BMA guidance

Non-therapeutic male circumcision toolkit

Doctors may be asked to refer a child for, or to carry out, non-therapeutic male circumcision (NTMC). This toolkit provides you with practical guidance relevant to NTMC in the UK.
Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Wednesday 4 December 2019
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What you'll get from this guide

  • A practical guidance on what to consider and the process to follow when responding to a request for non-therapeutic male circumcision (NTMC) on a child.
  • Information on specific areas relating to NTMC such as the law, determining best interests, consent and refusal, disputes, declining request for NTMC, providing NTMC and record-keeping.
  • Considerations on the type of factors that might be relevant in assessing ‘child's best interests’.

 

How to use this guide

This guidance will provide you with the key legal and ethical considerations you need to take into account when making a decision on non-therapeutic male circumcision (NTMC), and signposts to other sources of support and information.

It is not a set of rules or instructions, or a substitute for careful reflection and discussion with colleagues. Moreover, it does not cover circumcision carried out by non-doctors; nor does it provide a comprehensive detailed reflection on all the international and UK debates on the issue.

You can seek additional advice on specific dilemmas from the BMA’s medical ethics and human rights department, the GMC, or your medical defence organisation.

Topics
  • Background to non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Ten good practice points when dealing with non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Circumcision for medical purposes
  • Non-therapeutic male circumcision and the law
  • Health risks and benefits of non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Determining a child's best interests for non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Consent and refusal for non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Disputes in relation to non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Declining requests for non-therapeutic circumcision
  • Providing non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Record-keeping and requests for non-therapeutic male circumcision
  • Useful resources