Non-therapeutic male circumcision: when surgery on newborns is a crime

From the Sydney Morning Herald of 3rd June, this report by Andrew Darby:

Routine operation may be a crime

Once routine, now often thought unkind, the cut may also be illegal. Parental consent might not be enough to protect the circumcisers of baby boys from later legal action.

In a rare legal analysis of the medical procedure, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute found that criminal and civil law lacked certainty, and may abuse the rights of a child. …

Tasmania Law Reform Institute: Non-Therapeutic Male Circumcision

Quoting the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute’s paper Non-Therapeutic Male Circumcision, Darby reports:

The institute’s paper, “Non-Therapeutic Male Circumcision”, found that the consequences of an ill-advised procedure could be particularly grave.

“Even if a court considers the physical loss following circumcision negligible, the social and psychological effects of a wrong decision can be devastating.”

The institute said in law the operation might be considered an assault or a wounding, though there was little legal guidance on whether a routine circumcision was injurious.

“There is uncertainty as to whether the consent of a parent for the circumcision of their child is sufficient to allow a circumciser to legally perform the procedure,” it said.

OII Australia wishes to see ‘normalising’ genital surgery and hormone treatment of intersex newborns without their consent declared a criminal act. It, too, abuses the rights of the child, is for cosmetic purposes. We regard it as non-therapeutic.