Declaration of the First International Symposium on Circumcision



We recognize the inherent right of all human beings to an intact body. Without religious or racial prejudice, we affirm this basic human right.

We recognize the foreskin, clitoris and labia are normal, functional body parts.

Parents and/or guardians do not have the right to consent to the surgical removal or modification of their children's normal genitalia.

Physicians and other health-care providers have a responsibility to refuse to remove or mutilate normal body parts.

The only persons who may consent to medically unnecessary procedures upon themselves are the individuals who have reached the age of consent (adulthood), and then only after being fully informed about the risks and benefits of the procedure.

We categorically state that circumcision has unrecognized victims.

In view of the serious physical and psychological consequences that we have witnessed in victims of circumcision, we hereby oppose the performance of a single additional unnecessary foreskin, clitoral, or labial amputation procedure.

We oppose any further studies which involve the performance of circumcision procedures upon unconsenting minors. We support any further studies which involve identification of the effects of circumcision.

Physicians and other health-care providers do have a responsibility to teach hygiene and the care of normal body parts and explain their normal anatomical and physiological development and function throughout life.

We place the medical community on notice that it is being held accountable for misconstruing the scientific database available on human circumcision in the world today.

Physicians who practice routine circumcisions are violating the first maxim of medical practice, Primum non nocere, "First, Do No Harm", and anyone practicing genital mutilation is violating Article V of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."


Citation:
(File revised 18 May 2002)

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