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Norway to mandate hospital circumcision

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Norway to mandate hospital circumcision
ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com
09:10 CET+01:00
Norway's Health Minister Bent Høie will propose that hospitals take the lead in carrying out ritual circumcisions on Jewish and Muslim baby boys, when the results of a government consultation are passed to the country's parliament for discussion in the coming weeks.
"If the children are circumcised in hospitals by competent personnel, we will prevent complications," Høie told Aftenposten newspaper. "This is the most realistic way to ensure the little guys against damage. All the other proposals risk exposing the boys to injury." 
 
Høie stressed that his government had never considered an outright ban on circumcision, despite scare stories late last year in the Israeli and diaspora Jewish media. 
 
"A ban on something that is so common for religious or cultural reasons would not be for the good of the children," he argued. 
 
He estimated that some 2,000 ritual circumcisions would be carried out in Norwegian hospitals annually, and said that the government had yet to decide who would bear the cost. 
 
Anne Lindboe, Norway Children’s Ombudswoman last year called for circumcision to be banned on boys under the age of 16. 
 
“This is not due to any lack of understanding of minorities or religious traditions, but because the procedure is irreversible, painful and risky,” she argued.
 

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