Is Circumcision Legal? by Peter W. Adler

An important, divisive, and unanswered question of American law – and indeed of international law – is whether it is legal to circumcise healthy boys.

American medical associations and experts assert that circumcision is a common, safe, and relatively painless procedure with many medical benefits that exceed the risks. They argue that insurance should pay for it. Some religious organizations argue that circumcision is a sacred religious ritual. In any event, proponents claim that parents have a general and religious right to make the circumcision decision. They can point to the fact that no physician has ever been held liable by an American court for a properly performed circumcision.

Legal scholars, foreign medical associations, intactivist organizations, and increasing numbers of men claim the opposite, namely that circumcision is painful, risky, harmful, irreversible surgery that benefits few men, if any. These opponents of circumcision argue that, in any event, boys have a right to be left genitally intact, like girls under federal law, and to make the circumcision decision for themselves as adults…

From RICHMOND JOURNAL OF LAW AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST. Read more at Adler_Formatted.pdf

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