Discourage male circumcision, Dutch doctors urge


(JTA) — A Dutch medical association has called on politicians and human rights groups to discourage male circumcision.

The Royal Dutch Medical Association last week appealed to politicians to speak out about the procedure, called a brit milah in Hebrew, in an attempt to encourage religious groups to find an alternative rite of passage, Reuters reported.

The association represents surgeons, pediatricians, general practitioners and urologists. One year ago, the association released a report against male circumcision for non-medical reasons.

Female circumcision, also called female genital mutation, has been banned in the Netherlands since 1993.

Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, president of the Dutch Association of Rabbis, told Reuters that about 50 male Jewish babies are circumcised in the Netherlands each year.
Jewish boys traditionally are circumcised at eight days of age and Muslims at some time during boyhood.

There are about 40,000 Jews and 1 million Muslims living in the Netherlands.

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