Evidence, autonomy, and male circumcision
- By: Lloyd D Hughes
Religion has been an integral part of the fabric of ancient and modern society. However, we must finely balance how much influence faith should have in medicine, and I feel that we have got this balance wrong. I was glad to see that, in Germany, progress has been made to try to distinguish what is and is not acceptable medical practice under the guise of religious and cultural norms.
In June, a court in Cologne ruled in favour of banning male circumcision, labelling it a form of grievous bodily harm, after a botched operation on a 4 year old child led to urological complications and hospitalisation. The court noted evidence from New York, where two children have died and one has experienced brain damage in the past 10 years, as a result of developing herpes after the procedure was carried out by ultra-Orthodox Jewish practitioners. The court also recommended that