This approach went into effect 2 years ago. As of today, Canada has drastically reduced their rate of MGM so that now about 9% of baby boys born nation wide are cut at birth. This compares to about 49% of baby boys born in the United States who continue to be subjected to circumcision surgery at birth.
The practice of neonatal circumcision has come under increasing fire lately for two reasons:
- Scientific studies have shown that circumcision removes specialized sexual tissue.
- Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of the need to promote and protect human rights.
The debate over circumcision has focused on medical pros/cons, parental preferences, and religious beliefs. Our goal is to direct attention to the ethical, legal, and human rights issues raised when part of a normal organ is summarily removed from a person who has no medical need for surgery and who is legally incapable of giving informed consent. For the most part, these critically important issues have been ignored.
Work done in Canada to date suggests that none of the agencies involved in regulating infant male circumcision (colleges of physicians and surgeons, human rights commissions, children's advocates, children's aid societies, ministers of health, ministers of justice, solicitors general) are prepared to show leadership on this issue. Consequently we believe the only way to bring about change is through the judicial system.
We propose a legal challenge to section 268 of the Criminal Code of Canada on the grounds that this section is insufficient in scope. Section 268 prohibits all forms of female genital mutilation (FGM). The basis of the challenge would be that section 268, as written, fails to protect males from genital mutilation and thus contravenes at least one provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—namely, section 15(1), which guarantees equality between the sexes. It is highly probable that section 268, as written, also contravenes section 7 of the Charter, which guarantees security of the person.
*For measures being taken in the United States to end legalized MGM (male genital mutilation) of infant boys, see MGMBill.org. FGM (female genital mutilation) continued in the United States until it became illegal and punishable as a crime with the FGM Bill in 1996.*One man who sued and won tells his story here.
Circumcision: A Male RN's Perspective by Chris, author of The Man-Nurse Diarieshttp://www.drmomma.org/2010/03/circumcision-male-rns-perspective.html
Before having my first son, we were presented with the decision (at least in the United States) of whether or not to circumcise him. While we were initially assuming we would, we did some research. We began finding that not only is male infant circumcision almost never medically necessary, but it's not even performed in most of the developed world. The majority of European countries never began circumcising in the first place. The United Kingdom doesn't pay for it; it's an out-of-pocket expense. The United States is the only secular country that routinely circumcises males.
Never once did I encounter an adult male patient who had ever had a medical problem due to being intact.
Excerpts from the comments section (good stuff!):