Non-therapeutic male circumcision

The activity of non-therapeutic male circumcision must be performed in compliance with certain Swedish laws and regulations.

The Health and Social Care Inspectorate (Sw. Inspektionen för vård och omsorg, IVO) may issue special permits for performing non-therapeutic male circumcision, IVO is also the responsible authority of supervision.

Non-therapeutic male circumcision may only be performed by a licensed physician or in the case of boys up to two months of age, by a person who has obtained a special permit from IVO. If the boy is older than two months the procedure may only be performed by a licensed physician. The boy has to receive pain relief, and this must be given by a doctor or qualified nurse in a safe and hygienic environment.

If the boy has reached an age where he is able to understand what the procedure means he has the right to be given correct information about the procedure. There should be no doubt about the boy´s attitude to the circumcision, the procedure may not be performed against the boy´s will.

A special permit can be issued to a person who is suggested and affiliated with a religious association for whom circumcision is part of a religious tradition.

IVO also carries out inspections and supervision in the field, both regarding licensed personnel as well as persons with a special permit to perform non-therapeutic male circumcision. IVO has the authority to inspect the location for the procedure and obtain and access all the information and documents required for performing the inspection.

If a person carries out the circumcision in a non-professional or in any other inappropriate way, IVO may withdraw the permit. Decision of withdrawal has immediate effect.

A person who performs circumcision on a boy without being a licensed physician or doesn't have a special permit is convicted to a fine or sentenced to prison in six months or less.

Application for permit

The applicant must have the knowledge and experience required to perform the circumcisions in a way that corresponds whit what is phrased as scientific and proven experience within the Swedish healthcare.

The applicant must, aside from filling out the application form, certify his or her knowledge by attaching certified copies of education and previous training in the field.

The applicant should also certify his or her skills through

  • name references with knowledge and/or experience of previous activities within the field
  • personal statement and description of previous experience within the field
  • state methods, pain relief and aftercare which are intended to be used
  • state his or her knowledge of the field according to Swedish healthcare
  • account for types of complications that occurred in connection with procedures you´ve been performed or attended, and how these where corrected.

The applicant should also name references that can validate that he or she in all intents and purposes are suitable to perform non-therapeutic circumcision.