It may be me but there is something particularly unnerving about Germans declaring circumcisions illegal. Yet, a court in Cologne has declared that Jewish and Muslim parents who circumcise their sons for religious reasons are committing child abuse.
The Court held that a legal guardian’s authority over a child does not allow them to subject them to the procedure and further found that religious freedom does not justify the commission of physical harm on a child. The case involved a Muslim doctor, who performed circumcision on a four-year-old boy at his parents’ request and the boy had to be hospitalized due to complications. What is interesting is that the court somehow heard of the incident and launched a criminal investigation.

The decision strikes me as an overreach given the continued division of opinion over the benefits of the procedure. There is also the possibility of an appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court. Like many countries, Germany has more specialized courts than does the United States and this issue would appear ripe for such review.

German Court Rules Circumcision To Be Unlawful, 6/27/12

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