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Published On: Wed, Jun 27th, 2012

German court rules that circumcision is assault

A German court has ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds is grievous bodily harm.

Even in Seinfeld, the circumcision of a young boy was a topic of controversy. Not a German court rules it is "assault" Photo/NBC

Haaretz reports on the Tuesday decision which has the Jewish community claiming it tramples parents’ religious rights.

“The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised,” the court added.

The district court in Cologne ruled that circumcision inflicted physical harm against newborn babies and what it ruled to be “irreversible damage against the body.” The court also determined that freedom of religion and the rights of parents cannot justify the practice.

The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents’ wishes.

A few days after the operation, his parents took him to hospital as he was bleeding heavily. Prosecutors then charged the doctor with grievous bodily harm.

The doctor was acquitted by a lower court that judged he had acted within the law as the parents had given their consent.

On appeal, the regional court also acquitted the doctor but for different reasons.

The court’s ruling has legal effect throughout Germany, but observers expect that the issue will be considered by a higher court, possibly even the Federal Constitutional Court. Among Germany’s population of 82 million, there are an estimated 4 million Muslims, many of whom arrived from Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s. There are also about 100,000 Jews in the country.

 

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  1. Christian says:

    Excellent

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