Intended for healthcare professionals


First UK prosecution for female genital mutilation raises concerns among doctors

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 28 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2424
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Obstetricians have said that the first prosecution for female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United Kingdom could lead doctors to fear criminal charges if they carry out repairs to stop post-birth bleeding in women who have previously been subjected to the illegal procedure, which has been a specific crime in the UK since 1985.

The first prosecution for the offence has been launched against a doctor who, the Crown Prosecution Service alleges, “repaired FGM that had previously been performed on the patient, allegedly carrying out FGM himself,”1 after a patient had given birth.

One senior gynaecologist called into question the timing of the Crown Prosecution Service’s announcement, which came just days before the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, was due to appear before the House of Commons’ home affairs committee inquiry into FGM. Katrina Erskine, head of obstetrics at Homerton …

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