Oregon Supreme Court Rules in Circumcision Case

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that M – the 12 year old who is caught in the middle of a custody battle as well as a battle for his genital integrity – should have a say in whether or not he is circumcised. M’s father has converted to Judaism and wishes his son to convert as well, which he believes necessitates a circumcision. M’s mother and, according to her, M himself, oppose the circumcision.

Good for the court! If M was in favor of being circumcised, I seriously doubt the case would have made it to to the legal system in the first place. All M had to do was not tell his mother (who presumably doesn’t see her 12-year-old son’s genitals often, if at all) about the planned circumcision once he discovered that she opposed it.

This ruling brings up interesting questions, of course. At what age does a male child have the right to decide whether or not he wishes to have elective cosmetic surgery on his own body? At what age can parents no longer decide that their child’s genitals should be cosmetically altered? If a parent can’t decide for a 12-year old then why should they be allowed to decide for a 12-day old? The 12-day old will someday be a 12-year old or a 24-year old who may not have wished his body to have been modified without his consent.

It will be interesting to see how this case continues to unfold…


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