Could circumcision become a criminal offence?

An amendment to the Federal Prohibition of Genital Mutilation Act of 2013 was submitted to the US Congress earlier this year and seeks to make removal of the foreskin of boys younger than 18 years a criminal offence.

In an article published in JAMA Pediatrics, Professor Brian Morris, of the School of Medical Sciences and Bosch Institute, University of Sydney, said the rights of parents to choose circumcision for their sons was comparable to their legal right to vaccinate their children.

“Parents and physicians each have an ethical duty to seek the child’s wellbeing, especially when the benefits outweigh the risks,” he wrote.

“The argument to delay the decision until the boy can decide overlooks the fact that medical and practical considerations weigh heavily in favour of circumcision during the neonatal period.

“We contend that the law has no place interfering in medical practice based on sound medical