Daily Israel Report

Swiss Hospital Lifts Ban on Circumcision

A Swiss hospital said it is lifting the ban on circumcision that had been imposed following a controversial ruling by a German court.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/12/2012, 10:51 AM

Preparing for circumcision
Preparing for circumcision
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A Swiss hospital on Friday said it is lifting the ban on circumcision that had been imposed at the beginning of July following a controversial ruling by a German court, which found that the practice for religious purposes amounted to willful bodily harm.

Officials at the Zurich University Children’s Hospital announced that in the future every male circumcision for religious purposes will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking health factors into account, a Swiss news agency reported.
 
“The Zurich Children’s Hospital is aware that the circumcision of boys is part of an old and widely spread tradition, be it for religious or social reasons,” a statement said.
 
It is up to parliament to decide whether the removal of the male foreskin should be a punishable offence, in line with a ban of female circumcision, officials said, according to the news agency.
 
The hospital management said the decision to resume the practice was taken following consultations with internal and external ethics experts.
 
The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities as well as the Association of Islamic Organizations in Zurich applauded the decision.

In July, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued sharp criticism of the ban saying, “Without strong, unequivocal leadership from the top, these initiatives will further embolden anti-Semitism in the mainstream of European society.”