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Judge questions legality of child ear-piercing

The Local · 2 Sep 2012, 12:19

Published: 02 Sep 2012 12:19 GMT+02:00

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The judge in the case said there was a need to establish the legal situation in light of the recent Cologne court ruling that circumcision of a child on religious grounds was a punishable offense.

The parents of the girl brought a civil action against the owner of the studio after complications arose following the piercing.

As a present for her third birthday at the end of October, the girl had wanted her ears pierced, the German newspaper Bild reported. The parents obliged, taking her along to a Berlin tattoo studio.

Afterwards, it emerged that the right ear had not been punctured in the right place, and the child began to cry in pain. Three days later, when she was taken to the doctor, the girl was still showing signs of a traumatic reaction.

In a legal ruling, the judge questioned the legality of what the parents had done, saying it was doubtful whether the decision to allow the piercing had been in the child's interest.

The fact that the studio had not refused to carry out the piercing might also constitute an offense, the judge said. The salon owner agreed to pay €70 in damages claimed by the parents. It is thought the case may now be handed over to prosecutors.

President of the German Association of Paediatricians called for a ban of ear piercing of youngsters in the Chemnitz Freie Presse newspaper.

"Any encroachment on the healthy body of a child is problematic. It could lead to severe inflammation. Ear-piercing, tattooing and other forms of piercing, from our point of view, constitute bodily harm."

Story continues below…

The Cologne circumcision case caused a stir internationally, prompting criticism from Jewish and Muslim organisations, who claimed it was an attack on religious freedom.

DPA/The Local/rc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:53 September 2, 2012 by The-ex-pat
It's the parents that need to be before the judge for giving such a stupid birthday present. Mind you, the queue would go around the the town twice with the number of toddlers you see with pierced ears today......................
16:37 September 2, 2012 by MattyB
What a silly world we live in. Millions of boys have been circumcised without issue, and millions of girls have had their ears pierced without issue. One accident and society's reactionary, irrational, legislate-based-on-emotion elements are ready to take up arms.

On an interesting side note, I see that the American Academy of Pediactrics has come out with its strongest statement yet in favor of circumcision (historically they've remained neutral). And I quote:

"Circumcision has been shown to reduce the risk of sexually-transmitted infections including HIV, syphilis, HPV and genital herpes. Circumcision has also been shown to reduce the risk of penile cancer, as well as cervical cancer in sexual partners. Circumcision also reduces the risk of urinary tract infection in a baby's first year of life."
17:28 September 2, 2012 by sally#
As far as I am concerned , ear-piercing of little chidren itself isn't right. Little children like the three-year-old girl cannot make a clear distinction between right and wrong. They sometimes even don't know what're the things realy about,like the ear-piercing staff.
19:31 September 2, 2012 by auslanderus
Sally# I do agree with you very much. Tell me why the parents just say no? Are they not the adult's of the family/child or is the child the parent?
20:09 September 2, 2012 by Bermudagirl
What's the big deal with pircing children's ears? In my country, it's customary to do so when the child is a baby aged three months because a small baby won't trouble with the earrings (fiddle with them with grimy little hands like an older child) and cause irritation or infection. In fact, we take our babies to the doctor's office where they pierce the ears under sterile conditions and give you proper instruction on taking care of the ears afterwards. It's no different from taking a baby in to get a shot and no more traumatic like it would be with an older child who would know what's going on and get scared.

When I took my own daughters in, I fed them a bottle while their ears were pierced and they barely noticed-it certainly wasn't cruel and it was nice to get it out of the way. It's normal in many places to pierce girls' ears. I wouldn't recomment going to any old place-make sure the place is clean. However, we don't even know if the family didn't take care of theis girls ears afterwards-that could be the reason she got an infection. In any case, this isn't a big deal-it doesn't compare to getting a tattoo done on a child! Ear percing is safe and pain-free if done correctly.
20:28 September 2, 2012 by ovalle3.14
You could also sue parents for dressing baby twins in matching outfits.
22:08 September 2, 2012 by sonriete

The American Academy of Pediatrics did indeed publish the statement you quote. As part of their study they also did reference negative effects and did not endorse circumcision, their statement was they remained neutral on the topic, they recommended the choice be left to the parent.

the rate of circumcision in America has now declined so much that barely half of boys undergo the procedure, down from close to 80% thirty years ago.

America is becoming more like Europe in this case.
22:41 September 2, 2012 by MattyB

Quite right, they didn not endorse it, but they did state that the benefits out weight the risks. There is increasing evidence of a link between dropping circumcision rates and increasing STI rates (which should not be surprising considering there are numerous studies showing that circumcision lowers the risk of contracting and spreading STIs) Again, traditionally the AAP has been strictly neutral on the subject; with this report they have come out and openly criticized that past neutrality, and have stated that circumcision has many benefits.

Honestly, sometimes I think the anti-circumcision crowd must believe this was all started as some ridiculous fashion statement or something.
10:00 September 3, 2012 by mobaisch
just so that you all barking commentators know, i know whats right and whats wrong for my daughter , i am an adult and her mother is adult. and no government is allowed to play the role of parents for me!

so shut up all and be free!
18:47 September 3, 2012 by sonriete
If we all shave our children's heads we know they will never get head lice
01:15 September 4, 2012 by trevor999
Sometimes people need to protected from themselves.

Sometimes children need to be protected from their parents.

Just because a thing has been done since time immemorial, or everyone else is doing that thing, it doesn't necessarily follow that that thing is right.
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