The People’s Party (ÖVP) State Governor of Vorarlberg province in Austria Mag. Markus Wallner, instructed hospitals run by Austria to suspend circumcisions motivated by religious custom. The decision came after a German regional court ruled ritual circumcision amounted to criminal bodily harm. He told provincial hospitals Tuesday not to perform the procedure except for health reasons until the legal situation is clarified in Austria.
Markus Wallner says he sees the German decision last month, arising from the case of a child whose circumcision led to medical complications, as “precedence-setting judgment.”
He told provincial hospitals Tuesday not to perform the procedure except for health reasons until the legal situation is clarified in Austria.
The decision does not affect religiously motivated circumcisions performed outside hospitals run by the Vorarlberg government.
Two hospitals in Switzerland last week also cited the German ruling when then announced that they would temporarily stop performing circumcisions. On Thursday, the Zurich children’s hospital announced that it was temporarily halting circumcision operations. “We are in the process of evaluating the legal and ethical stance in Switzerland,” said Marco Stuecheli, a spokesman for the hospital.