Intended for healthcare professionals


Dutch medical alliance moves to change thinking on male circumcision

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 07 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2987
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

    A broad alliance of medical organisations in the Netherlands has officially adopted the view that circumcision of underage boys without a medical reason violates children’s human rights and contravenes the Dutch constitution.

    The Dutch Medical Association has spearheaded the move, arguing that the medical benefits of circumcision are unproved whereas complications are underestimated, and urging “a strong policy of deterrence.” Doctors should “actively and insistently” inform parents seeking to have their child circumcised about the association’s stance.

    It is estimated that up to15 000 circumcisions of boys under 16 are carried out each year in the Netherlands—largely for religious or cultural reasons—among Jewish, Muslim, and African Christian communities.

    The association thinks …

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