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Male Baby Circumcision Justifiable
A baby boy being circumcised for non-medical reasons has always carried a huge question mark as to whether it is ethical and safe to do so.

It has now made the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) have a change of opinion that has altered their medical advice, with regard to circumcision.

Being that the problems that can occur from the procedure is now less than the potential ailments that could develop from not having the operation. This will heighten the debate between religious views and those that consider it ‘genital mutilation.’

AAP was against this operation performed on newborn boys, though they are now saying to parents to make the decision and that the cost should be met by medical insurance companies. They are not saying that every child should be circumcised regardless of religious persuasion.

Although it has been found that circumcision can help to prevent the risk of catching HIV, also reduces penis cancer and urinary infections, there was a high profile court case during the summer in Germany, where a Cologne court passed judgement on a Muslim boy, that it was tantamount to inflicting bodily harm on the child. This posed a difficult situation for the German premier Ms Merkel, whom is a follower of Lutheranism, that it should be a right for different religions to adhere to their faith, even if it means circumcising their boys. She related that it was up to the parents concerned, so it should not be banned, but this does not help those that administer this procedure, should it go wrong. In the UK it is not illegal to perform a circumcision for non-medical or religious reasons, but it does have to have the permission of both parents.

The British Medical Council apparently does not have a ruling on this issue and it quotes; “Absence of unambiguously clear and consistent medical data on the implications of the intervention.” NHS doctors are not obliged to agree to requests to perform circumcisions on children and a few NHS Trusts will only carry out the operation if there is a specific medical reason.

America has almost half its male population circumcised, equating to a million procedures a year, this said it is in decline. It could also add $4 billion to their already stretched health budget, with a possible infection increase from not having it done.

Here in the UK it is roughly 30,000 boys that have this operation annually. The operation for circumcision involves removing the foreskin, this can cause bleeding and infection, which is actually quite low. When it is undertaken by a religious practitioner such as a Mohel and known as ‘Brit milah’ in the Jewish faith, there is no anaesthetic used for the ceremony on the eight day old baby.

As this is generally done for non-medical reasons, the side effects are not apparent until adolescence or adulthood, when sexual relationships can be impaired. Some find using Viagra helpful as erectile dysfunction could be a consequence. Other ED drugs such as Cialis can also help. Scaring can cause insensitivity and narrow the meatus, making it difficult to go to the toilet as well. There have not been any conclusive studies into the psychological complications, but this could be because a baby or a very young child has no recollection of the event.

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Written by Frances Cerulean

 

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