I’m anxious to read the judge’s reasoning, but this is unexpected and amazing:
In a case that has been closely watched by anti-circumcision groups nationwide, a Cook County judge today ruled that a 9-year-old Northbrook boy should not be circumcised against his will.
In a written opinion handed down today, Circuit Judge Jordan Kaplan found that “the evidence was conflicting and inconclusive as to any past infections or irritations that may have been suffered by the child.”
“Moreover,” he continued, “this court also finds that medical evidence as provided by the testimony of the expert witnesses for each of the parties is inconclusive as to the medical benefits or non-benefits of circumcision as it relates to the 9-year-old child.”
The case was a clear victory for the growing number of so-called “intactivist¹ groups” across the country that have argued that circumcision is harmful and violates the rights of children who are not old enough to consent to the irreversible medical procedure.
Kaplan, who also cited the irreversible nature of the operation, said his order would remain in effect until the boy turns 18, when he can decide for himself whether or not he wants to be circumcised.
Finally, a dose of sanity from our court system regarding the
limits of parental rights existence of a child’s rights. Granted, I suspect Judge Kaplan’s ruling is much more limited than I’d like, since the boy’s parents are divorced. If they’d agreed, this case wouldn’t happen and the boy’s rights would’ve been ignored. That societal oversight isn’t going away just because Judge Kaplan ruled correctly in this case. However, this is still great news.
Worth noting in this is something I’ve heard from pro-infant circumcision individuals. They’ll ask why I care so much about their son’s penis. The short answer is that I don’t care about his penis. I care about his rights, which I know are clearly being violated. He can’t consent and enough evidence exists to indicate that he wouldn’t consent if given the choice later in life. I’m not against circumcision, but it should be medically necessary or left to adult males to decide for themselves. As such, I don’t believe the question should be why I care so much about a boy’s penis. Instead parents should ask themselves why they care so little. He is born with a healthy, intact penis. Amputating part of it is the radical position.
¹ I’m familiar with the term intactivist. It’s cute and descriptive, but because it’s cute, I do not like it. As the article shows, it does little more than give reporters an excuse to fill in the story with details at which typical readers will roll their eyes. That’s not helpful.