Hospitals in Austria and Switzerland suspend circumcision
A group of Orthodox rabbis warned on Wednesday that the ancient Jewish practice of infant male circumcision could face further restrictions in Europe after some hospitals in Austria and Switzerland suspended the procedure by citing a German court ruling that it could amount to criminal bodily harm.
Last month's verdict by a regional court in Cologne did not ban circumcision, but it prompted angry protests from Jewish and Muslims groups, especially after the German Medical Association advised doctors not to perform unnecessary circumcisions until the legal situation was clarified – something Germany's government has pledged to do soon.
Two weeks ago, a hospital in Zurich also suspended circumcisions, saying it wanted to investigate public concerns about the procedure, which involves cutting off a boy's foreskin. Anti-circumcision campaigners say the act breaches the child's right to bodily integrity, while faith groups insist it is part of their religious freedom. (...)