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Swedish Doctors Stop Circumcisions

By Madeline Holler |

Doctors in western Sweden have announced they will no longer perform circumcisions on newborn baby boys.

Their decision to suspend routine circumcisions isn’t another of Sweden’s enviably holier-than-the-rest laws regarding parents and babies (I’m thinking maternity leaves, breastfeeding rates, etc.). Rather, it’s a matter of resources. Watch out, this will also be fodder for those in the U.S. who oppose universal health care.

The doctors say they will skip the optional surgeries to focus on sick children.

Here’s what one surgeon told UPI:

“We have deprioritized (circumcision) to help sick children, such as (by providing) surgery on tight foreskins for medical reasons. And obviously we cannot carry out these operations without sacrificing something else,” pediatric surgeon John Westfelt said.

The head of the regions healthcare committee said they are currently looking for a doctor who is willing to perform circumcisions for the 300 or so Jewish and Muslim newborn boys born in there every year.

Is this really a matter of resources or are the doctors taking a stance on circumcision. Don’t miss this discussion of female circumcision and legislation banning it.

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Swedish Doctors Stop Circumcisions

  1. [...] Swedish Docs Stop Circumcisions [...]

  2. Frank OHara says:

    Westfeld’s comment makes it sound like children are being denied care when the truth is just the opposite. Is “Westfeldt” a Jewish name?

    In Sweden only one man in 18,000 goes to his grave without his foreskin firmly attached. Most likely virtually all of these men are either Jewish or Muslim and they are not being circumcised for medical reasons but for religious reasons. Yes, go ahead and stop mixing religion and medicine. It’s a good thing.


  3. Restoring Tally says:

    I only hope that doctors in the United States will start practicing their motto: “Do no harm.” Infant circumcision has outlived its usefulness and needs to be discarded for the genital alteration that it is.

  4. Hugh7 says:

    All over the developed world, doctors are refusing to circumcise healthy boys, for purely ethical reasons. (It used to be common in the UK, Canada and South Africa, and near-universal in Australia and New Zealand, but they found it did no good and now it’s rare outside minority cultural practice.) In New Zealand, it’s hard to find a doctor outside the biggest cities who will do it.

    @Frank OHara: Westfelt is not the one saying they should be doing it. The head of the region’s healthcare committee is, but it’s hard to see why.

    @Tally: “Usefulness”? It never was useful – at least not to the babies.

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