SMF demonstrates at BMA Annual Representatives Meeting in Cardiff

25 Jun 2011

Non-therapeutic surgery on the sexual organs of male minors was on the agenda at the BMA ARM in Cardiff. But it was sidelined as not of sufficient importance to be debated as of right.

A peaceful demonstration, reported by the BBC here took place outside the conference venue on Monday 27th June 2011 asking BMA representatives to choose this motion for debate and asking the BMA why they have chosen not to debate this important topic.

In May 2010, the Royal Dutch Medical Association called Non-therapeutic surgery on the genitals of male minors a violation of a boy’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity. The ARM sets BMA policy; without a debate there is no change in BMA policy which does not preclude doctors’ participation in agreeing to parental wishes to cut off sensitive parts of their children’s sexual organs because of their own adult religious beliefs here in the UK.

On Sunday 26th June, Radio 4’s Broadcasting House ran a fifteen minute feature questioning the practice.

The SMF is actively engaged in work to end ritual genital surgery on non-consenting children. In January 2010, Dr Lempert met with senior GMC officials in London to present the case that the GMC’s current ‘no position’ approach is inconsistent and contradictory. The GMC openly turns a blind eye to infractions of its own guidance when it meets religious resistance. It is failing in its statutory duty to protect the public. Please read the letter in the Resources section of the SMF website. The GMC’s response to this letter indicates that it still has no plans to change its guidance. On Wednesday 29th June, the GMC hosted a meeting at the BMA ARM (see above). Dr Lempert took the opportunity to ask Peter Rubin (chair) and Niall Dickson (chief executive) of the GMC, whether their non-position could be regarded as a dereliction of duty. Peter Rubin assured Dr Lempert that he would give the matter some consideration and let him know. When we do hear from the GMC, you’ll be able to read their response here.

 

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