Calls to outlaw non-medical circumcision in Sweden are growing as the southern region of Blekinge moves to ban the practice.
“Male circumcision that lacks medical motivations should be forbidden,” Blekinge county commissioner Per-Ola Mattsson of the Social Democrat party told local media.
Several other county councils in Sweden currently refuse to perform non-medical circumcisions, contrary to the recommendations of Sweden’s Minister for Children and the Elderly, as well as the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.
“This has nothing to do with religion, but is a decision made completely from the perspective of the child,” said Carsten Dencker, chief physician in the Jämtland county council, one of the regions refusing to perform non-medical circumcision. Mr Dencker told news agency TT that the Jämtland council is acting in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mr Dencker’s position is supported by several medical associations in Sweden, including the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Swedish Association of Health Professionals and the Swedish Paediatric Society. Ritual circumcision of male children is unethical and should not be performed until a person is mature enough to understand the consequences of the operation, they argue.