Berlin's State Legalizes Circumcision

National German Legislation Is Pending

By JTA

Published September 05, 2012.

One of Germany’s 16 states has declared circumcision legal.

Berlin, Germany’s capital and itself a state, is the first to declare the practice legal following Cologne court ruled in June that non-medical circumcisions on children amounted to a criminal offense, according to DPA, a German news wire. National legislation is also pending to legalize circumcision.

The state has authorized only doctors, and not mohels, to perform circumcisions. National legislation could authorize mohels. The state also required that parents be informed of the procedure’s medical risks before consenting, and that doctors do everything possible during the procedure to reduce pain and limit bleeding.

June’s court ruling has led many doctors to stop performing circumcisions in order to avoid being prosecuted. So far, two rabbis have had complaints brought against them based on the ruling, though one complaint was dropped last week.



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