was on the plane home from the UK (!), another German court held that a German-born woman of Kenyan descent could not authorize doctors to circumcise a six-year-old child of whom she had custody, because she had not taken into account the psychological damage it could cause him.
To all our US-based readers, I wish the happiest of Thanksgiving holidays. We truly all have much for which to be thankful.
To support the work of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, please visit http://arclaw.org/donate.
Steven Svoboda
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child


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