Order of Physicians: "Don't issue virginity certificates"

The Belgian doctors' organisation Order of Physicians has asked Belgian doctors no longer to issue virginity certificates.  In such certificates doctors confirm that a woman is still a virgin and hasn't yet had sex.  Demand for such certificates is high in Brussels and Antwerp.

The Order no longer wants doctors to perform virginity tests and issue certificates.  The Order's spokesman Prof Michel Deneyer: "A clinical examination cannot show with certainty whether somebody is a virgin or not.  Such certificates also throw up ethical and deontological issues.  It's an infringement of a woman's intimacy.  It also infringes the principle of equality because nobody can show whether a man is a virgin."

Gynaecologist Katrien De Maeyer of Sint-Monica Hospital in Deurne near Antwerp: "I'm asked up to ten times a year to issue such a certificate.  I tell my patients I'm against such certificates.  It's only seldom I issue one.  I provide a certificate to show that they went for a check-up.  That's often sufficient!"

The Order of Physicians is following WHO practice.  The WHO has called for action to stop virginity certificates.

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