Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Circumcision: Boys Should Be Protected, as Girls Are

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/10/an-age-of-consent-for-circumcision/boys-should-be-protected-as-girls-are 
John V. Geisheker is the executive director of Doctors Opposing Circumcision.

In 1878, in Reynolds v. U.S., the Supreme Court held that “laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices.”

Likewise, in 1944 in Prince v Massachusetts, the justices ruled: “The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the … child to ill health or death. … Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But they may not make martyrs of their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion when they can make that choice for themselves.”

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A long-standing principle of the common law is that parental powers are based on the child’s need. In the absence of a clear and present need for circumcision, parents lack power to grant surrogate consent. In Canada and the U.S., some parents who injured children in the name of religion have already been charged and convicted.
Irrevocable genital amputations must, legally, be postponed until the child is able to consent freely at age 18.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/10/an-age-of-consent-for-circumcision/boys-should-be-protected-as-girls-are 

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