Secular Medical Forum

Dr Antony Lempert, GP and chair of the Secular Medical Forum, was featured on Channel 4’s 4thought.tv programme on 3rd June, speaking out against religiously-inspired surgery on the most intimate parts of a boy’s body. The episode will be available to view for several months.

The day before, Dr Joseph Spitzer, a Jewish GP and mohel (a Jewish person trained in the practice of Brit milah (circumcision)) described on the same programme how and why he carried out genital mutilation on small boys according to the dictates of their parents’ religious beliefs.

The SMF has been working for several years to challenge widespread misconceptions and scientific nonsense perpetuated to justify the continued surgical genital mutilation of small boys into a belief and culture from which many later wish to disassociate. Though many men consider themselves unharmed, many are far less fortunate.

In the last week of June, Cardiff will host the British Medical Association (BMA)’s annual representatives meeting (ARM) to debate issues of importance to the medical profession. The Shropshire division of the BMA has submitted a Motion (Motion 310) calling on the BMA to endorse the 2010 position statement by the Royal Dutch Medical Association which called non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC) of male minors a violation of boys’ rights to autonomy and physical integrity:.

In contrast to the thousands of Dutch doctors who support this position, the BMA has decided not to even allow motion 310 to be debated unless a sufficient body of BMA representatives choose it as one of three additional ‘chosen’ motions.

Dr Lempert will be at the BMA ARM in Cardiff this year as the BMA representative (he is also their Shropshire representative). He encourages anyone with serious concerns about NTC to join a peaceful demonstration at St David’s Hall in Cardiff from 8am on Monday 27th June. The demonstration aims to encourage BMA representatives to choose motion 310 for debate and to show the British media that this is a serious issue of child protection that won’t go away just because religious adults want to continue their traditional privileges. Please take the opportunity to come and support this campaign. Contact Dr Lempert by email if you plan to come: antony@secularmedicalforum.org.uk.

Dr Lempert was interviewed on Radio 4’s PM programme on Thursday 16 June. Also interviewed were Dr Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) and Niall Dickson, chief executive of the doctors’ regulatory body, the GMC. The interview focused on the CMF’s Saline Course for health care professionals that aims to teach doctors and nurses how to draw vulnerable patients into the Christian fold. Listen on the BBC Radio Player (21mins 40 seconds in – available only until 23 June 2011.)