The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 is one hundred and fifty years old today, 6th of August 2011. The Act is very much alive and well, although much of the Act has been repealed it is still one of the cornerstones of our criminal laws that protect us from assault, wounding and harm.
The basis of all medical treatment is that there should be a disease or injury that needs treatment and that the patient should personally consent to such treatment.
There are of course exceptions (see the post Consent and circumcision) but informed personal consent becomes crucial when the treatment being sought is non-therapeutic. If a doctor treats a patient who has no disease or injury and cannot personally consent to such treatment then the doctor has no defence of reasonable surgery and is probably committing a crime under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
It would appear to folow that the non-therapeutic circumcision of boys who are healthy and, being minors, cannot personally consent to a non-therapeutic procedure, is a crime. It is quite surprising that no prosecutions have been brought to date.
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- A handy time line of recent events in Europe concerning male circumcision. - http://t.co/EodqImr21R http://t.co/i7qJB2Ia42 06:41:45 PM September 26, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Proud to stand with our intersex allies in Dublin. All children have human rights that should be respected. #i2 http://t.co/rgT6HR8Btt 11:45:17 AM September 24, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite
- RT @IntactVoices: #Circumcision should now be considered a man-made handicap that is inﬂicted upon millions of baby boys every year #i2 htt… 11:24:24 AM September 24, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite