MALE GENITAL MUTILATION

The British Medical Association has just put out a new guideline on the practice of mutilating the penises of infant boys. It suggests that common sense and medical practice may soon turn against this procedure. Some details:

“…it is now widely accepted, including by the BMA, that this surgical procedure has medical and psychological risks…the harm of denying a person the opportunity to choose not to be circumcised must also be taken into account, together with the damage that can be done to the individual’s relationship with his parents and the medical profession if he feels harmed by the procedure. … The BMA does not believe that parental preference alone constitutes sufficient grounds for performing a surgical procedure on a child unable to express his own view… Doctors should ensure that any parents seeking circumcision for their son in the belief that it confers health benefits are fully informed of the lack of consensus amongst the profession over such benefits, and how great any potential benefits and harms are. The BMA considers that the evidence concerning health benefit from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.”

Maybe in time, the permanent mutilation of boys’ bodies without their consent will be seen as the anachronism it surely is.