Main | Tuesday, June 26, 2012

German Court Bans Religious Circumcision: Such Surgery Constitutes Grievous Bodily Harm

A German court has outlawed circumcision for non-medical reasons.
Circumcisions of young boys on religious grounds should be considered as grievous bodily harm, a German court has said, in a landmark ruling that clears up a grey area for doctors. The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents." "The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised," the court added. The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne, who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents' wishes. The doctor was later charged with grievous bodily harm but acquitted by a lower court which judged he had acted within the law as the parents had given their consent.
Jewish and Muslim groups are outraged.
“The Court’s decision is unacceptable and gravely violates religious freedom,” says Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, vice president of the Rabbinical Center of Europe. “The decision is contrary to human rights charter of the European Union, to which the German legal system is committed, and undermines the basic right to worship in the German Constitution.”
RELATED: "Intactivists" in California recently failed in their attempt to pass legislation to ban circumcision in San Francisco. (Tipped by JMG reader Will)

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