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Should non-medical circumcision of under-18s be banned? watch

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    There's no point banning something which can't be enforced. Are you going to go around and inspect the cocks of a load of under 18s? :eek:

    Personally I think you should propose that it be extended so they lop the whole penis off. That way idiots who believe in a god who gives them skin there and then commands it be lopped off won't be able to reproduce and after a generation or so this thread wouldn't be an issue
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    (Original post by PinkMobilePhone)
    edit : as for religious reasons, it's still ridiculous. Why would any God want children to be mutilated? He wouldn't, plain and simple. Why would people even WANT to follow a religion that teaches that it's okay to chop children's penises to bits? Baffles me it really does.
    I can just imagine the conversation when a baby is born.

    Doctor: Congratulations you've given birth to a beautiful and completely healthy baby boy.

    Parents: That's wonderful! He's perfect. Except for that bit of skin on the end of his penis. Lets cut it off.

    I do find it quite strange that some religions feel the need to "correct" God's work. If God didn't want men to have foreskin, wouldn't they be born without it in the first place? That would make more sense than giving males foreskin then expecting their parents to cut it off.
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    (Original post by moneyballs2)
    Circumcision for religious reasons always puzzled me.

    If God made man, he would have made man precisely how he wanted man to be made. Why would you modify God's creation?

    Circumcision for hygiene reasons (in our times) has always puzzled me.

    As a parent you simply teach your child to wash theirselves regularly and properly. It's not exactly the most difficult thing to teach a child, is it?

    Circumcision makes the penis less sensitive. It's a fact. The foreskin exists to protect the head of the penis from the outside world. If the glans are frequently exposed to the outside world they desensitise. Meaning that sex is less pleasurable, not even taking into account the nerve endings in the foreskin itself and the pleasure the foreskin moving over the glans provides.

    It could be argued that foreskin is simply a religious invention as a way to control the people. Sex is a means of expression of the people, and it is undeniable that religious bodies aren't too keen on this. Sex a 'sin' if done outside of marriage. Sex should be reserved only for making babies etc. etc. It's similar to in 1984 where sex is frowned upon and only considered a necessity to create children for the state.
    It had nothing to do with physical image, it was a convenant between God and Abraham. Its a bit silly how you have jumped from talking about the pointless removal of a piece of skin (I agree) to talking about 1984.
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    (Original post by bunty64)
    If they are clinically "insane", it is down to the medical professional to judge this....
    and take the necessary action.

    Yes but it is not up to the doctor to dictate whether or not the parent should impose their religous belief/practice upon the child. The doctors personal view of the religion doesn't affect their decision on the medical procedure. They base it on their medical knowledge.
    You don't know what you're talking about. This is nothing to do with the doctor's personal view. It's to do with the well known beneficence clause and do no harm. Just shut up.
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    It's not a major problem that I care about, but I'd say it's better and less painless to do it at the younger age and, sadly, that's just what some people do. I'd hate to be circumcized now. :afraid:
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    Completely agree. It's mutilation.
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    The (or at least my, and the majority of people I have encountered who share the same view) argument against infant circumcision is about autonomy not the benefits or losses of circumcision.

    Autonomy is the freedom of self. In a medical context this is the right to consent to, or refuse medical actions taken on your body.

    Autonomy may be overruled, where a patient is "incompetent" (unable to make an informed decision, for example, such as a baby or somebody with a delusional mental illness, or perhaps somebody unconscious and in need of emergency treatment). But ethically, such an overruling is only considered to be reasonable if the decision made is in that patient's best interest (eg: they will suffer harm unless the decision is made). That best interest must also not be one that could be delayed until the patient has gained competency.

    For example, if a patient comes into A+E unconscious and needs a blood transfusion, it will be given. You cannot wait for them to regain consciousness or they may suffer harm.
    However, if you noticed that such a patient had a diseased toe, that would probably need to be removed (but without any great urgency), you would not go ahead and do the procedure without their consent. You would (because you could) wait until they were conscious and had given informed consent to remove the toe.

    Does anyone here disagree with that as being the ethically correct decision?

    Ethics operate in this way for the vast majority of medicine, and it seems to me that infant circumcision is a glaring and unfair exemption.

    The ethical basis for children having reduced autonomy is only that they have reduced competency, so I cannot see why there should be an exception for infant circumcision where there would not be one for an adult lacking competency.

    You would not circumcise an unconscious adult. You would wait for them to regain consciousness and give consent if you wanted to.
    Why then not wait for an infant to grow older and become competent so that they might consent? There is no urgency to circumcision, it can be carried out successfully at any stage in life. It's just like the "diseased toe" on the unconscious A+E patient.

    You would not circumcise a 10 year old if they witheld consent. Parents would simply not have the right to do it. Even if that child was gillick incompetent I highly doubt that such a procedure could ever be carried out legally. Because there is simply no urgent benefit to circumcision that could not wait until gillick competency. And a gillick competent child certainly would have the right to refuse.

    It does not make sense to exempt babies whose parents happen to feel the strong desire that they shouldn't have a foreskin from the same ethical considerations we apply to everyone else.

    People say that infant circumcision is better than adult circumcision but I haven't seen a shred of evidence to support that claim. It seems paradoxical in fact. How can it be preferential to operate on a penis that is not fully formed, cannot be observed in all states, and where you cannot discuss the right amount to be removed with the patient?

    Even if there were a benefit, would it arguably be so great as to outweigh the importance of the individual's autonomy? As I see it the benefits of childhood (thus non-consented) circumcisions only outweigh the individuals right to autonomy if there are good medical reasons in that child's obvious best interest to carry out a circumcision.

    Adults aren't keen to have their penises circumcised for obvious reasons (it hurts!), but neither are babies and their inability to vocalise their fear and discomfort, even their inability to remember it does not make their post-operative pain less important than if it happened in adulthood.

    The only reason to carry out an infant circumcision on a normal foreskin is because parents want you to. There is no medical reason, certainly not one that couldn't wait until that penis belnged to someone capable of saying "no".


    And I fundamentally object to the right of other people, whether they are your parents or not, making permanent changes to your body without your permission, because they want to. It should be an individual's choice.


    Also, just because something is currently legal does not mean it is right. If everyone held that attitude how would there ever be democratic changes to the law?

    If circumcision were not a religious and somewhat culturally normal activity I'm quite sure it would not be legal. If I wanted to have my daughter's clitoral hood removed in infancy I wouldn't be allowed. There is no moral difference, as it stands the law is hypocrisy.


    EDIT:
    The only thing I can say about legal medical circumcision is that if it were banned, people would only have their babies snipped unprofessionally at at home (many people probably already do do this), which would involve greater pain, trauma and risk. Some babies would inevitably be seriously injured.
    So it's more a case of "I wish the awful practice would die out" rather than "it should be banned" because a ban probably would cause more harm than good.
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    (Original post by Jamie)
    So you want me to do all the research for you? :rolleyes:

    How about we consult the BMA who you seem so keen to talk about.
    I google BMA circumcision advice and found this recentish guidance
    http://www.bma.org.uk/images/Circumc...m41-147277.pdf

    "There is significant disagreement about whether circumcision is overall a beneficial, neutral or harmful procedure. At present, the medical literature on the health, including sexual health, implications of circumcision is contradictory, and often subject to claims of bias in research."

    "In the past, circumcision of boys has been considered to be either medically or socially beneficial or, at least, neutral. The general perception has been that no significant harm was caused to the child and therefore with appropriate consent it could be carried out. The medical benefits previously claimed, however, have not been convincingly proven, and it is now widely accepted, including by the BMA, that this surgical procedure has medical and psychological risks. It is essential that doctors perform male circumcision only where this is demonstrably in the best interests of the child."


    There are quite a few references linked to the BMA guidance which you can chase up.
    seems the issue is up in the air..... there is nothing to suggest that there is sufficient evidence to ban such surgeons carrying out this procedure on young children..... the risk (bleeding, infection would be the same as in other surgical procedures, would it not?) and as for psychological damage (not too sure on this one!)....

    with reference to the thread, I would still say there is not enough evidence/reason to ban surgeons from carrying out this procedure. I would that those who are opposed (like op and others) due to theological differences..
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    (Original post by BeanofJelly)
    The (or at least my, and the majority of people I have encountered who share the same view) argument against infant circumcision is about autonomy not the benefits or losses of circumcision.

    Autonomy is the freedom of self. In a medical context this is the right to consent to, or refuse medical actions taken on your body.

    Autonomy may be overruled, where a patient is "incompetent" (unable to make an informed decision, for example, such as a baby or somebody with a delusional mental illness, or perhaps somebody unconscious and in need of emergency treatment). But ethically, such an overruling is only considered to be reasonable if the decision made is in that patient's best interest (eg: they will suffer harm unless the decision is made). That best interest must also not be one that could be delayed until the patient has gained competency.

    For example, if a patient comes into A+E unconscious and needs a blood transfusion, it will be given. You cannot wait for them to regain consciousness or they may suffer harm.
    However, if you noticed that such a patient had a diseased toe, that would probably need to be removed (but without any great urgency), you would not go ahead and do the procedure without their consent. You would (because you could) wait until they were conscious and had given informed consent to remove the toe.

    Does anyone here disagree with that as being the ethically correct decision?

    Ethics operate in this way for the vast majority of medicine, and it seems to me that infant circumcision is a glaring and unfair exemption.

    The ethical basis for children having reduced autonomy is only that they have reduced competency, so I cannot see why there should be an exception for infant circumcision where there would not be one for an adult lacking competency.

    You would not circumcise an unconscious adult. You would wait for them to regain consciousness and give consent if you wanted to.
    Why then not wait for an infant to grow older and become competent so that they might consent? There is no urgency to circumcision, it can be carried out successfully at any stage in life. It's just like the "diseased toe" on the unconscious A+E patient.

    You would not circumcise a 10 year old if they witheld consent. Parents would simply not have the right to do it. Even if that child was gillick incompetent I highly doubt that such a procedure could ever be carried out legally. Because there is simply no urgent benefit to circumcision that could not wait until gillick competency. And a gillick competent child certainly would have the right to refuse.

    It does not make sense to exempt babies whose parents happen to feel the strong desire that they shouldn't have a foreskin from the same ethical considerations we apply to everyone else.

    People say that infant circumcision is better than adult circumcision but I haven't seen a shred of evidence to support that claim. It seems paradoxical in fact. How can it be preferential to operate on a penis that is not fully formed, cannot be observed in all states, and where you cannot discuss the right amount to be removed with the patient?

    Even if there were a benefit, would it arguably be so great as to outweigh the importance of the individual's autonomy? As I see it the benefits of childhood (thus non-consented) circumcisions only outweigh the individuals right to autonomy if there are good medical reasons in that child's obvious best interest to carry out a circumcision.

    Adults aren't keen to have their penises circumcised for obvious reasons (it hurts!), but neither are babies and their inability to vocalise their fear and discomfort, even their inability to remember it does not make their post-operative pain less important than if it happened in adulthood.

    The only reason to carry out an infant circumcision on a normal foreskin is because parents want you to. There is no medical reason, certainly not one that couldn't wait until that penis belnged to someone capable of saying "no".


    And I fundamentally object to the right of other people, whether they are your parents or not, making permanent changes to your body without your permission, because they want to. It should be an individual's choice.


    Also, just because something is currently legal does not mean it is right. If everyone held that attitude how would there ever be democratic changes to the law?

    If circumcision were not a religious and somewhat culturally normal activity I'm quite sure it would not be legal. If I wanted to have my daughter's clitoral hood removed in infancy I wouldn't be allowed. There is no moral difference, as it stands the law is hypocrisy.


    EDIT:
    The only thing I can say about legal medical circumcision is that if it were banned, people would only have their babies snipped unprofessionally at at home (many people probably already do do this), which would involve greater pain, trauma and risk. Some babies would inevitably be seriously injured.
    So it's more a case of "I wish the awful practice would die out" rather than "it should be banned" because a ban probably would cause more harm than good.
    There is no grounds to ban male circumcision. Yes there is talk about the risks of a surgical procedure, but this is not grounds to ban it..

    if you can prove that removing the clitoral hood is a fundamental part of your registered religion than you could legally perhaps make a point....
    The laws are based on religion (fundamental)... the english laws are cemented in christian beliefs and the laws take into account the religous belifs of others......

    In eastern countries, the circumcision is performed by barbers (perhaps not as much now, but 30-40yrs ago)... before the modernisation of surgery in britain, surgical operations were carried out by barbers..... (think that is why surgeons are referred to as Mr/miss, rather than Dr? may be wrong on this trivia!).
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    (Original post by ShnnyShiz)
    You don't know what you're talking about. This is nothing to do with the doctor's personal view. It's to do with the well known beneficence clause and do no harm. Just shut up.
    LOL! you pratt! Lets hope you keep your cool when faced with patients who don't agree with you!

    There is no known benefical cause of religous circumcision..... the only way it can be banned is if the risks are great.. (which they are not)

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    (Original post by -Invidious-)
    The number of people in this thread, who don't believe in personal autonomy is unbelievable.

    And this is coming from a guy who was circumcised at birth.
    but when religous matter comes into it, that is where the problems start. The majority of circumcision in britain is for religous reasons (fundamental part of judaism/islam) and to say that this cannot be performed is not possible under british law.... and it is something which cannot be changed as it will affect several other aspects of life and lead to more strife for the gov then they would wish...

    after this, questions can be raised about religous indoctination by parents and the possible "psychological" affects on children (or "brain-washing"). Shouldn't parents just wait until the children are old enough to choose whether or not they wish to learn about a religion.....
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    In an ideal world, yes, I think it is completely pointless and unnecessary. However, in reality it would be virtually impossible to stop people performing circumcision for non-medical reasons. Making it illegal is one thing, actually stopping people from doing it is another. Not to mention the fact that if it was banned, amateurs would still attempt the practise and potentially do a lot of harm to the baby.
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    (Original post by House of Jonny)
    I agree that cirumcision on children who are under 18 should be banned. It is like a culturalised form of FGM in my eyes
    It's nothing like FGM. What are you talking about :lolwut:

    I don't exactly agree with circumcision, because I don't see the point of it. I wouldn't do it to my own child and I simply can't see why people think it's necessary :dontknow:

    However, I don't feel as strongly as the OP does. Besides, I've never actually met a man who's been snipped as a baby and feels some sort of resentment against his parents for it. It isn't something I think about and neither is it a major problem.
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    (Original post by Kerny)
    In an ideal world, yes, I think it is completely pointless and unnecessary. However, in reality it would be virtually impossible to stop people performing circumcision for non-medical reasons. Making it illegal is one thing, actually stopping people from doing it is another. Not to mention the fact that if it was banned, amateurs would still attempt the practise and potentially do a lot of harm to the baby.
    that wouldn't really be an issue as in the jewish/islamic circles where these procedures are carried out there are numerous trained individuals in this procedure.... as for the risk of untrained individuals offering this service, yea that is a risk.
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    I agree that it shouldn't be allowed for religious purposes unless the child is old enough to understand what's happening and give consent. Same with piercing a baby's ears, makes me sick!
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    (Original post by bunty64)
    I would that those who are opposed (like op and others) due to theological differences..
    I oppose non-medical circumcisions.
    Its not for theological reasons. Like most people who oppose circumcisions its not due to their religious beliefs.
    You can't say its because they aren't jewish that they oppose it. Thats illogical.

    Instead opposition tends to come from either the belief that it is harmful, a form of mutilation, or disrupts the autonomy of the child

    You can debate each of those points in turn, but it is unfair to try to claim that those who oppose do so on religious grounds.

    A similar issue for me is ear piercing in young children and babies.
    Some cultures have a big thing about doing so (many asians for instance). Its not a religious thing, but traditional/cultural.
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    (Original post by Onyx.)
    It's nothing like FGM. What are you talking about :lolwut:
    Actually it is.

    THere are many grades of FGM, the mildest being excision of the clitoral hood, the worst being excision of clitoris, and labia and then sewing the vagina up.
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    (Original post by Cybele)
    I agree that it shouldn't be allowed for religious purposes unless the child is old enough to understand what's happening and give consent. Same with piercing a baby's ears, makes me sick!
    Exactly!
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    (Original post by Jamie)
    I oppose non-medical circumcisions.
    Its not for theological reasons. Like most people who oppose circumcisions its not due to their religious beliefs.
    You can't say its because they aren't jewish that they oppose it. Thats illogical.

    Instead opposition tends to come from either the belief that it is harmful, a form of mutilation, or disrupts the autonomy of the child

    You can debate each of those points in turn, but it is unfair to try to claim that those who oppose do so on religious grounds.

    A similar issue for me is ear piercing in young children and babies.
    Some cultures have a big thing about doing so (many asians for instance). Its not a religious thing, but traditional/cultural.
    I didn't mean that every oposistion to male circumcision is due to disagreement with jewish/muslim belief, but rather a few posters on this thread likey are.

    I agree that opposition comes from the safety point, claims of "mutilation" or to do with issues of autonomy. But there are those who like to challenge ever issue which is related to muslims and I was referring to that in my comment...

    I can accept that people would address the safety issues (or though there hasn't been much active opposition as the evidence isn't there) and the issue of autonomy in this case is questionable as the religous issue clashes... and raises a wider issue which will inevitably affect others...

    as for mutilation, don't believe male circumcsion can be described as such.

    If there was enough evidence to suggest this practice was harmful (and not the usual surgical risks and the dubious "psychological" issue), then I believe this procedure would be banned.

    And I don't believe that one of the reasons why procedure hasn' t been banned is because of the risk of "backstreet ops" ........ there are more than enough skilled individuals within the muslim/jewish community who offer this procedure (it has been performed for centuries).
    The sole reason why it hasn't been banned is because the argument for doing so isn't there.
 
 
 
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