The Royal Dutch Medical Association has published an official statement opposing male circumcision. A PDF of the full opinion is available here.
Ã¢â‚¬ËœViolation of physical integrityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) to discourage non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors
Utrecht, 27 May 2010 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The official standpoint of KNMG and other relatedÃ‚Â medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is aÃ‚Â violation of childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rights to autonomy and physical integrity. KNMG is urging a strongÃ‚Â policy of deterrence.
The reason for the adoption of an official standpoint regarding this matter is the increasingÃ‚Â emphasis on the protection of childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rights. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can alsoÃ‚Â cause complications Ã¢â‚¬â€œ bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularlyÃ‚Â common. Full or partial penile amputations have also been reported as a consequence ofÃ‚Â complications.
KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering theÃ‚Â procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The rule is: do notÃ‚Â operate on healthy children”, says Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman, chairman of the KNMG. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is an unfortunate fact that any surgical procedure can cause complications. Doctors accept this toÃ‚Â a certain extent because there are medical reasons for the procedure. However, no complicationsÃ‚Â can be justified that occur as the result of an operation that is medically unnecessary.Ã¢â‚¬Â
KNMG regards the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors as a violation of physicalÃ‚Â integrity, a constitutional right that protects individuals against unwanted internal or externalÃ‚Â physical modifications. According to the KNMG, minors should only be subjected to medicalÃ‚Â procedures in the event of illness or abnormalities, or if a convincing case can be made that theÃ‚Â procedure is in the interests of the child (such as vaccination).
The KNMG sees good reasons for the statutory prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision ofÃ‚Â male minors, but fears that the procedure will then be driven underground, leading to an increaseÃ‚Â in the number of complications.
The Medical Association is aware that the practice of circumcision of male minors has deepÃ‚Â religious, symbolic and cultural meaning. The KNMG respects this, and is calling forÃ‚Â dialogÃ‚Â among medical associations, experts and the relevant religious groups.
The following medical and scientific organisations officially support the standpoint of theÃ‚Â KNMG: the Dutch Urological Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Urologie), the DutchÃ‚Â College of General Practitioners (Het Nederlands Huisartsengenootschap), the Dutch PaediatricÃ‚Â Surgery Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Kinderchirurgie), the Dutch Plastic SurgeryÃ‚Â Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Plastische Chirurgie), the Association of Surgeons ofÃ‚Â the Netherlands (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Heelkunde) and the Dutch Paediatric Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Kindergeneeskunde).
A survey among a representative sample of KNMG members recently showed that individualÃ‚Â doctors widely support the above standpoint.
The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) is the professional organization that represents more thanÃ‚Â 46,000 physicians and students in the Netherlands. The KNMG is the federation of medical practitionersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ professional associations: the National Association of salaried Doctors (LAD), the National Association ofÃ‚Â General Practitioners (LHV), the Dutch Association for occupational Health (NVAB), the DutchÃ‚Â Association of Insurance Medicine (NVVG), the Dutch Order of Medical Specialists (Orde) and ElderlyÃ‚Â care physicians (Verenso). www.knmg.nl