To the Editor:
Dr Kotaska and Dr Avery raise many of the issues that have fuelled recent debate on the role of choice, and the proper role of physicians, with respect to re-infibulation. The SOGC remains opposed to female genital cutting, both the initial cutting and possible re-infibulation. In this we are aligned with the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and United Nations organizations (such as UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNIFEM) that collaborated in a landmark policy document on the role of health care providers in eliminating female genital cutting/mutilation (FGC/M).
Our policy statement published in February 2012,
1.which remains in effect, is very clear in asserting that “performing or assisting with the practice of FGC/M in Canada is a criminal offence” and that “requests” for re-infibulation must be declined.
- Perron L.
- Senikas V.
Female genital cutting/mutilation. SOGC Policy Statement No. 272, February 2012.
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013; 34: 197-200
The Female Genital Cutting Clinical Practice Guideline published in November 2013
2.focuses on the provision of respectful and culturally competent reproductive health care for women who have undergone FGC. The document provides guidance for health care workers on the provision of obstetrical care for these women, including the repair of perineal damage following a vaginal birth (in the “Obstetrical Care” section of the guideline).
- Perron L.
- Senikas V.
- Burnett M.
- Davis V.
SOGC Social Sexual Issues Committee; SOGC Ethics Committee. Female genital cutting. SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline No. 299, November 2013.
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013; 35: e1-e18
In no way does the SOGC suggest there is a window for accepting re-infibulation, and we are of the opinion that compliance with such a request, however well intended, contributes to the perpetuation of the practice. The SOCG stands by its policy statement and its commitment to eradicate the practice of female genital mutilation.
- Female genital cutting/mutilation. SOGC Policy Statement No. 272, February 2012.J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013; 34: 197-200
- SOGC Social Sexual Issues Committee; SOGC Ethics Committee. Female genital cutting. SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline No. 299, November 2013.J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013; 35: e1-e18
© 2014 Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.