Date: August 08, 2019 01:50AM
Here's a Canadian article from 2004 on the subject from a medical viewpoint:https://canadiancrc.com/circumcision/Male_Circumcision_Policy_Statement_College_Physicians_BC_JUN04.aspx
It includes the following:
"Circumcision removes the prepuce that covers and protects the head or the glans of the penis. The prepuce is composed of an outer skin and an inner mucosa that is rich in specialized sensory nerve endings and erogenous tissue. Circumcision is painful, and puts the patient at risk for complications ranging from minor, as in mild local infections, to more serious such as injury to the penis, meatal stenosis, urinary retention, urinary tract infection and, rarely, even haemorrhage leading to death. The benefits of infant male circumcision that have been promoted over time include the prevention of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases, and the reduction in risk of penile and cervical cancer. Current consensus of medical opinion, including that of the Canadian and American Paediatric Societies and the American Urological Society, is that there is insufficient evidence that these benefits outweigh the potential risks. That is, routine infant male circumcision, i.e. routine removal of normal tissue in a healthy infant, is not recommended."
"Human Rights Considerations
"The matter of infant male circumcision is particularly difficult in regards to human rights, as it involves consideration of the rights of the infant as well as the rights of the parents.
"Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an infant has rights that include security of person, life, freedom and bodily integrity. Routine infant male circumcision is an unnecessary and irreversible procedure. Therefore, *****many consider it to be unwarranted mutilating surgery.***** [emphasis mine]
"Many adult men are increasingly concerned about whether their parents had the right to give consent for infant male circumcision. They claim that an infants rights should take priority over any parental rights to make such a decision. This procedure should be delayed to a later date when the child can make his own informed decision. Parental preference alone does not justify a non-therapeutic procedure.
"Others argue that this stance violates the parents right to religious or cultural expression, and that adherence to their religious and cultural practices would be in the best interests of the infant."
I don't have a strong opinion either way. Both my brothers were circ'd, just through common practice. However, one brother did not circ his son, due to changing/updated practices. It used to be more common for drs (at least in my world) to advocate doing the same thing for all males in a family - if father was done, so should sons be, if one son was circ'd, so should all other sons be. But I have the circ'd brother with his older son (a step-) done and the younger son (bio) not done. So far, the family hasn't fallen apart due to the differences. And now many drs ask parents to opt into doing it, rather than opting out as previously.
I can understand a religious practice that continues the practice. It would be a massive cultural change for some. Such is often s.l.o.w.
I was just interested in pointing out that it's not just a couple of people in these few threads that are questioning the need for routine circumcision. This professional article, with good sourcing, states that "many" consider the practice to be "unwarranted mutilating surgery". They use the word 'mutilating'. It's not meant to be offensive but rather is a statement of fact from a medical paper.
Other papers I have read on the subject specifically state that male circumcision is not akin to female genital mutilation (seems fairly obvious). However, I can see where people consider that the general *principle* is similar.
I don't think it ever hurts to examine one's cultural practices and preferences. So often we go along with something without giving it the consideration it is due. Familiarity breeds contempt, as they say. IOW, once a generation is accustomed to a certain practice the following generation/s may follow suit without thinking it through.
The more emphasis we can give on human rights being extended to everyone, including children and in this case, even babies, the more advanced we will become, I believe. Practices and opinions that were thought to be permissible or even advisable when I was a kid have gone out of style now, thankfully for some of them, such as "children should be seen and not heard", corporal punishment, being done to, rather than included in, etc. Obviously, the widespread practice of "amputating" a portion of a baby's penis (terminology used in some of the articles I checked out) is being re-thought and now, at the least, medical necessity is seen as a primary factor in the decision-making.
But a lot of room is still given for cultural and religious practice and preference. That may change and pressure to change brought to bear. But here in Canada there is wide latitude given for diverse cultures and faiths. So I can't see change being mandatory any time soon.
It's interesting to check out both sides, at least to me.