December 08, 2007

Doctor Calls For Ban On Circumcision

A London consultant is calling on doctors to push for a ban on the circumcision of boys in a debate to be published in tomorrow’s British Medical Journal.

Geoff Hinchley, an accident-and-emergency consultant with Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust, argues that “male genital mutilation” should be made illegal as is female circumcision and other “ritual forms of infant abuse”.

“There have been many spurious and now unsupported health claims for circumcision, including the prevention of penile cancer, masturbation, blindness and insanity,” he writes. Although “there may be a case that male circumcision reduces HIV in sexually active adults”, he says the decision to undergo the procedure should be left “until the person is old enough to make his own informed healthcare choices”.

Possible longer-term complications “include pain on erection, penile disfigurement and psychological problems”, while the penis of a circumcised adults may have reduced “sexual sensitivity”.

“Far from being a harmless traditional practice, circumcision damages young boys,” he says.
It's about time this barbaric practice of child genital mutilation is outlawed. The Doctor is right, Ritualistic forms of infant abuse are not to be tolerated.


  1. I'm not defending circumcision, though it is sometimes indicated for medical reasons (usually related to adhesions or hygiene problems.)

    However, this doc's affiliations are less than impressive, and his slippery slope argument and fallacious equivocation are far short of convincing.

    Male circumcision is no more equivalent to female circumcision than nail clipping is to amputating a finger. Female genital mutilation truly is mutilation and would be equivalent to penectomy and not to mere removal of the foreskin.

  2. Which ever way we look at it and whatever comparisons we present there are still people cutting their childs genitals in a purely religious ritual.

    I also think it's important to draw a clear line between religious circumcision and a medial procedure done for medical reasons.

  3. How about 'Who cares?'...No one is being hurt of 'missing out'...

  4. ...hurt or 'missing out'....*

  5. salient is incorrect. There are specialized nerve endings and structures in the foreskin that are permanently lost in the process of circumcision, so the comparison to FGM, while a bit tenuous, is a valid one.