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2018-08-09 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly - anti-circumcision activists take to Boston streets

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  • 2018-08-09 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly - anti-circumcision activists take to Boston streets

    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly - Backed by member of bar, anti-circumcision activists take to Boston streets

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    ^^They came from Kansas, California and even Hawaii, and their summer white suits had a striking — some would say gruesome — stain.
    The Bloodstained Men and Their Friends set up shop near the Old State House in Boston on Aug. 3, part of a 21-city, 21-day tour of the Northeast to protest the practice of circumcision, which they believe to be both immoral and illegal.

    On the latter front — circumcision’s dubious legality — the thought leaders to whom the Bloodstained Men look includes a member of the Massachusetts bar, Peter W. Adler of Wellesley Hills. Adler hosted the Bloodstained Men on their visit to the Boston area.

    In 2013, Adler authored an article for the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest titled “Is Circumcision Legal?” As may be evident, Adler ultimately answers the question in the negative.
    “To summarize the law, boys, like girls and adults, have absolute rights under the common law to personal security and bodily integrity, and to freedom or the autonomy to make important and irreversible decisions about their bodies that can be delayed, like circumcision, for themselves,” Adler writes.

    He continues that it is unconstitutional to protect girls from unnecessary genital cutting without extending equal protection of the law to boys.

    Adler and others who have written on the subject agree that the United States has a ways to go to catch up to parts of Europe, which have begun to recognize circumcision’s shaky legal status. They cite a German court, which held that circumcision is “already illegal under numerous provisions of American and international law.”

    Even if one reaches the argument that physicians have the right to circumcise boys for religious, cultural or personal reasons, it does not hold up, Adler writes in “Is Circumcision Legal?”
    “A physician’s legal duty is to provide competent medical care to pediatric patients independent of their parents’ desires,” he writes. “Thus, physicians cannot take orders from parents to operate on children for reasons having nothing to do with medicine.”

    As for parents’ religious rights, those are “subordinate to their sons’ absolute rights to genital integrity and autonomy, and parents cannot risk harming their children, let alone actually harm them for religious reasons,” he writes.

    While there is a widespread belief that circumcision has health benefits, those benefits have been vastly oversold, Adler and the Bloodstained Men argue. They say the procedure might eliminate one of every 100 cases of urinary tract infections in infants, for which antibiotics provide an effective and far less invasive treatment.

    “Doctors say they have proxy consent, but that is only valid when the patient is diagnosed with an urgent need for medical intervention,” says Harry Guiremand of Hawaii, one of the leaders of the Bloodstained Men’s Boston rally.

    Doctors do not know what the functions of the foreskin are, and therefore cannot truly inform parents adequately, Guiremand claims. ...^^
    Attached Files
    -Ron Low
    [email protected]
    847 414-1692 Chicago