THE CIRCUMCISION REFERENCE LIBRARY


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Legal Information about non-therapeutic male circumcision for Canada

This index page provides links to online documents relevant to the study of the legal position of neonatal non-therapeutic male circumcision in Canada. Documents are indexed in approximate chronological order.

Note: As of October 1999, an organization named Intact has been formed in Canada with the announced purpose of promoting the genital integrity of Canadian males by ending non-therapeutic neonatal male circumcision by legal means. For more information about this organization, go to the Intact Home Page.

In February 2001, an organization called Association for Genital Integrity announced plans to seek a court challenge to the status of the practice of male neonatal non-therapeutic circumcision under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For more information see the newspaper article Circumcision is Against the Charter.

Online documents:

  1. Criminal Code, Chapter C-46, Consolidated Statutes.
  2. Civil Code of Québec
  3. U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948).
  4. Patel H. The problem of routine infant circumcision. Can Med Assoc J 1966;95:576-581.
  5. Fisher TL. Outmoded treatment. Can Med Assoc J 1966;95:630.
  6. U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A [XX1]. 16 December 1966.
  7. Canadian Paediatric Society. Circumcision in the newborn period. CPS News Bull Supple 1975;8(2):1-4.
  8. Margaret A. Somerville. Medical Interventions and the Criminal Law. 26 McGill Law Journal 82 (1980).
  9. Hopp v. Lepp, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 192 (informed consent)
  10. Reibl v. Hughes, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 880 (informed consent)
  11. Somerville MA. Therapeutic and Non-Therapeutic Medical Procedures -- What are the Distinctions? Health Law in Canada 1981;2(4):85-90.
  12. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Constitution Act (1982).
  13. E. (MRS.) v. EVE , 2 S.C.R 388 (1986).
  14. U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). UN General Assembly Document A/RES/44/25.
  15. Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 143
  16. Kluge E. Female circumcision: When medical ethics confronts cultural values. Can Med Assoc J 1993:148(2);288-9.
  17. Margaret A. Somerville. Letter to A. Kim Campbell, Minster of Justice. June 10, 1992.
  18. A. Kim Campbell. Letter to Margaret A. Somerville, December 15, 1992.
  19. Margaret A. Somerville. Letter to Pierre Blais, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, January 28, 1993.
  20. --Catholic Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto v. M. (C.), 2 S.C.R 165 (1994).
  21. LeBourdais E. Circumcision no longer a "routine" surgical procedure. Can Med Assoc J 1995;152(11):1873-1876.
  22. B. (R.) v. Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto (Re Sheena B), 1 S.C.R. 315 (1995).
  23. Allan Rock. Letter to Geoffrey T. Falk. February 6, 1996.
  24. Fetus and Newborn Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS). Neonatal circumcision revisited. Can Med Assoc J 1996; 154(6): 769-780.
  25. Taylor JR, Lockwood AP, Taylor AJ. The prepuce: specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. Br J Urol 1996;77:291-295.
  26. Etchells E, Sharpe G, Walsh P, et al. Bioethics for Clinicians: 1. Consent. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1996; 155: 177-180.
  27. Etchells E, Sharpe G, Burgess MM, et al. Bioethics for Clinicians: 2. Disclosure. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1996; 155: 387-391.
  28. Etchells E, Sharpe G, Elliot C, Singer PA. Bioethics for Clinicians: 3. Capacity. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1996; 155: 657-661.
  29. Etchells E, Sharpe G, Dykeman ML, et al. Bioethics for clinicians: 4. Voluntariness. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1996; 155: 1083-1086.
  30. Lazar MN, Greiner GG, Robertson G, Singer PA. Bioethics for clinicians: 5. Substitute decision-making. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1996; 155: 1435-1437.
  31. Taddio A, Katz J, Ilersich AL, et al. Effect of neonatal circumcision on pain response during subsequent routine vaccination. Lancet 1997;349(9052):599-603.
  32. Eugene W. Outerbridge, MD. Letter to Thomas Anderson, Ph.D., July 27, 1997.
  33. Harrison C, Kenny NP, Sidarous M, Rowell M. Bioethics for clinicians: 9. Involving children in medical decisions. CMAJ 1997;156:825-8. (pdf file}
  34. R. v. Stillman 1 S.C.R 607 (1997).
  35. Somerville MA. Letter to C. Robin Walker, 10 November 1997.
  36. Somerville MA. Letter to C Robin Walker. 28 January 1998.
  37. Weijer C, Singer PA, Dickens BM, Workman S. Bioethics for clinicians: 16. Dealing with demands for inappropriate treatment. CMAJ 1998;159:817-21.
  38. Cold CJ, Taylor JR. The prepuce. BJU Int 1999;83 Suppl. 1:34-44.
  39. Arif Bhimji, M.D. Infant Male Circumcision: A violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Heath Care Law 2000. (.pdf file, requires Acrobat Reader)
  40. Arif Bhimji, M.D. Infant Male Circumcision: A violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Heath Care Law 2000. (HTML file)
  41. Margaret A. Somerville. Altering baby boys' bodies: the ethics of infant male circumcision. In: Margaret A. Somerville. The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit. Toronto: Viking, 2000. (ISBN 0-670-89302-1)
  42. Taylor JR. Letter. Pediatrics News 2000;34(10):50.
  43. Kendel, D. A. Caution Against Routine Circumcision of Newborn Male Infants (Memorandum to physicians and surgeons of Saskatchewan). Saskatoon: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, February 20, 2002. Photocopy.
  44. Hill G. The danger of circumcision litigation is real. CMAJ 2002; Rapid response, 6 September.
  45. College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Infant male circumcision. College Quarterly 2002;Fall:2.
  46. Caution Regarding Routine Circumcision of Newborn Male Infants. Winnipeg: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, Newsletter 38:4, December 2002.
  47. Hill G. Doctors should restrict the practice of circumcision. Can Med Assoc J 2003; Rapid response; 8 August.
  48. College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Policy Manual: Infant Male Circumcision Vancouver, BC: College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, 2004.
  49. Bioethics Commitee, Canadian Paediatric Society. Treatment decisions regarding infants, children and adolescents. Paediatrics & Child Health 2004; 9(2): 99-103.
  50. Code of Ethics of the Canadian Medical Association, 1996, Updated 2004.
  51. Suzanne Bouclin. An examination of legal and ethical issues surrounding male circumcision: the Canadian context. Int J Mens Health 2005;4(3):205-22.

Other information



(Revised 21 December 2007)

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