Campaigners have called for male circumcision to be taken as seriously as female genital mutilation following the death of a five-month-year-old boy in Italy as a result of the procedure.
While the removal of the foreskin may be necessitated for medical reasons, very young infants more commonly undergo the procedure for religious or cultural reasons.
Although non-therapeutic male circumcision is not offered on the NHS, campaigners have called for the practice to banned outright.
Men Do Complain founder Richard Duncker told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “The definition of mutilation in the dictionary is to deprive the use or presence of an organ.
“The foreskin has a specialized task and removing it rather does fit that definition.”
In its guidelines to doctors, the British Medical Association notes that there is no conclusive evidence to suggest the procedure has health benefits and states the risks may therefore outweigh the benefits.
As the procedure is often carried out by a non-medical specialist within the community, complications may arise as a result of the surgery.
Two British children died in 2012 from blood loss following circumcisions performed in their own homes.
However the BMA’s guidelines note that circumcision may be in the child’s interests “where a child is living in a culture in which circumcision is perceived to be required for all males.”
Mr Duncker said he did not believe cultural practice justified a potentially dangerous procedure.
He added: “The human rights to practice freedom of thought and religion is a qualified right, restricted to the individual and you cannot use your religious right to trump someone else’s rights, even if that person is your child.”