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Circumcision Sweden Bans - Reuters

Jews protest Swedish circumcision restriction

Reuters, June 7, 2001.

NEW YORK, June 7 (Reuters) - A leading Jewish group accused Sweden on Thursday of placing the first legal restriction on Jewish religious practice in Europe since the Nazi era with a law that affects how circumcisions are carried out in that country.

The New York-based World Jewish Congress said that it is receiving many complaints from European members about a law passed by the Swedish parliament on June 1 that said circumcisions can only be performed after the administering of an analgesic by a doctor, nurse or person with special permit.

The law was passed after a circumcision led to the death of a Muslim boy. Both Jews and Muslims practice circumcision for religious reasons with Jews performing the rite when the child is eight days old and Muslims when they are considerably older.

About 3,000 boys a year of both religions are circumcised in Sweden, the WJC said.

A WJC spokesman said, "This is the first legal restriction placed on a Jewish rite in Europe since the Nazi era. This new legislation is totally unacceptable to the Swedish Jewish community." the Swedish Jewish community numbers about 18,500.

Jewish circumcisions are performed by a religious official in a religious ceremony.

The WJC spokesman added he expected that the issue would be discussed when the Swedish prime minister visits Israel over the weekend. The law is to take effect on Oct. 1.

Pediatricians turn away from circumcision

The United States is the only country that routinely circumcises baby boys for non-religious reasons

March 1, 1999

ATLANTA (CNN) -- American pediatricians are turning away from the practice of routine circumcision, concluding that doctors have no good medical reason to perform the procedure.

The United States is the only country in the world that routinely removes the foreskins of infant boys. Critics of circumcision got additional ammunition Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a leading medical organization.

The academy concluded the benefits "are not compelling enough" for circumcision to be routinely administered.

baby screaming in pain

A newborn winces in pain after a circumcision

Monday's statement, published in the March edition of the journal Pediatrics, was the academy's first in 10 years on the practice. But in recent years, medical societies in Canada, Britain and Australia have come out in opposition to routine circumcision.

Critics have long contended that removing the foreskin from the penis is traumatic, medically unnecessary and may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. As one critic, Dr. George Denniston, put it: "Who are we to question mother nature?"

Canadian researchers, whose study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, studied the heart rates and crying patterns of babies during different stages of circumcision.

In fact, in the study they found the babies suffered so much trauma that they stopped the study part way through.

The results were so compelling that they took the unusual step of stopping the study before it was scheduled to end rather than subjecting any Read More ..bies to circumcision.

One baby stopped breathing for 25 seconds from the trauma of having part of his foreskin severed.  Read More ..