Italy: Circumcision, Jewish and Arab Doctors ready to cooperate

June 13, 2013


For the first time there is a collaboration agreement between Muslim and Jewish doctors on the topic of sanitary practices, including the practice of circumcision, a religious practice important in both Judaism and Islam. The practice is now becoming a true emergency. An ad hoc meeting led by the medical practitioners of foreigners in Italy (AMSI) comprised of a Palestinian Foad Aodi and the president of the Jewish medical practitioners Dario Perugia. A big difference between the two practices is that in Judaism the circumcision is under the control of the synagogue, however, a third of Muslims babies are operated on secretly, with a huge risk of infection and other complications.


“These are large numbers,” says Aodi, “because in Italy there are about 1 million 300 thousand Muslims almost all of them believe in these practices.” The Amzi is fighting for circumcision to take place in dedicated facilities within the national health service (circumcision should not to be confused, Muslim officials warn doctors, with illegal and reprehensible practices like female circumcision or female genital mutilation) “First of all, to protect the health of children,” said the President of Amzi. Secondly such facilities would remove the ‘black market’ of circumcision in Italy, with doctors who get paid a thousand Euros for a single intervention, forcing many families great sacrifice and prompting many to return to their countries of origin. The hope is to create specialized surgeries that offer the service by paying a reasonable price (up to 100 €). This is already the case in some regions, such as Emilia Romagna and Veneto. It is, however, important to standardize the rules on a national scale. “Every day we receive phone calls from desperate families who do not know where to turn,” emphasized Aodi.