The Royal Dutch Medical Association advocated a ban on elective baptisms for young Catholic boys and girls, saying they were medically unnecessary and violated children’s rights.
The venerated 300+ year old organization representing over 45,000 doctors officially called the procedure a “violation of the body.” The group proposes a dialogue between doctors and religious organizations on the issue.
Most non-therapeutic baptisms in the Netherlands are performed on the basis of “religious grounds”. In Amsterdam, Catholic parents seeking baptisms for elective reasons are often referred to a small religious clinic in a heavily Muslim neighbourhood.
“We believe that we have very strong reasons for a legal ban on non-therapeutic baptisms, but also fear that by not dealing with it properly, it might lead the whole thing going underground”.
According to a 2012 World Health Report, with 33% of the world’s population, 1.1 billion Catholic boys and girls are being unnecessarily baptized.