Sunday, 1 July 2012


It is some years now since Female Genital Mutilation was made illegal in the UK. The passage of this legislation was a no brainer. The degree of mutilation involved, and the relatively small proportion of the UK population engaged in this activity meant that precious few people would have opposed the measure, and it was an easy, and very necessary law to pass.

Male circumcision for ritual or religious reasons is philosophically in my view no different, but politically it is a much more contentious issue. Unsurprisingly British politicians don’t want to visit this issue as the potential for large numbers of lost votes is very significant. So they turn a blind eye.

Finally one civilised western country has started to take a stand. Not the politicians, by making new laws, but the legal establishment itself for pointing out that the practice is probably already illegal by the application of existing legislation. The fact that this practice has been pursued by a large number of people for thousands of years is no excuse or justification.

For a first rate argument against male circumcision read this. In my view there is no justification for any doctor to involve himself in male circumcision unless performed for valid medical reasons. And any doctor who does should have to explain himself to the GMC.

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