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Swedish doctors refuse to circumcise boys

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10:21 CEST+02:00
Many doctors and several local authorities in Sweden refuse to circumcise boys unless it is medically motivated, reported Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Gunnar Göthberg, chairman of the Swedish Pediatric Surgeons Association (Svensk barnkirurgisk förening), compared the procedure to female genital mutilation.

A survey done by the association reported that two of three pediatric surgeons do not want to perform circumcision. Göthberg regards the operation as an assault since the procedure is done without the child's consent.

Dagens Nyheter reported that 12 of 21 local municipalities also refuse to perform circumcisions for non-medical reasons.

Around 3,000 circumcisions are estimated to be done in Sweden each year. Of these, around 2,000 are performed by people who are not doctors and who do not have a medical license, which pose risks for the child and lead to complications.

Circumcision of boys for non-medical reasons is permitted in Sweden, and the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) is of the opinion that a prohibition would be an illegal limitation on religious freedom.

The authority has proposed that the issue should be legally regulated and that all municipalities should offer male circumcision for non-medical reasons. The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions believes that a formal recommendation would be sufficient.

Critics claim that non-medical circumcision is in violation of the United Nation's Declaration of the Rights of the Child, reported DN.

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