- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge in a case closely watched by those who oppose circumcision sided Tuesday with a divorced man who did not want his 9-year-old son to undergo the procedure.

Circuit Judge Jordan Kaplan said that circumcision is “an extraordinary medical procedure” for a 9-year-old and that the boy can decide for himself when he turns 18.

The boy’s father sued to block the operation in a dispute with his ex-wife. The couple’s 2003 divorce decree gave the father the right to be consulted before the boy underwent any “extraordinary” non-emergency procedure.

The father said he thought surgical removal of the boy’s foreskin could cause long-term physical and psychological harm. The child’s mother wanted the procedure to prevent recurring infections. She testified that the boy had suffered five bouts of painful inflammation.

Newborns in several mainstream religions are routinely circumcised as part of their faith, but religious beliefs did not figure in the ruling.

Most U.S. newborn boys are circumcised. But a growing number of parents are opting against the surgery. The percentage of male babies circumcised has fallen from an estimated 90 percent in 1970 to about 60 percent today.


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