The British Medical Association was urged at its annual meeting this past week to deliberate over the banning of unnecessary male circumcision (1) after another baby bled to death in Queens Park, London.
The tragic case of 28 day old Angelo Ofori-Mintah (2) is the latest in string of deaths and injuries that have prompted some doctors to call for the 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 its quarterly newsletter that a baby boy’s skull was fractured during a ritual circumcision performed on a kitchen table in Bristol. (3) 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. (4)
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 (5), 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. (6)
There is currently a growing demand across Northern Europe to outlaw the practice with the junior party in Norway’s coalition government calling for a ban (7) earlier this month and medical associations in Sweden and 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 (subtitled Circumcision: forbid, deter or encourage?) (8)
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. (9)
And the anti-circumcision movement is growing in the UK with campaigners from the group Men Do Complain who protested outside the British Medical Association’s Annual Representatives Meeting in Bournemouth this year. (10)
The campaign founder, Richard Dunkcer, says they protested 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.” (11)
Related Reading and Resources at:
Death From Circumcision
Are You Fully Informed?