A poll shows strong opposition to newborn circumcision.

J. Steven Svoboda
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child


Strong Opposition to Newborn Circumcision

Jo Hartley

Half of the Australian Doctor community believe that the circumcision of newborns is tantamount to child abuse and should never be performed, a survey reveals.

Findings from an online poll show that 74% of those responding to the question `should parents be routinely offered circumcision for their newborns in the public system’ said no.

Of these 51% likened the procedure to child abuse, while a further 23% said circumcision was a personal or religious choice and should only be available to parents of newborns in the private sector.

One doctor wrote: “Circumcision is a personal or religious choice. However, it is a choice that is not made by the person that it is being done to. At the age of majority, the decision can be made by the person who is being circumcised.”

The survey was carried out in the wake of a call by a group of Australian specialists for the ban on elective infant circumcision in public hospitals to be overturned and Medicare rebates made available for the procedure.

Around one quarter (23%) of the 860 poll respondents agreed circumcision was a good public health measure and parents should be able to make an informed choice.

“As conscientious objectors to vaccination can claim a Government payment why is there not the equivalent for those choosing circumcision?

“A government payment is allowed despite greater consensus in the medical profession for the benefits of vaccination versus the disparity in opinions for circumcision and no Medicare rebate. Political correctness wins over reasoned argument, ” another commentator said.

Just 2% of respondents believed every child should be circumcised as a matter of course.