Thursday, December 13, 2012

German Bundestag Passes Law Allowing Religious Circumcision of Boys

According to the New York Times, Germany's Bundestag yesterday passed legislation confirming the legality of religious circumcision.  The issue had been thrown into doubt after a Cologne district court last June held that parents lack the right to decide that their young sons should be circumcised for non-medical reasons. (See prior posting.) The new law, passed in the Bundestag by a vote of 434 to 100, with 46 abstentions, allows circumcisions to be carried out for religious or other reasons "in accordance with medical practice."  Specially trained members of a religious community (such as a Jewish mohel) can perform the procedure for boys 6 months old or younger.  Circumcisions on boys over 6 months old are required to be performed by a physician. In either case, both parents must consent to the procedure.