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Zurich children's hospital halts circumcisions

Published: 20 Jul 2012 10:34 GMT+02:00

The hospital announced on Thursday that it would cease providing the surgical procedure in non-medical cases while it weighed the legal and ethical concerns.

The moratorium follows a ruling by a regional court in Cologne on June 26th.

The court declared that a doctor performing a circumcision on a four-year-old Muslim boy had compromised the physical integrity of the child.

The decision sparked an angry backlash from Jewish and Muslim groups who claim the ruling amounts to an attack on religious freedom.

On the same day as the Zurich hospital announced its decision, Germany’s lower house of parliament approved a resolution to protect the religious circumcision of infant boys.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government also pledged to bring in new legislation to ensure that neither doctors nor families will be criminally charged for carrying out the procedure.

But the Zurich hospital maintains it is concerned about the ethics of surgery over which children are unable to provide their views and for which it may be liable to charges of assault.

Rita Gobet, head of urology, said in a statement issued on the hospital’s website that management decided on the moratorium to allow for a legal assessment and advice from ethics experts on the issue.

The Zurich children's hospital usually performs one circumcision every month or two.

The moratorium does not affect the removal of foreskins for medical reasons.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

2012-08-03 16:12:50 by smeghead
good idea, i mean this cutting edge reporting, slices away at the articale, but joking aside Mrs Samar says that you can christening your babies in muslim countries, I think you are wrong, after living in a Muslim country it is not aloud. as for human rights lark, what about the people who are locked up in prisions waiting for their turn at been stoned, or people in prison acussed of being terrosist's but have not been charged in 10 yrs, that is important, not some out dated idea from way back when people where more simple than they are today, what about syria their human right's bit more important.
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