25th June 2012. Men Do Complain staged its annual vigil to remind the doctors attending the British Medical Association’s Annual Representative’s Meeting (doctors’ trade union) that cutting the genitals of healthy boys who cannot give personal informed consent is profoundly unethical.
Our mission was to support the doctors from the Secular Medical Forum who proposed motion 336; the motion called on the B.M.A. to debate the ethical, medical and financial issues surrounding the circumcision of non-consenting males.
“That this meeting:
(i) Demands that child safeguarding procedures must apply to all children without gender discrimination and irrespective of the beliefs or social status of the child’s parents or guardians;
(ii) Notes the increasing evidence of significant complications from childhood male circumcision, including meatal stenosis, bleeding, infection, scarring and adult psychosexual dysfunction;
(iii) Endorses the May 2010 position statement of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) which called non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity;
(iv) Notes the GMC guidance in respect of the responsibilities of registered medical practitioners in the matter of female genital mutilation (FGM) (0-18 years: Guidance for all doctors; end notes reference 15) – and as set down in the 2003 FGM legislation;
(v) Insists on equality between GMC policies for doctors concerning females and males in respect of non-therapeutic genital surgery.
(vi) Calls for no further commissioning or funding of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors in the NHS;”
Disappointingly motion 336 was not chosen to be debated. The reception that we received in 2011 at the Cardiff meeting was slightly confrontational; this year those opposed only showed us the cold shoulder and there were more delegates supportive to our cause than last year. Thank you to all who turned up and to all who supported us behind the scenes.