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Monday, July 23, 2012

Switzerland hospitals suspend circumcisions


Two Swiss hospitals announced last week that they would temporarily stop performing circumcisions.

The announcements followed a recent ruling by a German court that the ritual is illegal, which sparked outrage among the Jewish and Muslim communities living in the country.

On Thursday, the Zurich children's hospital announced that it was temporarily halting circumcision operations. "We are in the process of evaluating the legal and ethical stance in Switzerland," said Marco Stuecheli, a spokesman for the hospital.

"There can be complicated cases where the mother of a child wants a circumcision but the father is opposed to it," he added.

The hospital said it performs only one or two such operations a month.

Meanwhile, another children's hospital, located in the city of St. Gallen in northeastern Switzerland, has also decided to reassess its policy on circumcision.

A senior administrator at the hospital told the local media that a decision on the matter would be reached after the summer vacation.

The German government plans to submit a bill to parliament which would regulate the issue of circumcision and protect doctors who perform them from lawsuits.

Also last week, the German parliament passed a resolution endorsing the right of Muslim and Jewish parents to have their sons circumcised and urging the government to pass legislation on the matter.

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