Physician's Group Applauds Oregon Supreme Court for Protecting Boy from Circumcision

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Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.), http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org , celebrated the decision by the Oregon Supreme Court this week for the case of a 12-year-old Washington boy facing a religious circumcision, calling it a step forward for children's rights.

Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.), http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org , celebrated the decision by the Oregon Supreme Court this week for the case of a 12-year-old Washington boy facing a religious circumcision, calling it a step forward for children's rights.

“We are pleased that the Oregon Supreme Court recognized this healthy child does not need this surgery and has a right to be heard, though we remain concerned he may have been manipulated,” said attorney John Geisheker, Director of D.O.C. “Nevertheless, this is a landmark step toward recognizing the separate rights of children. We applaud the Court for protecting this boy. There is no more important decision to make for a male child.”

The Court overturned opinions of both the trial court and the Oregon Court of Appeals which had allowed the ritual surgery regardless of the child's preferences. The custodial father, an attorney, claims to have converted to a branch of Judaism which requires the procedure. The mother, an Orthodox Christian, opposed the father and was supported by the Seattle based organization, D.O.C., who submitted two 'friend of the Court' briefs.

A consortium of Jewish groups had supported the father and opposed the mother.

"In our view, at age 12, the (boy’s) attitude regarding circumcision, though not conclusive of the custody issue presented here, is a fact necessary to the determination," Chief Justice Paul De Muniz wrote. "Forcing (him) at age 12 to undergo circumcision against his will could seriously affect the relationship between (he) and his father, and could have a pronounced effect on father's capability to properly care for (him)."

After delay for a possible appeal, the case goes back to an Oregon Circuit Court for the testimony of the child and of experts.

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