Before a meeting this week I happen to listen to a conversation between the orthodox rabbi Isaac Nachman and Prof. Bengt Björksten about the debate on circumcision which has been on the agenda of the community ever since 2001 when a law passed the parliament to regulate Brit Milah, requiring a Nurse or Doctor to be present at the procedure when done by a licensed Mohel, and the inflated debate on TV and Radio were Prof. Björksten a renowned pediatrician and member of the board of the community defends the fact that we are not doing less harm then by taking blood samples och putting a “unnecessary vaccine” ( some children cry less during circumcision, ask my daughter when they pinch her) and let me here clarify, we are talking only about male circumcision, which is done mainly by my colleague and Mohel Maynard Gerber, the only layman in Sweden licensed to perform circumcision. “Most of the people think that if you’re a doctor, you can do any kind of operation. And it’s not true. Most of the doctors in Sweden have never done a circumcision. So there are few here who can do it,” says Maynard
Circumcision in Sweden is considered a dangerous surgery; with some saying it should be banned. Yet for the around 400,000 Muslim and 20.000 Jewish populations, sticking to their traditions is above the law and public debate. Taking a part of the body which is unnecessary is the main argument those opposed to the 5000 year old tradition.
Male circumcision is practiced widely. It is estimated that 100 000 Jewish boys, 13 million Muslims, 9 million boys in non-Muslim areas of black Africa, and just more than 1 million boys in the USA and in some other Anglo-Saxon countries undergo the simple procedure each year.
In Sweden, male circumcision was brought to public attention in 1966, after a foreign doctor had circumcised six Bosnian boys under unhygienic conditions, as well the Health Ministry this year had to deal with a case of several muslim children who ended under serious health conditions after being operated by a non licensed “Performer”.
Finally it seems that the issue has been understood by the government and social services will have to provide specially for the fast growing muslim population with the procedure all over the country. if they just knew how we do and not use the sophisticated bell method, who knows ? I just recall those days in Ecuador when I came to the first circumcision of a prominent member of the community ( the boy is probably doing Bar Mitzva these days) I came to do the blessings for the Brit as Spiritual Leader of the Community, the Doctor that would “operate” had on a table more instruments I would have used to perform a complicated wisdom tooth extraction. Think that for Maynard it takes less than a minute to perform Brit Mila, well, for this Doctor in Ecuador it took maybe 15 minutes, and here in Sweden if they are willing to learn, they should use a mogen clamp and learn from our experience. Because at the end this is not a medical issue, it became.

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