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 The Act is very much alive and well, although much of the Act has been repealed it is still one of the cornerstones of our criminal laws that protect us from assault, wounding and harm.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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- RT @intactamerica: Two mohels banned in NYC after infants get herpes #circumcision #i2 http://t.co/9iNbGqbzvd 09:38:04 AM August 18, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite
- RT @intactamerica: Say NO to circumcision! http://t.co/x6eZ48T7Ln #i2 #humanrights http://t.co/Hq8YR9GFcR 09:37:21 AM August 18, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite
- RT @ACarmackMD: RT @Feedtime: To avoid circumcision complications, avoid #circumcision http://t.co/NH4nA8jqV5 #i2 09:37:06 AM August 18, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite