Education And Debate

Ethical dilemma: Should doctors reconstruct the vaginal introitus of adolescent girls to mimic the virginal state?

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 07 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:459

Who wants the procedure and why

  1. A Logmans, consultant gynaecologista,
  2. A Verhoeff, consultant gynaecologista,
  3. R Bol Raap, senior house officera,
  4. F Creighton, senior house officera,
  5. M van Lent, consultant gynaecologista
  1. a Department of Gynaecology, Dr Daniel den Hoed Kliniek, 3075 EA Rotterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to: Dr A Logmans Zuiderziekenhuis, Gr Hilledijk 315, 3075 EA Rotterdam, Netherlands


    During this century many immigrants from Mediterranean and African countries have moved to western Europe.1 Second and third generations often face a conflict. They may follow the lifestyle of the new country and friends but have to remain mindful of the original traditions and attitudes of their families.

    Many immigrant groups hold strongly with the tradition that girls must be virgins when they marry. If the bride cannot show her bloody sheet after the wedding night, her family are shamed. Her new husband's family may exact revenge in the form of violent reprisals and banishment of the bride. Because of these far reaching consequences, many gynaecologists in the Netherlands are willing to …

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