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Male Infant circumcision

Male Infant circumcision

Postby megaman » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:42 pm

This is a question for those who have any sort of experience working in a legal field or even certain related fields such as social services.

Contrary to popular belief Male Infant circumcision for non-medical reasons is already illegal in the UK
Yet it is completely ignored as an issue.I would like some insight into why this is?

Although, unlike FGM, there is no specific statute against it performing an unnecessary circumcision breaks a number of criminal laws including

- GBH (S18 Offences against the Person Act)
- Wounding
- ABH (S18 Offences against the Person Act)
- Battery (S39 Criminal Justice Act 1988.)

It is often cited that circumcision is legal if both parents consent- However this statement has absolutely no basis in law whatsoever.
First of all proxy consent is only valid if the procedure is objectively in the child's best interests. Clearly this does not apply to circumcision for non medical grounds, evidence of circumcision having benefits is inconsistent and there is no clear evidence that it gives sufficient benefit to justify doing it, no medical organisation in the world recommends it.
Even in cases where it could be considered due to an existing medical need in most cases less invasive options are available.

The statement that male infant circumcision is legal (despite not being demonstrable in an infants best interests)is legal if both parents consent seams to have originated from a 1999 called Re "J". However it was clearly a obiter statement and it goes completely against the usual rules of proxy consent and so is unlikely to be supported by any earlier statements.

I contacted a charity a few years ago regarding the issue and i was told about some of the practical problems which have prevented people from bringing civil cases for male circumcision.
- Records are only held by practitioners for a few years (so by the time a person even thinks about starting a civil case the evidence is gone)
- No witnesses, clearly an infant wont remember and since it is done for religious grounds the parents (or anyone else who knows anything) are unlikely to cooperate.
- Time limits, a case would have to be brought before the victims 21st birthday
- Money, few people would have enough money to bring such a case let alone before they are 21
- Family and community, due to the deeply held religious beliefs involved the claimant could suffer from serious consequences from their family/community. this is a particular problem when you add in the fact that most people are still financially dependent on that parents when they are 21)
- Publicity, such a case is likely to attract much media publicity.

Interestingly I was told they they have often gone to the police about it and the officers they talk to are keep to take on a criminal case but it is later shut down by the CPS on "public interest" grounds.

MY question is this.
Why do the authorities refuse outright to being criminal charges for male circumcision?
Why is there no support for people who want to bring a civil claim for it, there is no funding, no legal aid, there dont seam to be any solicitors/barristers who specilise in it.
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby shootist » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:58 pm

megaman wrote:MY question is this.
Why do the authorities refuse outright to being criminal charges for male circumcision?
Why is there no support for people who want to bring a civil claim for it, there is no funding, no legal aid, there dont seam to be any solicitors/barristers who specilise in it.


Perhaps if you asked why the 'authorities' consider that halal or Kosher slaughter is not cruel, you might start getting a clue.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." MLK.
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby dls » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:24 pm

I think, Megaman that you proceed on poorly founded assumptions - paricularly: "Clearly this does not apply to circumcision for non medical grounds, evidence of circumcision having benefits is inconsistent and there is no clear evidence that it gives sufficient benefit to justify doing it, no medical organisation in the world recommends it."

Does not seem to be anything like as clear as you suggest. You appear to dismiss non-medical grounds by refereance to those lookig at medical grounds.

As you nearly say, if anyone thought your argument had legs, a case would have been brought.
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby diy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:21 am

ear rings on babies? very similar
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby shootist » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:42 am

It sometimes seems to me that many people seem to think of a baby as something to play with, a possession, something akin to property which can be owned. I was listening to a woman on the radio the other day who was unable to conceive naturally. Her husband also had problems. She was delighted that a doctor had managed to extract viable sperm from her husband, which was then used to fertilise an egg from a donor which was then implanted into her so that she could go through pregnancy and give birth to what was another woman's child. She did it again, resulting in the birth of twins IIRC. This seemed utterly bizarre to me, not far removed from the famous "I want to have a baby." scene in The Life Of Brian.
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby shootist » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:46 am

diy wrote:ear rings on babies? very similar


Have a quick look around the internet for people tattooing babies!
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby diy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:32 am

I fear we are going off on a tangent.. Tattooing babies - yep this is abuse. They can't consent and there is no medical benefit. But I'm not sure why it matters that a mum needs to be genetically related to her child. Lots great mums have adopted kids.
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby atticus » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:44 am

Don't start tangents if you don't like the whataboutery that follows!
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby shootist » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:52 pm

diy wrote:I fear we are going off on a tangent.. Tattooing babies - yep this is abuse. They can't consent and there is no medical benefit. But I'm not sure why it matters that a mum needs to be genetically related to her child. Lots great mums have adopted kids.


You are, of course, absolutely correct in that assertion. The woman I wrote about wanted to 'have' a baby, which she did. She gave birth to it. But it's not her baby. The baby would have been, barring mishaps, exactly the same baby as if her husband had ejaculated into a turkey baster and inseminated the donor mother with it (or even supplied draught direct from the pump, so to speak.). So it seems that the woman wanted the experience of giving birth rather than just having another woman's child, which brings me to suspect her reasons and reasoning. Whenever a person justifies their actions by saying "I want" I think a close examination of their reasons needs making, especially when you are going to start a life that didn't ask to be born.
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Re: Male Infant circumcision

Postby Rick Ape » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:55 pm

megaman wrote:evidence of circumcision having benefits is inconsistent and there is no clear evidence that it gives sufficient benefit to justify doing it, no medical organisation in the world recommends it.


The WHO and UNICEF appear to recommend male circumcision as part of a wider HIV prevention programme, albeit mainly in Africa.
http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/malecircumcision/en/
https://www.unicef.org/esaro/5482_7884.html


My reading of re J at para 6 and 7 is that the appeal failed because the child was not living as, or being brought up, to be a muslim and circumcision was lawful:
http://www.cirp.org/library/legal/Re_J/2000.html


Parental consent exists for children under 16 until the child has gained the mental maturity to give free and unfettered consent; Gillick competence -

"As a matter of Law the parental right to determine whether or not their minor child below the age of sixteen will have medical treatment terminates if and when the child achieves sufficient understanding and intelligence to understand fully what is proposed. Lord Scarman
http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1985/7.html


Medical intervention aside, one cannot consent to ABH or worse but the courts have resisted defining ABH in any great detail so whether this is a viable tack is open to debate.

Personally, although male circumcision is akin to FGM in many ways I view the physical and psychological effects as widely different so I go along with the CPS line that it's not in the public interest to charge.
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