Guidance for UK doctors on genital mutilation

MORE than 21,000 UK girls were at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM), according to an estimate made five years ago, and yet criminal proceedings for the illegal practice are yet to occur.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has released new guidance to help healthcare providers identify those at risk and those who have undergone FGM, and how best to intervene.

“The most common age for a girl to be mutilated is between seven and nine years in the UK,” the BMA stated.

“It is most likely to occur over the summer holidays, with the girl being taken overseas, although there have been media reports of an increasing number being carried out in the UK.”

The BMA guidance is available at www.bma.org.uk/ethics. 

J Med Ethics 2011; 37: 577

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