German ethics committee tackles circumcision row

August 23, 2012

A senior member of Germany's ethics committee Thursday called for a compromise in a heated debate over religious circumcision after a court ruled the practice was tantamount to grievous bodily harm.

"One option would be for non-medical practitioners to be trained by German doctors and subsequently approved by an assembly of rabbis," Peter Dabrock, the deputy chairman of the 26-member committee that advises the government, told NDR radio.

One of Israel's chief rabbis, Yona Metzger, said Tuesday during a visit to Germany that doctors should test the medical competence of people carrying out circumcisions in Germany.

In a ruling published in June, a court in Cologne said removal of the foreskin for religious reasons amounted to grievous bodily harm and was therefore illegal, sparking an outcry at home and abroad.

Diplomats admit that the ruling has proved "disastrous" for Germany's international image, particularly in light of its Nazi past, following uproar from religious and political leaders in Israel as well as .

In July, German MPs adopted a cross-party motion calling on the government to protect religious circumcision.

The resolution urges the government to draw up legislation in the autumn that "ensures that the circumcision of boys carried out to medically professional standards and without undue pain is fundamentally permissible."

A doctor from the state of Hessen has filed charges with prosecutors in the Bavarian city of Hof against a rabbi for carrying out circumcisions on Jewish boys despite the court ruling.

The public prosecutor said Wednesday the complaint had to be first examined and that no decision had yet been made whether to open preliminary proceedings.

Explore further: German court rules religious circumcision on boys an assault

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1 / 5 (3) Aug 23, 2012
How about this. Keep Progressives out of family decisions. Simple, direct.

Circumcision, is a family decision which the government has no business being involved in.
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2012
"Circumcision, is a family decision which the government has no business being involved in."
Completely wrong.

The limits of religious freedom have to be discussed, and in a democracy it must be allowed to scrutinize every religious practice without being blamed to be a racist.
Non-medical indicated circumcision is bodily harm. - That cannot be questioned.
If that should be allowed for religious reasons the harm has to minimized. - Non-medical practitioners are, in my opinion, inappropriate.

1 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2012
LE, How about I decide what is good for your family.I think that since the majority of Americans call themselves Christian, I think that all children should be taken to a Christian Church, taught Christian values. Medically, it has been proven that if children follow Christian ethics and principles they will live healthier and happier lives.

Even though I believe Children should be taught Christian principles, I unlike Progressives, don't think I should force my views on others. Progressive thought is the most destructive force against the family.

My rule to determine if the government should get involved is, Is the parent willing to undergo or has undergone the same or lack of medical procedures, training, or discipline - and - do both parents agree - and - are the parents doing whatever because they think they are doing (or not doing) it in the best interest of the child. If all three of these are met, the government should stay out of family decisions.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2012
How can it be that the same people saying "keep the government out of family decisions [to inflict bodily harm on their child]" are usually the ones calling the government to ban abortions?

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