Circumcision may be illegal - Aust Law Insitute

Discussion in 'The Healthy Penis' started by Witlof, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Witlof

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    At the risk of starting off another round of pro v anti circ sniping, I noticed that the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute has released an issues paper concluding that non-therapeutic male circumcision may be illegal: http://www.law.utas.edu.au/reform/documents/CircumcisionIssuesPaperA4toPrint.pdf
    Press release here: http://www.law.utas.edu.au/reform/documents/circumcisionfinalmediarelease.pdf
    Essentially, the paper argues that the law is insufficiently clear for parents and doctors to know if they will be civilly and criminally liable for performing infant circumcisions.
     
  2. StrictlyAvg

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    Does that apply to your average circumcision or subincision practised as a tribal ritual?
     
  3. Sardonic

    Sardonic New Member

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    Subincision is no longer practised amongst any indigenous communities that I'm aware of, and certainly not on any male under 18. Australian law would treat any such practice amongst aboriginal communities the same way as the broader community, but potentially provide alternative sentencing.

    What the paper is saying is not contraversial, performing an uneccessary procedure on a child may open parents and doctors to subsequent legal action.
     
    #3 Sardonic, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  4. Witlof

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    I guess the result of a paper like this (which was reported in today's MSM) is to make parents warier than they would otherwise be of having a son circumcised. That said, the paper makes the point that the vast majority of circumcisions performed in Aust today are for religious reasons and I wouldn't have the thought the remote threat of distant legal action is likely to deter centuries-old religious customs.
     
  5. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    This will set an intersting legal precedent even if it originated in the land down under.

    I was circ'd and always resented it and yet at the same time I defend the right of a person needing it, having medical reasons for it, or just wanting it because it is their personal desire.

    My major resentment to it is that it is a cash cow for many greedy MD's who will even spount myth and fantasy in order to grab the buck and they know it. This they do with no medical justification for the procedure.

    Intersting legal opinion and brief.

    It will be interesting to see what comes of it.
     
  6. Mark_UK

    Mark_UK New Member

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    As a test case I would have thought that it would be possible for a child to sue his parents for assult.
     
  7. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    You always go for the deep pockets though. The kid is probably not going to get much out of his parents. Anyway, "doctors" legalize and legitimize circ. Parents cannot legally perform the procedure themselves.
     
  8. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    With regards to test cases the main reason that we probably have not seen this is because the greatest portion of circ's took place at a time when medical knowledge was far less than it is now. An MD would use as his defense that it was based on information thought factual at the time the procedure was performed. The parent's defense would be that they were given the advice by the MD.

    The only really decent test case right now would be where the MD performed the circ without the parents permission. Then this same MD bills either the parents or an insurance carrier for the procedure without medical cause. This is the case that would make the courts.

    This eventually will take place. The Australian decision I applaud in that it does not out and out state that all procedures are unnecessary, it makes the ruling that the procedure is abused and often done with no medical reason. This is the significant part of the brief and decision. It recognizes the abuses in this procedure and leaves the door open for the establishment of criteria under which circumcision is appropriate for medical reasons leaving the cosmetic decision to the owner of the penis himself.

    In no manner do I in fact want to see circ procedures denied. What I would like to see is a requirement for medical cause and penalties if the criteria for medical cause are violated. What this does is to give parents who did not want the procedure an ability to question what was done. That ability then opens up the door for litigation initially on a parental level.

    In a secondary suit the assault charges can then be filed by parents on behalf of the child if that is an issue. The statute of limitations could be interesting because you would in fact have to have an 18-20 year statute after the procedure for the child to file against the MD personally. That is going to present legal challenges and problems.

    The main thing is to establish criteria for automatic circs of infants and go from there.
     
  9. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    Here's the article in its entirety by the way. Sometimes articles don't stay up on the web for long:

    Circumcision may be a crime


    Andrew Darby
    June 2, 2009

    Once routine, now often thought unkind, the cut may also be illegal. Parental consent might not be enough to protect the circumcisers of baby boys from later legal action.
    In a rare legal analysis of the medical procedure, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute found that criminal and civil law lacked certainty, and may abuse the rights of a child.
    No specific laws regulate the removal of the foreskin in Australia, and there are few clear answers in general law, according to an institute researcher, Warwick Marshall. "What is clear is that the current laws were not framed with male circumcision in mind," he said in an issues paper released yesterday.
    About 12 per cent of newborn boys are believed to be circumcised in Australia, down from 90 per cent in the 1950s.
    Routine circumcision is no longer performed in most Australian public hospitals, and Australian medical colleges combined to conclude in 2004 that "there is no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision".
    However, according to the law reform institute, most practising Jews still consider it a requirement of their faith, to be conducted by a specially-trained circumciser eight days after birth, while Muslims are the largest identifiable group who do it today.
    Concerns about the circumcisers' legal position were first raised by the Tasmanian Children's Commissioner, Paul Mason, who referred the issue to the institute.
    "The whole subject of non-therapeutic circumcision on boys is so fraught with emotion and unreasonable assumption that it is hard to find answers to the most basic legal questions," Mr Mason concluded.
    He found that the risks included pain, surgical mishap or complications, and decreased sexual pleasure. Among the claimed benefits were reduced chance of infections, and cultural or religious conformity.
    The institute's paper, "Non-Therapeutic Male Circumcision", found that the consequences of an ill-advised procedure could be particularly grave.
    "Even if a court considers the physical loss following circumcision negligible, the social and psychological effects of a wrong decision can be devastating."
    The institute said in law the operation might be considered an assault or a wounding, though there was little legal guidance on whether a routine circumcision was injurious.
    "There is uncertainty as to whether the consent of a parent for the circumcision of their child is sufficient to allow a circumciser to legally perform the procedure," it said.

    Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
     
  10. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    Which there are none. With any luck at all the baby makes it out of the womb hale and whole--he or she has never been in better shape.
     
  11. Supershaggy1822

    Supershaggy1822 New Member

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    No doctor is buying a summer home based on his circumcision income. That's a ludicrous assertion. They don't care, they do whatever the family requests, and charge a minimal amount for it just to have it in the records. I know a doctor recently trained in the US who did one or two during a rotation, she wasn't buying drinks for the house after that, and said whatever the family prefers, they get.
     
  12. B_Nick8

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    Oh, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute. I can't tell you how upset I was when I didn't make president of the Law Review.
     
  13. Dave NoCal

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    It seems to me that routine infant circumcision is similar to marraige equality (same sex marriage). The more they are discussed the more frail the arguments, For RIC and against ME, become.
    Oh, today New Hampshire became the sixth state with mariage equality. The trends on both questions are inexorable.
    Dave
     
  14. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    On the contrary. Circ is a fifteen minute procedure, the most common surgery in the U.S., (neck in neck with episiotomy, also often unnecessary). The last year (2004) for which statistics are available for my home state the average charge was $326. I don't know how much of that the "doc" gets, but if you are the house circumciser, the income is substantial.
    You see, that's the problem. It is the duty of the medical profession to lead rather than follow. In truth, the burden is entirely on THEM to prove their claims. RIC has never passed the standard test of proving itself to be benign and beneficial, and certainly does not pass as Evidence-Based Medicine. The public has forgotten just who actually has the burden of proof.
     
  15. kiwimarty

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    Makes sense to me. It's usually cosmetic body-modification performed without the informed consent of the patient (who can't yet speak). The foreskin's there for a reason...
     
  16. SirConcis

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    If circumcision is deemed illegal, would parents forcing a kid to wear braces to make his teeth look better (also cosmetic) also be illegal ?

    While we are at it, would regularly cutting a child's hair or nails deprive him of all of his hair/nails ? Should he have a right to grow up with hair or nails that were never ever cut ? Yes, they keep on growing, but once you cut them, you still loose that portion which you grew. Consider Sihks who are against cutting hair, ever.

    Consider that a small percentage of babies are born without a full foreskin, and another percentage end up with a short enough foreksin after puberty that their glans is permanently exposed. So circumcision mimicks what might happen naturally on some males. Men don't grow out of their fingers, but some naturally grow out of their foreskin. So loss of foreksin can't be compared to amputation of fingers/hands or whatever sionce those never happen naturally.

    In terms of suing your parents, this could be seen as a "I want all of the inheritance now, and don't want my sisters to get any of it". You sue your parents for having circumciused you without your consent, bankrupt them so when they die, they no longer have any inheritance to give.

    There are a LOT of decisions that parents take on behalf of the child. Could the child sue parents for having had them immunized against a disease, depriving them of the right to have that disease ?

    I think another issue is that males snipped at birth don't know what it is like to have a foreksin, and they hear all the "fantastic" stories from the anti-circ movement and never hear of the disadvantages of having a long foreksin, have never seen an ugly foreksin because the anti-circ movement selects what pictures go on their web sites, so as a result, they feel curious about what they could have been like.

    Perhaps instead of suing their parents, males shoudl sue the anti-circ groups because in the end, it is those groups that made them feel bad about having a fully functional circumcised penis and given them an inferiority complex strong enough to want to take legal action.
     
  17. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    Is there like someplace people download these ridiculous comparisons? Is this something you copied and pasted off circlist?
     
  18. Drifterwood

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    Many have considered it a breach of the UN convention on human rights (for children) for some time. In fact, it was this convention that has made female circumcision illegal in the US.

    No double standards of course.
     
  19. gymfresh

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    A lot of OB/Gyns perform 10 or more circumcisions a week. Plenty report doing 20 or 25, but let's go with 10. Out of the $300 fee -- which doesn't include additional charges for materials, facilities use and staff (nurses), often billed separately -- the doctor keeps most of it. But let's conservatively say $100.

    Hmmm, 10 circs a week at @100 a pop, that's $52,000 a year extra income. (Or in medico-speak, one Lexus.) A very busy circumciser could earn six figures just off this little sideline.

    Compounding the problem is the fact that some insurance companies don't even both with the administrative work or keeping track of which boys get cut and which don't. They just divide a doc's total deliveries by 2 (male to female) and send a check to cover circs for that half. That's exactly what a friend of mine's insurance company did and she raised a holy ruckus over it when she saw the EOB (both sons are intact). She is a CPA and was outraged that everyone's premiums are paying for this shoddy methodology. But in the USA it works, since circ for a long time was pretty much universal in many hospitals.

    As they say about the way our healthcare system is set up: every little American boy is born with a coupon for $300 on the end of his dick. The doc just has to cut it off to redeem.
     
  20. Jason

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    Denmark is presently debating a law that would make infant circumcision illegal. They are responding to a statement from their National Council for Children that: "Circumcision is the irreversible damage to a child’s body before he is given the chance to object".

    The legal position of circumcision in all countries of the EU has unclear aspects. There is tolerance throughout the EU of religious practices which would otherwise be illegal (for example in the UK it is legal to ride a motorbike without a safety helmet if you have a religious requirement to wear a turban). However the concept of "irreversible damage to a child's body", if generally accepted, would outweigh all religious arguments. In effect the law will be sorted out in the courts, as children become adults and start taking legal action against their parents and against the doctors who carried out the circumcision. I think the reality in the UK today is that no doctor would carry out a circumcision for reasons other than medical or religious. It seems likely that religious circumcision will soon be considered illegal - indeed it may be that it already is, and that this will be discovered when children come of age and prosecute.
     
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