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Source: The Guardian
I support circumcision for legitimate medical reasons but strongly object to it being used on young children without informed consent, whether or not such practices are based on religious convictions. Parents have absolutely no right to mutilate the body of their child, regardless of how long the practice dates back or how common it is. It's high time that Europe stands up to the practice and protects the rights of children. Germany has been one of the most progressive nations with regard to this topic and recently banned the practice, though that ruling was eventually overturned (in part because of the country's legacy regarding the Holocaust).
By +Frank B.
Angela Merkel backs circumcision right after German ruling
The German government says Jewish and Muslim communities should be able to continue the practice of circumcision, after a regional court ruled it amounted to bodily harm.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said it was a case of protecting religious freedom.
Steffen Seibert said: "Circumcision carried out in a responsible manner must be possible without punishment."
European Jewish and Muslim groups had criticised the Cologne court ruling.
The case involved a doctor who carried out a circumcision on a four-year-old that led to medical complications.
The court said that a child's right to physical integrity trumped religious and parental rights.
But Mr Seibert said: "For everyone in the government it is absolutely clear that we want to have Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany."
He said the government would look urgently at establishing "legal certainty".
"It is clear this cannot be put on the back burner. Freedom to practise religion is a cherished legal principle," Mr Seibert said.
Germany's Medical Association had told doctors not to perform circumcisions following the court ruling.
The doctor involved in the case was acquitted and the ruling was not binding. However, critics feared it could set a precedent for other German courts.
European Jewish and Muslim groups had joined forces to defend circumcision.
An unusual joint statement was signed by leaders of groups including the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, the European Jewish Parliament, the European Jewish Association, Germany's Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs and the Islamic Centre Brussels.
"We consider this to be an affront [to] our basic religious and human rights," it said.
The BBC's Stephen Evans in Berlin says opinion in Germany about the issue has been mixed, though one poll showed a majority in favour of the ban.
He says that many readers' comments on newspaper websites have indicated anger that this generation of Germans seems to be being constricted in its actions because of the Holocaust.
Thousands of Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised in Germany every year.
Source: BBC News
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A South Dakota prison inmate is suing the hospital where he was circumcised as a newborn, saying he only recently became aware that he'd undergone the procedure and that it robbed him of his sexual prowess.
Dean Cochrun, 28, is asking for $1,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. He also asks in the lawsuit that his foreskin be restored "in the hopes I could feel whole again," though he acknowledged that he didn't expect such a restoration to be anything more than aesthetic.
Cochrun, who is imprisoned in Sioux Falls on a kidnapping conviction, filed the federal lawsuit Friday against Sanford Hospital. Cochrun claims that an "unknown doctor" at the then-named Sioux Valley Hospital misled his mother to believe that the procedure was medically necessary. Cochrun argues that the procedure was unnecessary, unethical and without medical benefit.
"I was recently made aware of the fact that I had been (circumcised) and that ... I was robbed of sensitivity during sexual intercourse as well as the sense of security and well-being I am entitled to in my person," he argued in the lawsuit, adding that neither he nor his partners would "have that sensitivity during sexual intercourse and have a normal sex life."