“It is a sobering fact that in the public debate [about circumcision] we observed partly antisemitic and racist undertones.”

ANGELA MERKEL, FEDERAL
CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY, 2013

Milah UK
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Isn’t the circumcision of a child, who cannot give his consent, a breach of his human rights?

This question concerns perhaps the most common criticism of religious circumcision as practised for centuries by Jews. The suggestion is that, because a child cannot give informed consent for a procedure which is irreversible, it must be morally repugnant.

Milah UK rejects any such suggestion outright. Parents regularly make decisions that they believe are in the best interest of their child. These include environmental considerations – where they sleep, how they are fed; whether they should be vaccinated, and if so with which vaccines; later what type of school they attend and what level of discipline to apply. The decisions may include minor procedures which can be of some advantage, such as altering the configuration of ears, or may be entirely cosmetic in nature such as ear piercing.

A concept of consent to Brit Milah is embedded in the basic prayers of the ceremony. Engaging a mohel itself is part of a consenting process. Formal documentation of consent is important.

Milah UK believes that there are positive reasons why parents do give such consent: they believe that their son will be disadvantaged in his religious and cultural milieu if he is not circumcised.