FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOSTON – October 1, 2013 – Yesterday at a meeting in Oslo, Norway, Nordic ombudsmen for children representing six countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Greenland) and Nordic pediatrician and pediatric surgeon organizations agreed on a resolution urging their national governments to work to prevent non-therapeutic circumcision of boys.
According to the resolution, circumcision is irreversible, painful, and subject to serious complications. Forced circumcision without a medical indication on a young boy who cannot consent conflicts with basic principles of medical ethics. There are no health benefits to circumcising young boys in Nordic countries. Claims of potential benefits to adults are not relevant to children in Nordic countries. The resolution seeks to allow boys to decide for themselves if they want to be circumcised when they are older.
The supporters of the resolution consider circumcision of young boys without a medical indication to be in conflict with the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child. The ombudsmen and physicians state that children’s best interests must have priority over adults’ religious beliefs or traditional rituals. They seek a respectful dialogue among all parties involved about how to best ensure boys’ self-determination with respect to circumcision. They also urge their governments to inform the public about circumcision and to take the necessary steps toward protecting young boys from this genital surgery.
Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., executive director of the Circumcision Resource Center in Boston and author of Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma and Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective, welcomes the efforts of those behind the Nordic statement. “This resolution tells the world that questioning circumcision has growing international support and brings needed attention to a practice that causes unrecognized physical, sexual, and psychological harm.”
For more information see 2013-09-30 Nordic resolution on non-therapeutic circumcision.
Contact: Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.
The Circumcision Resource Center is a nonprofit educational organization with the purpose of informing the public and professionals about the practice of male circumcision. Its mission is to raise awareness and facilitate healing. Since 1991, the Center has been a valuable source of male circumcision information for parents and children’s advocates; childbirth educators and allied professionals; medical, mental health, and academic people; Jews; and others. Dr. Goldman has participated in over 200 media interviews with local and national radio and television shows, newspapers, and periodicals. He also gives lectures and seminars on circumcision and counsels parents and circumcised men.