The Darbon Institute has made a submission to the independent review of the regulation of health practitioners in cometic surgery. It follows the tragic death of a Perth toddler following circumcision by a GP last December.

The submission calls for greater regulatory oversight of circumcision providers, given: 

  • Circumcision is an invasive, irreversible procedure that removes the foreskin and its important protective and sexual functions, carries the risk of serious complications, can result in psychological harm, and always results in physical harm.
  • Circumcision providers often downplay complications of circumcision procedures and fail to explain the functions of the foreskin that are lost when it is excised, i.e., informed consent is not being obtained due to inadequate information.
  • Informed consent arguably cannot be obtained in cases where health practitioners are performing cosmetic circumcision procedures on minors too young to provide their own informed consent (which is the case for most circumcisions in Australia). This is because parental consent is arguably not valid for performing medically unnecessary/deferrable cosmetic procedures on minors, leaving health practitioners liable to criminal prosecution.
  • Some medical practitioners are incorrectly or even fraudulently claiming Medicare benefits intended only for therapeutic circumcision of the penis, and concerns have been raised some may even be surgically excising the foreskins of girls, which is considered a form of female genital mutilation that is criminalised in all Australian jurisdictions.

Read the full submission.