The Child Rights International Network has released the 2018 edition of their report, “What Lies Beneath”. The current version of this report, quoted below, outlines CRIN’s views on non-therapeutic male circumcision:
Male circumcision is an irreversible procedure to surgically remove the foreskin from the human penis. It’s routinely carried out on newborns and adolescents within Jewish and Muslim communities, respectively; on infants out of social convention among nonreligious communities in some Western countries, most notably the United States; and on teenage boys as a rite of passage within some ethnic groups in parts of Africa.
When performed for religious or cultural – not medical – reasons, it flatly designates routine circumcision as medically unjustifiable. In fact, there’s growing support within the medical community against male circumcision as a routine practice since its non-therapeutic basis means it does not comply with medical ethics.
In sum, routine male circumcision involves the removal of healthy tissue for no medical reason from one of the most sensitive body parts, unnecessarily exposing a child to the risks of surgery, and usually at an age when they lack the capacity to consent or refuse consent. Recorded complications include bleeding, panic attacks, infection, disfigurement, necrosis and amputation, and even death.
Exposing a child to such risks without curative or rehabilitative justification goes against medical ethics, as well as parental responsibilities to protect a child from injury and harm.
Advocates say the decision to circumcise should not rest with anyone except a boy himself when he’s old enough to give his free and informed consent, or refuse it.
Following the Crown Prosecution Sevice’s decision to take no further action regarding the case of the Nottingham GP who circumcised a boy with no parental consent, MDC was invited to talk on the Verity Cowley programme on Sunday, November 12th. The link to the iPlayer should work until Saturday, December 9th, 2017. The interview starts at approximately 1 hour 9 minutes and 10 seconds.
The BBC News web site also carries this report about the Nottingham case. Top human rights barrister Saimo Cahal QC (Hon), pictured below, aims to take the case further.
Listen to this excellent interview with philosopher and ethicist Brian Earp on a podcast from the organisation Philosophy 24/7. Click the image to hear the podcast.
Female circumcision is regarded as a violation of a human right. The World Health Organization says “It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women.” But male circumcision, practiced in various cultures and prevalent in various religions, barely generates any controversy. Brian Earp argues that the parallels between the two are much closer than people are usually willing to acknowledge.
Please click here to view the article in the Mail Online or click on the image above.
Sex education for boys is woefully inadequate in the United Kingdom. This statement was clearly demonstrated on the Graham Norton Show (BBC) when it came to light that Sir Patrick Stewart did not know until late in life whether he was circumcised or intact. Please see this report of the program in the Telegraph.
There is a lot of anatomical detail passed down to girls in sex education but virtually none passed down to boys. The problem with anatomical detail and boys is that any discussion of the foreskin and what it is for (it is not just spare skin), will swiftly lead to the undermining of all the usual excuses and justifications given to boys for the removal of their foreskins. Are sex educators prepared to perpetuate the current myths and poor science that allows society to continue the practice of removing healthy functional tissue from boys’ genitals? Or will sex educators try to move society towards a world where all children are free to grow up with the genitals they were born with?