Povenmire: Parental consent for circumcision

Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Volume 7, Number 1, Pages 87-123, 1998-1999.


Do Parents Have the Legal Authority to Consent to the Surgical Amputation of Normal, Healthy Tissue From Their Infant Children? - The Practice of Circumcision In the United States



  1. Introduction
  2. Historical and Medical Perspectives of Routine Infant Circumcision In the United States
  3. The Prequisites of Elective Consent to Surgery
    1. Ability of Minors to Consent to Surgery
    2. Ability of Parents to Consent on Behalf of Their Children
  4. The Power of the State to Intervene in Parental Decisions Affecting the Medical Treatment of Minors
  5. Parental Consent Under the Federal Criminalization of Female Genital Mutilation Act
    1. Comparing Female Genital Mutilation and Male Circumcision
    2. An Equal Protection Challenge
  6. Conclusion

*Ross Povenmire received his Juris doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law. He was the founder of the Men's Issues Discussion Group at the School. He is currently an associate with McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton in Concord, New Hampshire. Povenmire would like to thank Professor Jennifer Wriggins for her support and encouragement in the preparation of this article.


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