July 21, 2012
Some Swiss hospitals follow German circumcision rulingA GERMAN court ruling that branded circumcision as grievous bodily harm has created waves in Switzerland where a second hospital announced a possible halt to the procedure.
The announcement, by St Gall hospital in the country's northeast, follows a decision on Thursday by the Zurich children's hospital to temporarily suspend the operation, media reported.
"We are in the process of evaluating the legal and ethical stance in Switzerland," Marco Stuecheli, spokesman for the Zurich hospital, told AFP.
"There can be complicated cases where the mother of a child wants a circumcision but the father is opposed to it."
The development is unlikely to affect the practice in Switzerland, where it can be carried out in any hospital for a fee, the spokesman added.
"Most Jewish patients go to specialist doctors known within their community," the spokesman said, adding that the hospital carried out "only one or two circumcisions for religious reasons per month".
A senior executive at the St Gall teaching hospital said a decision would be taken after the summer holidays, Beobachter magazine reported.
In French-speaking Switzerland, a spokesman for Lausanne's university hospital expressed surprise at the level of debate surrounding the issue.
The hospital carried out the operation because it was important that it took place "in the best medical conditions possible", said a spokesman.
The Swiss reaction follows a June ruling by a court in the German city of Cologne ...