• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Hospital stops ops after circumcision ruling

The Local · 30 Jun 2012, 15:21

Published: 30 Jun 2012 15:21 GMT+02:00

The hospital decided to stop performing the procedures in light of Tuesday's ruling by the Cologne district court, Kristof Graf, head of the Department for Internal Medicine at the Jewish Hospital told the Tageszeitung newspaper on Saturday.

After consulting with internal and external lawyers on the subject, the hospital decided their doctors could not continue to operate on legally uncertain ground. The hospital performed 300 procedures last year, of which 100 were for non-medical reasons, said Graf.

Meanwhile, both Jewish and Muslim leaders have that male circumcision is a fundamental and ritual part of their faith.

"Circumcision is absolutely fundamental for the Jewish faith and non-negotiable," head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Dieter Graumann told Focus magazine on Saturday. If the Cologne Court's ruling is taken as a precedent then "Germany would be the only country in the world in which circumcision is forbidden," he added.

Meanwhile Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, told the magazine that his organisation was thinking of taking the question of ritual circumcision before Germany's highest court.

However, a clear survey conducted on behalf of the magazine found that a majority of Germans (56 percent) support the ruling, with just 35 percent opposing it. German child protection organisations are among those supporting the court's decision.

Meanwhile, junior partners in Merkel's ruling coalition government the FDP are pushing for a law to clarify that circumcision remains legal in Germany, FDP integration expert Serkan Tören told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper on Saturday.

Story continues below…

"If Germany bans circumcision on religious grounds the nation shouldn't bother with any further integration policies," said Tören, who himself is a Muslim. "A ban on circumcision would be the clearest signal to the Muslims in our country that they aren't part of Germany, that they aren't even welcome."

DADP/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:08 June 30, 2012 by MrPC
Well this is a step forward although some parents may try to circumcise their kids themselves if hospitals are prohibited from doing the operation. At least those parents will become criminals and recognized as such.
16:30 June 30, 2012 by Zotta
I asked my husband about this. There is a move in the US too not to circumcise as much, he says. The only problem with not circumcising is that a man has to be very careful of washing himself in order not to pick up sexually transmitted diseases.

One would have to be so careful. It may be a health risk not to get circumcised,

if you're not a compulsive washer!
17:33 June 30, 2012 by Henry List
¦quot;The only problem with not circumcising is that a man has to be very careful of washing himself in order not to pick up sexually transmitted diseases. One would have to be so careful. It may be a health risk not to get circumcised, if you're not a compulsive washer!¦quot;

Zotta, Male and female genitalia need the same care: you wash only what you see! Being too careful, being a compulsive washer or following stupid advice will lead to the removal of the normal flora (non-disease causing bacteria), which need to stay on/in the genitalia to crowd out any pathological bacteria trying to find a foot-hold there. Removing the normal flora, as happens with taking antibiotics or with too much washing, or washing with soap, very often leads to infections, such as yeast as you might know.

Sadly, because in past decades only few males ended up keeping their foreskins, professionals were and continue to be ignorant about the structure and function of the foreskin. All they ever learned was how to do a circumcision. That is slowly changing, thank God, because non-medical circumcision in its very essence is sexual mutilation, an act of savagery, and should be illegal

So, only wash the outside of the genitalia with soap and water, never use soap to clean the inside, including the preputial space, the inner foreskin, or the glans penis. In other words, care for the penis as you would for the its female equivalent, the clitoris.
18:03 June 30, 2012 by Katinkaxx
"The only problem with not circumcising is that a man has to be very careful of washing himself"

Just to be clear - the current debate in Germany is not about hygiene or anything like that. Boys have never been routinely circumcised for "hygienic reasons" in German hospitals like in the US. People are circumcised either for clear medical reasons (an illness) or for religious reasons. That helps explain why a majority of Germans apparently supports the ruling - they are not affected by it at all. The ruling only affects people who do it for religious reasons, i.e. Jews and Muslims. Personally, I oppose the ruling because it severely interfers with religious freedom.
18:15 June 30, 2012 by The-ex-pat
As I have said before, odd that "your" God would require that you mutilate your genitals to be considered a religious and worthy person............

Also the amount of women who prattle on about hygiene under the foreskin. I am dam sure there would be huge outcry if we started to discus and ask whether women wash their vulva and labia properly, regularly and thoroughly!!!!!
18:16 June 30, 2012 by realist1961
One would assume that if the government is going to protect a child from their parent's choice to circumcise them, the government will also protect the child from their parent's choice to abort them. Furthermore, where does the government stand on a parent's choice to pierce the child's ears or any other body part? Pick a side and be consistent.
18:21 June 30, 2012 by Münsterklaus
"I oppose the ruling because it severely interfers with religious freedom"

Religious freedom does include the 'right' to mutilate children? I don't think so.

"It may be a health risk not to get circumcised".

Sure... you can even become a zombie ;) Mann... Too much 'Sex and the city', I am afraid.
18:52 June 30, 2012 by Henry List
"Personally, I oppose the ruling because it severely interfers with religious freedom. "

Your or that of your child???
20:32 June 30, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Sighting that men should be circumcised for health reasons, we should equally be discussing the circumcision of women for the same reason...................
20:43 June 30, 2012 by marimay
Time to outlaw all body modifications, then.

no more plastic surgery, gals. :)
22:26 June 30, 2012 by Englishted
If (big IF) man is made in God's image why is the foreskin there in the first place ?.

If as I believe the only original reason for circumcision was to stop sand rubbing in painful places,because remember where all this religious rubbish started.

Yes ban it ,it is wrong to inflict your religion on anyone let alone a child.
04:49 July 1, 2012 by Eric1
The religion of "climate change" has castrated many men.
10:04 July 1, 2012 by Englishted
@Eric1

Balls
11:34 July 1, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Is piercing the ears of babies also forbidden?

What about aesthetic procedures?
13:02 July 1, 2012 by MydogMax
Ist stop ban circumcision..

next stop abolish religion..
14:09 July 1, 2012 by ITAMAR
Well,

there is a way to respect the religion and to keep the baby from medical hazard, at least in Israel there are people who are Urologist as their speciality and got on the same time a religious recognation , they do it in the hospidals under medical conditions,also in Sweden the law does not allow that tradition with the reason that the baby has rights on his body and just with 18 years old he has legally the right to decide on his body, well it is an enourmus Philosophic, medical ,theology issue and of course it comes to questions like where are the limits of the religion freedom,talking from medical view it is a simple medical procedure which very low comlication rate if done by experts ,and scientificly reduce dramaticlly the possibility of penis cancer.
15:24 July 1, 2012 by Englishted
@ITAMAR

Where do you get "scientificly reduce dramaticlly the possibility of penis cancer. "

from? I "normally " effects men over 60 and the U.K. does not even have national figures for it. Because it is so rare and in the U.K. most men keep their foreskins at least did so before the mass immigration from Muslim countries in the 60's.
16:04 July 1, 2012 by JustMeSaying
If the law makers wants to protect our young ones, i think they should do it thoroughly and properly.

What use is it to forbid circumcision on religious grounds while being soft or easy with kids and teens piercings, tattoos, and implants? " At the moment, there is no minimum age. As a result, patients under 20 account for about 10% of all cosmetic procedures, according to the Association of German Plastic Surgeons. These include operations like breast enlargements, nose jobs and abdominal liposuction." http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10057/

Just saying!
16:23 July 1, 2012 by jodessa
so, can an adult male opt to be circumcised for non medical reasons under this law??
19:24 July 1, 2012 by Henry List
Yes, absolutely. No questions asked. Even more than once, if he/she decides that is what they want.
21:00 July 1, 2012 by ITAMAR
Englishted

Penis cancer is really rare but very aggreesive. acording the American Cancer Society there is 1 men to 100000 in a year.

Even if you treat it in early stages[there are 4 clinical stages] the survival rate is 65% for 5 years.

All the text books of Oncology underline the high incidence of Penil cancer in uncircumsided men , talking allways as you mentioned before that that cancer is rare , but inside the group of people affected by that cancer there is an high incidence of that malignant disease in uncirumsided men, that fact is known and wriiten in all oncology text books.

yours

ITAMAR

I am M.D.
21:59 July 1, 2012 by Henry List
So ITAMAR, MMM.DDDD.,

1. The incidence of penile cancer in newborns and infants is virtually zero.

2. Circumcised men also get penile cancer.

3. In men, the incidence of breast cancer is higher than the incidence of penile cancer. Why aren't you advocating routine mastectomies in men? Remember that breasts are 100% useless in men. On the contrary, the prepuce is highly useful in sexual activity.

4. The issue here is consent. Unless there is an imminent need for medical this procedure, circumcision is unethical. By definition, routine circumcision is ALWAYS non therapeutic and therefore unethical. It is in its very essence genital mutilation, an act of savagery.

By the way, reading and studying text books written by M.D.s are a poor investment of time. Most M.D.s are clueless about research, statistics, and data interpretation.

But then again, you knew that. You have alternate reasons to support circumcision.
22:28 July 1, 2012 by shiraz
May Germany be blessed and all those who defend children and the rights of the helpless and the weak be blessed. May all be guided rightly and become loving and kind. May the EU and Germany and all those who side with them be blessed.
01:26 July 2, 2012 by royp
How could 200 boys in Berlin need medical circumcision? this is statistically impossible, and a clear case of insurance fraud. The so called religious parents getting the operation done for religious reasons but using medical grounds to get it done for free. This is fraud against our health insurance but will anyone investigate, I bet not. Will any of the doctors over diagnosing the medical need for this procedure be disbarred or even investigated?
18:55 July 2, 2012 by iliav
The court's decision only reaffirms my opinion that the Jews should have never returned (or immigrated) to Germany after the WWII. Of course, I feel sorry for the German Muslims too. What I find most pathetic is that the poliicians had claimed that the decision did not target any particular faith. LOL!
19:46 July 2, 2012 by Englishted
@Henry List

A well written and good comment ,thanks.
20:56 July 2, 2012 by ITAMAR
Hennry List

I brought the scientific facts without mention that the medicine indicated the circumcision as medical therapeutic act.

Men breast ca is very rare ,very aggresive too, needs a masivve thorax wall excision and chemotherapy aggressive one,poor survival rate in 5 years.

Reading text book is my duty as Physician ,I guess also in your country the doctors do the same.

Mastectomy is not done any more ,today the procedure is tumerctomy and post op rt or chemotherapy or both.

Consent is a legal question and every country make its own rules

And no statistic is one of the important tools in medicine to understand the diseases and to treat them.

I have never said that I support circumcision as a medical method to avoid penil cancer in men,I gave the scientific facts as they are so do not put in my mouth words I have never said,you have the facts do it what ever you like that is your right and everybodies right
03:46 July 3, 2012 by Henry List
"I brought the scientific facts without mention that the medicine indicated the circumcision as medical therapeutic act."

By definition, routine infant circumcision is never therapeutic. Some claim that it is prophylactic. If circumcision is needed for medical reason, which is less than extremely rare, it is referred to a medical circumcision.

"Men breast ca is very rare ,very aggresive too, needs a masivve thorax wall excision and chemotherapy aggressive one,poor survival rate in 5 years."

Yet no one argues for routine infant mastectomies in boys!

"Reading text book is my duty as Physician ,I guess also in your country the doctors do the same."

One should read textbooks written by experts, not those who think they are experts.

'Consent is a legal question and every country make its own rules'

And a moral, ethical question. Unfortunately, this very often takes a back seat to earning easy money.

"And no statistic is one of the important tools in medicine to understand the diseases and to treat them."

Yet most MDs are clueless about, yet write books.

"I have never said that I support circumcision as a medical method to avoid penil cancer in men,I gave the scientific facts as they are so do not put in my mouth words I have never said,you have the facts do it what ever you like that is your right and everybodies right "

I appreciate that you do not justify routine circumcision. However, many of your facts are wrong. It might be a good time to buy books from real experts, not self proclaimed experts who are trying to make a buck of their publication.
13:29 July 6, 2012 by ITAMAR
Henry List

"Some claim that it is prophylactic."-it is not written in no Known medical books.

The medicine school here are as good as in the USA and we use the same books:Harisson for Internal Medicine Schwarz for Surgery ,Walter and Israel for pathology. I am sure these text books are good enough for every M.D.

Ethical .Legal questions are deal in different approach in different countries.

Statistic is one of the important tools in medical research

the way you answer me , you do not belong to my proffessionand your knoweldge is limited.
19:57 July 6, 2012 by Henry List
Itamar, your comments are amusing.

"Some claim that it is prophylactic.-it is not written in no Known medical books."

Either you do not know the meaning of "prophylactic" or you are reading the wrong medical books.

"The medicine school here are as good as in the USA and we use the same books:Harisson for Internal Medicine Schwarz for Surgery ,Walter and Israel for pathology. I am sure these text books are good enough for every M.D." Unfortunately that may be true. Many American medical schools never teach anything about the normal structure and function of the the foreskin, only how to cut it off. However, this is changing. We now have physicians who know better. Hopefully, some of this will eventually get to your side of the world so that children in your country will be kept as God intended them to be.

"Ethical .Legal questions are deal in different approach in different countries."

Unfortunately so. Many women and children from your country can speak to that. Hopefully that will change with proper education.

"Statistic is one of the important tools in medical research."

There is no research without statistical analysis. One must also understand what the various statistical analyses mean for proper interpretation of the data collected. Many physicians are unfortunately clueless in that area.

"the way you answer me , you do not belong to my proffessionand your knoweldge is limited."

Unfortunately, you are clueless.
22:18 July 6, 2012 by ITAMAR
Henry List

No medical book invoke circumcision as prophilatic therapy to practise on babies.

Schwarz and Harison are the right books basic in medicine also in USA.

As long as I know and I came to Medical Congress in Europe and in US all conventional doctors speak the same scientific language.

Sorry but 97% of the people in Israel do not think as you think and will probably not agree with you.

You underestimated the achievments of the medicine scienceand I think you have not enough knowledge to examine the issue.

"Many physicians are unfortunately clueless in that area."

the research and treatment are subjected to carefull Helsinki permission and FDA licence.

Many treatment save life of people,thing that is for you diffuclt to apprecciate because you are completly against doctors and operations.

I realy do not understand your meaning " you are clueless" but in my long work in emergancy room I saved the life of many people during the last 20 years, how many people did you saved?
20:13 July 7, 2012 by Henry List
Itamar,

¦quot;No medical book invoke circumcision as prophilatic therapy to practise on babies.¦quot;

Routine Infant circumcision is by definition always prophylactic, never therapeutic or medical. Do you not understand the term prophylactic?

¦quot;Schwarz and Harison are the right books basic in medicine also in USA.¦quot;

You are entitled to that opinion. However, if they the authors of this text do not label routine infant circumcision as prophylactic, as you assert, then there is a problem with the authors and their publication.

¦quot;As long as I know and I came to Medical Congress in Europe and in US all conventional doctors speak the same scientific language.¦quot;

They certainly should. All should know and understand the term ¦quot;prophylactic.¦quot;

¦quot;Sorry but 97% of the people in Israel do not think as you think and will probably not agree with you.¦quot;

I will take your word for it. However, that does not make routine infant circumcision beneficial, ethical, or moral.

You underestimated the achievments of the medicine scienceand I think you have not enough knowledge to examine the issue.

You are entitled to your opinion. However, you have no idea about knowledge and achievements in the area of medicine.

"the research and treatment are subjected to carefull Helsinki permission and FDA licence.¦quot;

Doing research under the Helsinki Permission or FDA licensure by no means guarantees proper protocol or execution.

¦quot;Many treatment save life of people,thing that is for you diffuclt to apprecciate because you are completly against doctors and operations.¦quot;

Routine infant circumcision by definition is not lifesaving. In addition, 99.994 % of all males will never have to be circumcised throughout their entire lifetime for medical reasons. Circumcisions should only be performed for medical reasons.

¦quot;I realy do not understand your meaning " you are clueless" but in my long work in emergancy room I saved the life of many people during the last 20 years, how many people did you saved?¦quot;

I have done and continue my share of lifesaving, rest assured. However, non-medical circumcision is never lifesaving by definition and must be eliminated for legal, ethical, and moral reasons. Our children and grandchildren deserve better.
20:54 July 7, 2012 by ITAMAR
Henry List

," if they the authors of this text do not label routine infant circumcision as prophylactic, as you assert, then there is a problem with the authors and their publication."

No Henry these experts are right they base on the long term medical research-the problem is with your medical knowledge.

No text book in western medicine reccomand today a prophilatic circumcision.it seems that you do not understand my language ,so text books in medicine never write that circumcision is a neceesary procedure to prevent diseases.

"that does not make routine infant circumcision beneficial, ethical, or moral."

I do understand it is your opinion, I respect it but I do not agree with it.

"Doing research under the Helsinki Permission or FDA licensure by no means guarantees proper protocol or execution"- As Physician I do not agree with that.

"Routine infant circumcision by definition is not lifesaving"- I do agree with this I do not recall I have ever written these words ,I meant to critisize your general attitude aagainst medicine and doctors.

. "Circumcisions should only be performed for medical reasons."-I do not agree with that ,circumcision is a religious ritual and does not belong to medical treatment

"medical circumcision is never lifesaving by definition and must be eliminated for legal, ethical, and moral reasons."

I do agree with the first part but when Iwrote it I meant my treatment to cardial patients in emergancy room not of course circumcision-a simple common sense,I do not believe you will be able to eliminate circumcision from millions of believers around the world ,even if you wish it so much,

At least we agree that we do not agree ,I do respect your opinion but I do not accept it.
02:24 July 8, 2012 by Henry List
¦quot;No Henry these experts are right they base on the long term medical research-the problem is with your medical knowledge.¦quot;

Research that presumably shows that routine infant circumcision has medical benefits, including the studies done recently in Africa, have all been showing to have severe flaws. Therefore, the conclusions of those investigations have been rendered invalid. Saying ¦quot;no, no¦quot; does not change that reality. The may want to read up on the critical comments.

¦quot;No text book in western medicine reccomand today a prophilatic circumcision it seems that you do not understand my language .¦quot;

You finally seem to be getting it.

"Doing research under the Helsinki Permission or FDA licensure by no means guarantees proper protocol or execution- As Physician I do not agree with that.¦quot;

Ergo, you are not a medical researcher.

¦quot;I meant to critisize your general attitude aagainst medicine and doctors.¦quot;

Being in the field I am in, I do not have an attitude against medicines and doctors, just unethical application of it.

"Circumcisions should only be performed for medical reasons - I do not agree with that ,circumcision is a religious ritual and does not belong to medical treatment.¦quot;

Ergo you must be for allowing female circumcision, head binding, foot binding, etc. for religious reason. What about human sacrifice for religious reasons?

"[non-]medical circumcision is never lifesaving by definition and must be eliminated for legal, ethical, and moral reasons."

¦quot;I do not believe you will be able to eliminate circumcision from millions of believers around the world ,even if you wish it so much,¦quot;

You do know that many Jews no longer circumcise, including an increasing number in Israel? So there is hope. Forgive me for being an optimist. And Jews have given up animal sacrifice, which is a definite step forward from the Muslims.

By the way, my ancestral tree contains many Jews and Muslims. I am not against circumcision, just against non-medical circumcision of minors. I am also against kosher slaughter, but love the rest of the Jewish customs.
17:33 July 8, 2012 by ITAMAR
Henry List

Thank you for expressing your opinion,it is always interesting for me to hear other people way of thinking in that matter.

Right now I do take part in a huge research on the receptors of the breast ca cells,but not in the leading group,there are those who are better then me.

There is in Israel a small group who oppose the circumcision, they failed their appeal in the Suprime Court,if it is possibile that one day the law will be indroduced here? I hardly believe it but who knows what will happen after 100 years? I will not live so long to see it.

I said before that no medical text book reccomend cirumcision as prophilatic treatment, you probably did not understood the way I expressed it in English.

Any way I do respect the way you think and your right to fight for your opinion even if I do not accept it.
Today's headlines
Bremen mall evacuated due to escaped psychiatric patient
Police outside the mall. Photo: DPA

The man had reportedly made worrying statements relating to Isis and last week's shooting in Munich.

German ambassador to Turkey left out in cold
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

The Turkish government has been giving German ambassador Martin Erdmann the cold shoulder for weeks, after German parliamentarians passed a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Ansbach suicide bomber was interviewed by Bulgarian TV
Photo: DPA

A Syrian who blew himself up outside a German music festival at the weekend was interviewed twice by Bulgarian television while living there in 2013, footage showed on Wednesday.

No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Munich gunman was far-right racist: media reports
Photo: DPA

According to research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the Munich gunman was proud to have been born on the same day as Hitler and hated Turks and Arabs.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach bomber ‘influenced’ by third person: officials
Photo: DPA

Officials in Bavaria have said that the man who blew himself up in an apparent Islamist attack on Sunday was influenced by an as yet unknown person.

What is the link between the attacks in Germany last week?
Police on guard in Munich. Photo: DPA

And how likely are 'copycat' attacks?

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
11,008
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd