Sweden: Boys injured during illegal home circumcision

Sweden: Boys injured during illegal home circumcision

Astrid Lindgren children's hospital has raised the alarm again after a persona illegally circumcised children at home.  The Health and Welfare board withdrew permission for the suspect to perform circumcisions already in 2007, but recently two boys came to the hospital with serious injuries.

"This person must be stopped.  It's urgent," says Maria Hansson, a lawyer at the board of Health and Welfare.

The Board suspects that since the name is the same, the man who was reported is the same person who two years ago lost his permit for conducting circumcisions at home.  The man doesn't have a Swedish medical certificate, but in special cases individuals can get permission to conduct the operation, but not on boys older than two months.

The two boys who were now injured are significantly older, born in 2001 and 2004.  As a result of their injuries, which rose in connection with the circumcision, they were forced to undergo operations at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital.

The case has now been turned over to the police.

Marie Hansson says that what he did was illegal and now it's up to whether the parents are ready to testify against the man.

Patrik Lillqvist, inspector at the City police investigative team, says that the man is suspect of breaking the law of circumcision of boys, and alternatively of abuse.  He will soon get in contact with the parents.

"It's always pressured when children are involved.  In addition, children don't remember as much as adults, so we must talk with them while they can tell what they've been through."

In August 2007, the suspect lost his permit for performing circumcisions.  Then too it was the Astrid Lindgren Children's hospital which reported the man when the doctors didn't think the operation was performed professionally.  The investigation concerned six boys who were older than two months.  Four or five of them got an infection after the operation, which was conducted in the boys' home.

In two of the cases the circumcision wasn't done properly.  The Board sees it as especially serious that the man didn't see to pain treatment by a certified doctor or nurse.

The custom of circumcising boys is very widespread among both Muslims and members of the Jewish community.  Since Stockholm country doesn't offer the operation, the parents are referred to private clinics and the pressure is great.

Since the suspect man lost his permit there are no individuals within the Muslim community how are allowed to perform circumcisions.  There are, however, within the Jewish community.  Maynard Gerber, Jewish circumciser or "mohel", circumcised many Muslim boys in the past year.

"Last year there were 15-20, compared with 3-4 a year before that."

"It isn't so surprising.  The Swedish medical services didn't arrange it in a good way for Muslims.  The should also have access to competent circumcisers everywhere in Sweden."

"But I never do it on boys older than two months.  There's a big difference in doing the operation on a small child and bigger boys.  For older boys the operation should absolutely not be done at home, but in a hospital.  It requires a different technique, and it requires stitches.  For infants the wounds heal without stitches."

Source: DN (Swedish)

See also: Norway: Hospitals drop circumcisions

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