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Is Infant Circumcision a Violation of Human Rights?

Article here. Excerpt:

'Thus, the new academy statement stirs the waters in which already swim a variety of cultural practices, personal beliefs and religious arguments for circumcision, as well as a large number of anti-circumcision groups advocating the opposite position. Add to the mix the occasional lawsuit against doctors, hospitals and/or parents who circumcised an infant believing it was in the best interest of the child. A lawyer in Atlanta specializes in malpractice cases involving botched circumcisions (including the Kentucky man who woke up finding his entire penis removed), and doctors in several cities specialize in cosmetic adult circumcisions and even re-circumcisions.

The human rights issue emerges out of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948, which proclaims that everyone has certain basic rights that supersede local laws, religious practice and cultural traditions. These rights include the right to life, liberty and security of person.

This declaration raises the thorny question of whether the decision to permanently alter one's body belongs only to that individual. It is a question not likely to go away. An international symposium will debate the matter in Helsinki in September, and the debate elsewhere will surely continue.'


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