Italy: Infant Dies After Parents Circumcise Him at Home

Italy: Infant Dies After Parents Circumcise Him at Home
Stock photo of an ambulance. (CC0)

ROME—An infant boy in Italy has died as the result of a circumcision performed by his parents at home, according to Italian media reports on March 24.

The ANSA news agency reported that the 5-month-old baby was brought to a hospital in Bologna by helicopter in cardiac arrest on Friday afternoon and died that night.

The prosecutor’s office in the northern province of Reggio Emilia has opened a manslaughter investigation, and the infant will undergo an autopsy.

The tragedy follows a botched home circumcision of a 2-year-old who died of severe blood loss in December in Rome. In that case, his twin brother nearly died, too, but survived following intensive care treatment.

Circumcision is not practiced among Italy’s Roman Catholic majority. Many immigrants in Italy are Muslim and practice circumcision for cultural and religious reasons, but sometimes have trouble accessing the practice in hospitals.

For some, the hospital costs are too high. Also, in some Italian hospitals, doctors refuse to perform circumcisions until the boys have reached the age of 4 or even older.

Foad Aodi, the founder of the association of foreign doctors in Italy (AMSI), has appealed to health authorities to allow circumcisions at affordable prices and to lower the age of access to help fight clandestine attempts at circumcisions.

Female Genital Mutilation Charges Against Michigan Doctors Dismissed

A federal judge claimed that the United States government erred in outlawing female genital mutilation, claiming that Congress “overstepped its bounds,” in a decision on Nov. 20 that dismissed charges against eight Muslims—including two doctors—who mutilated the genitals of nine girls at a suburban Detroit clinic.

Female genital mutilation, known as FGM, involves cutting into the female genital organs and removing part or all of the external genitalia, according to the World Health Organization. FGM is primarily performed on young girls.

The procedure “has no health benefits” and “is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women,” the agency said.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman claimed in his ruling that “as despicable as this practice may be,” Congress didn’t have the authority to pass a law 22 years ago that outlawed the mutilation and that each state would have to do that on its own.

“As laudable as the prohibition of a particular type of abuse of girls may be … federalism concerns deprive Congress of the power to enact this statute,” Friedman wrote in his 28-page opinion (pdf). “Congress overstepped its bounds by legislating to prohibit FGM … FGM is a ‘local criminal activity’ which, in keeping with long-standing tradition and our federal system of government, is for the states to regulate, not Congress.”

Michigan was the 26th U.S. state to officially ban the practice when it did so shortly after the group of eight were charged in April 2017. Forty-four countries had banned the procedure by law, including Liberia just this year, according to the United Nations.

The Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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