Intended for healthcare professionals


Guidelines on circumcision

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 20 September 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:750

Legal position is unclear

  1. John D Dalton, Research archivista
  1. a NORM UK, Stone, Staffordshire ST1 0SF

Editor—In the news item by Linda Beecham the chairman of the General Medical Council standards committee, Professor Sir Cyril Chantler, assures readers that male circumcision is legal.1 The position is not, however, as clear as he claims. There is no doubt that parents have the power to give proxy consent for removal of an incompetent child's foreskin or any other tissue when removal is strictly necessary for therapeutic reasons. When the removal of tissue is not necessary for treating or diagnosing disease a parent only has the legal power of consent …

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