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07/20/2021

Manitoba college to rewrite rule for docs on Jewish ritual circumcision practice standard

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba is acknowledging that its working group didn’t consult with the Jewish community in drafting a new standard of practice that would push Jewish ritual circumcision into a hospital or approved clinic setting, as opposed to the traditional locations of a home or synagogue.

The draft rule was part of a broader range of newly proposed restrictions covering issues of vasectomy, certain cosmetic procedures and stem cell or plasma injections, PostMedia reported.                                                   

Winnipeg’s Jewish community raised concerns that the draft standard would mean a doctor who is also a mohel—someone who performs Jewish ritual circumcision—would be guilty of professional misconduct if they performed the circumcision in a newborn’s home. 

Read: B.C. college developing cultural safety and humility practice standard

“We recognize that as currently written, the standard would implicate a practicing CPSM member performing a male circumcision outside of an appropriate medical facility. That was not the intention in drafting the standard,” the college said.

The college has invited feedback on the draft, noting it will rewrite the rule. “At a minimum, the working group will add an exemption in the standard for male circumcision performed in a religious ceremony or tradition, particularly respecting low-risk neonatal circumcisions.”

Notably, Manitoba is the only province that funds elective neonatal circumcision. Parents pay for the procedure in the rest of the country.

Read: Seven tips for assessing practice guidelines

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