Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Will British Medical Association debate male circumcision?

The British Medical Association (BMA) may be debating the issue of Unnecessary Male Circumcision at its Annual Representatives Meeting in Bournemouth later this month (24th-28th June).


We understand that Dr Antony Lempert, a GP and Director of the Secular Medical Forum, has submitted a motion to debate Non Therapeutic Circumcision via the Shropshire division of the BMA.

The motion is not guaranteed a place on the agenda, however it could be given time for debate if enough on the  representatives vote for it to be one of 3 'chosen' motions which will be debated on Thursday morning

The motion (366) is that this meeting:-


i) demands that child safeguarding procedures must apply to all children without gender discrimination and irrespective of the beliefs or social status of the child's parents or guardians;
ii) notes the increasing evidence of significant complications from childhood male circumcision, including meatal stenosis, bleeding, infection, scarring and adult psychosexual dysfunction;
iii) endorses the May 2010 position statement of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) which called non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity;
iv) notes the GMC guidance in respect of the responsibilities of registered medical practitioners in the matter of female genital mutilation (FGM) (0-18 years; Guidance for all doctors; end notes reference 15) - and as set down in the 2003 FGM legislation;
v) insists on equality between GMC policies for doctors concerning females and males in respect of non-therapeutic genital surgery;
vi) calls for no further commissioning or funding of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors in the NHS.

If motion 366 is not chosen for debate, there is a possibility that all genital mutilation, including Unnecessary Male Circumcision, could be debated in the 'Medical Ethics' section of the meeting. This might be achieved by an amendment to motion 348 to remove the word 'female', so including all children in child protection and not just girls as is currently the case.



Motion 348 states that this meeting:


"wants the government to take necessary legal steps and actions against persons to protect UK female children undergoing female genital mutilation here in this country or abroad".




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  1. AS of the 25th June, what is the present position on a debate?

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