Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Circumspect About Circumcision

Salem, Oregon (not Massachusetts!) seems to be caught up in a bit of non-rationality in a Circumcision Discussed in Custody Battle

The details:-

The father of a 12-year-old boy told the Oregon Supreme Court that he should be allowed to arrange for his son to be circumcised, even if his ex-wife has concerns about the procedure. James Boldt, who converted to Judaism in 2004 and has custody of the boy, argues that the circumcision is a decision best left to the custodial parent.

The mother, Lia Boldt, had appealed to the high court after a lower court judge in 2004 sided with the father in the case. The judge ordered him not to have the circumcision done until the appeals were exhausted.

Lia Boldt argues that that judge should have given her the chance to present evidence, in her efforts to regain custody of the boy, that the circumcision could physically and psychologically harm him.

The high court dismissed the physical and psychological concerns. Instead, justices focused on whether a noncustodial parent is entitled to a hearing to present evidence on their concerns about potential risks, such as health, posed to the child.

...Rabbi Daniel Isaak at Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland, who attended the Tuesday hearing, noted that general medical opinion on whether to circumcise tends to go back and forth, like fashion. But the practice has been an article of faith for Jews for thousands of years.

John Geishker, executive director of Seattle-based Doctors Opposing Circumcision, said he hoped the court would consider the boy's rights.

"The child deserves a hearing," Geishker said. "This is a serious procedure on a 12-year-old. Most men, I think, would agree."

Even NRP has a report on this. (Listen here).

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