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0-18 years guidance: Procedures undertaken mainly for religious, cultural, social or emotional reasons

34. Both the GMC and the law permit doctors to undertake procedures that do not offer immediate or obvious therapeutic benefits for children or young people, so long as they are in their best interests (see paragraphs 12 and 13) and performed with consent (see paragraph 27).

35. To assess their best interests you should consider the religious and cultural beliefs and values of the child or young person and their parents as well as any social, psychological and emotional benefits. This may be relevant in circumcision of male children for religious or cultural reasons18, or surgical correction of physical characteristics that do not endanger the child’s life or health.