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German ethics council backs religious circumcision if specific conditions met

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 28 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5789
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

The German ethics council has voiced support for religious circumcision, a procedure that a court in Cologne ruled illegal in June if performed on boys too young to give consent.

After a public hearing on 23 August in Berlin, the 26 ethics council members voted unanimously on a compromise recommendation that circumcision on boys should be legal in Germany if four conditions are met.1 The conditions are: that the procedure is explained to both parents and that they both agree to it; that the boy has the right to veto the procedure; that a suitably qualified person carries out the procedure; and that pain relief is administered.

The Cologne court decision in June related to a case involving a charge of bodily harm against a doctor after a 4 year old Muslim boy …

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