The Danish Association of Midwives’ policy paper on circumcision of children.

Circumcision of boys

For some time, there has been a debate about circumcision of children amongst the members of The Danish Association of Midwives.

Based on the substantial support to legislate against circumcision of girls more than a decade ago, the debate has extended to include circumcision of boys. Therefore, a significant group of members have asked the board of directors to formulate a policy regarding circumcision of boys.

Following an extended proces with input from the members and debate in the board the following has been adopted:

The board of The Danish Association of Midwives finds that boys, in full equality with girls, har the right to not be subjected to non-therapeutic surgical procedures – and we find that this right must be interpreted as freedom from procedures.

We are aware that circumcision of boys carry cultural significance for a number of groups in the society and we wish to make explicitly known that our policy is not a signal of indifference towards this importance. 

We respect the individual human right to decide to live in accordance with religious tenants – but we appeal to all parents to avoid inflicting an irreversible effect on their boy(s).

Simultaneously we urge the National Board of Health (SST) to revise the paper Circumcision of boys, 2013 (Omskæring af drenge, 2013), in which it is stated that SST does not find reason to recommend circumcision of boys but continue to conclude that it may be performed “correct and by competent doctors”.

The Danish Association of Midwives does not find that statement to be in accordance with the normally recognised interpretation of recommendations regarding surgical procedures in the Danish health care system made by the National Board of Health.

On behalf of the board of The Danish Association of Midwives,

Lillian Bondo og Ann-Birgitte Havelund
Chair and Vice-Chair

Translated by Intact Denmark

Read the original statement here (in Danish)