A handful of Norwegian doctors and nurses, have – in concert with colleagues in other Nordic countries – redoubled their efforts to outlaw circumcision. Whereas before arguments focused on the right of the child, and attempts to liken circumcision of boys to genital mutilation of girls, they now employ much dirtier and more dangerous methods to sway the public. Now, they manipulate published research and use selective language to create the impression that circumcision leads to severe side effects in between 1 – 35% of the cases, is painful and causes pain throughout life, causes disfigurement of the penis with potential disastrous effects for adult sexual life. They falsely claim that looking after the welfare of the child is the exclusive realm of the State, and that as such, and to be in compliance with international declarations, the Nordic governments should ban the practice.
Anyone who has ever performed an essay critique can easily punch hole in the manipulated facts and emotional arguments, designed to create an impression that parents who choose to circumcise their male offspring before the age of 18, are cruel and incapable of looking after their children properly. But the bogus arguments are designed to suit a particularly fertile soil, that mud-heap of unrecognized and unchallenged anti-Semitism and rabid racism in our society.
Here are some examples of the disingenuousness found in the article:
“The pain and risk involved in the procedure can never be eliminated” – carefully drafted sentence to give the impression that pain persists throughout life. In another paragraph the word irreversible has been used, which further cements the impression that circumcision is a cruel practice.
“A recently published study published in the Danish Medical Journal revealed a complication rate of 5.1% in circumcisions performed by pediatric surgeons”…: Not only do the authors of this op-ed conceal that the study they cite is a retrospective study, a statistical method known for its weaknesses, such as having to rely on the record keeping of others (the study cited have selected cases from 1996 – 2003, the cutoff points have not been disclosed or discussed in the paper, a significant weakness of the discussion), and that you require a very large sample for rare outcomes, just to mention some. The authors of the Aftenposten oped, have also concealed a major argument in the discussion of the Danish Medical Journal study: “Given that ritual circumcision in childhood is legal and accepted as a fundamental part of traditional values of humankind, the best thing we can do to protect these asymptomatic healthy boys against complications is probably to focus on high surgical and anaesthesiological standards.”
“International studies report anything from 1 to 35% complications after the procedure”: If the spread is so great, then most would agree that the methods, selection, statistical tools, in fact every detail of the studies were so flawed that it is not clear what they wanted to measure in the first place.
“To remove the foreskin, it must first be detached from the penile head. Both this detachment and later removal of the foreskin is painful many days after the procedure, even with local anesthesia”: I wonder if any of the authors have seen a circumcision, or even a foreskin. In the Jewish Brit Milah, the foreskin is not drawn back, but drawn above the glans penis. It is this loose skin fold, which easily folds back, or stretches forward, which is clipped off, the whole procedure taking 10 -15 seconds maximum. There is no prior detachment from the frenulum, so where the authors go the idea from is a bit of a mystery.
The illustration accompanying the Aftenposten oped, shows a Jewish Brit Milah, whereas the Danish article cited seems to refer to ritual circumcision for Muslim boys, since the spread of age is from 0 – 16 years. Also the method described in the study has nothing to do with the method used for Brit Milah in infants. It may be that the illustration was not selected by the authors, but by the editors of Aftenposten. Nevertheless, the picture makes an explicit reference to Judaism, yet the method described for circumcision is not a Jewish practice. With all the negatively laden words in the article and this bogus referral to Judaism, an impression is made that it is the Jewish ritual which is harmful. I have no knowledge how the different Muslim denominations organize their circumcision ceremonies, other than that there is no specific requirement for age, or any requirement for a specific qualification as in Judaism, but it stinks to high heaven that in the multiculti paradise so desperately sought after by certain elites, one of the most fundamental rites of passage for identity in the Muslim tradition is singled out in such a shameful way. Discrimination comes to mind. The coupling to Judaism is both bogus and anti-Semitic.
And so on, and so on. The whole oped reeks of lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, and an intense desire to root out religion, culture (which is ironic in this multi-cultural day and age), identity. Worst of all, the oped reveals a lack of respect for minorities and their right to religious and cultural freedom. And dont get me started on doctors who make referral to abortions when there is nothing wrong with the fetus, other than perhaps the wrong sex, or about the many and much more harmful side effects and complications routine surgical procedures, or the hygiene in many a hospital. MRSA anybody?
lifted from aftenposten.no, poor google translate
Ritual circumcision of boys violates medical ethics
There is no health reason to circumcise young boys in the Nordic countries.
Jan Petter Odden , CEO of Norwegian children Medical Association , Astrid Grydeland Ersvik , Manager, Area of nurses in Norway , Hans Skari , head , pediatric surgery association, Anja Smeland , Head , Paediatric Nursing Association , Trond Markestad , professor , head of the Council for Medical Ethics , Anne Lindboe , ombudsman and pediatrician .
Published: 17.okt . 2013 11:04 Updated : 18.okt . 2013 2:52 p.m.
Conditions in adult males may suggest circumcision , for example, can reduce the transmission of HIV through sexual contact , is of little relevance in our part of verden.Forebygging of urinary tract infections is also used as an argument in the debate . One must circumcise about 200 babies to save one urinary tract infection , a condition that can be easily treated with antibiotics. The procedure satisfies therefore the stringent requirements for preventive surgery, especially when done on people who can not consent.
In the U.S. , one of two countries in the world that has not signed the Convention , the growing health and economic savings due to possible reduced HIV transmission through sexual contact used as medical argument to circumcise young boy babies. European children medicate disagree with this and believe that the lack of health benefits in childhood , in addition to the pain and risks of the procedure allows the procedure to wait until the boy can decide for yourself .
How painful and risky?
To remove the foreskin must first be detached from the head of the penis . Both this solution and the further removal of the foreskin is painful for many days afterwards , even with local anesthesia .
In this country, it is assumed that approx. 2000 male babies circumcised each year. Acute complications include bleeding , infection , damage to the penis head and anesthesia -related complications. Medical complications such as deformities , scarring and small penis ( buried penis ) can lead to a need for new surgery . In extreme cases , fortunately very rare, seen partial or total destruction of the penis .
In Norway , we lack good studies on short – and long-term consequences of ritual circumcision of male children . A recently published study in the Danish Medical Journal showed a complication rate of 5.1 percent after circumcisions performed by pediatric surgeons at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. International studies show anywhere from less than 1 to 35 percent complications after the procedure .
Norwegian boy died
We do not know exactly how many Norwegian boys with complications after circumcision , but there is reason to believe that the numbers are similar to the Danish . Recent death of a baby boy in Oslo two days after the circumcision done by a doctor, another was hastily taken to hospital because of life-threatening complications after the procedure . At Oslo University Hospital pediatric surgeons treat 5-10 children per year of complications after ritual circumcision . We do not know the numbers from other hospitals or doctors’ surgeries .
Why should boys decide ?
Circumcision is an important symbol of their own faith and culture for many parents and their sons. However ritual entails cutting away part of the most intimate on the body of a healthy child , a life-long marking body. The pain and risks of the procedure can never be eliminated completely , even with optimal medical treatment. Since any medical benefits belonging to adulthood , the boy should even get to take the election when he is old enough.
In the Nordic countries there is an increasing proportion multicultural children , and we get feedback from mothers who feel pressured to perform the procedure. More worrying is the feedback from the guys who feel labeled and forced into a cultural identity they do not know themselves at home – and that means that they will not shower or participate in sports.
Knowledge and human rights
Neither the CRC and other human rights instruments provide clear answers to the question of ritual circumcision . Different rights, religious freedom and children’s right to participation and bodily integrity, to be balanced and weighted.
Much of the answer should be in the medical consequences of the procedure. The pain , the risk and the irreversible circumcision of male children , we believe that surgery may be contrary to the CRC Articles 12 and 24 Article 12 deals with children’s right to participation . In Article 24 states that children must be protected against tradition-bound rituals that can be harmful to their health. We believe that the child’s best interests must prevail over the right of adults to exercise their religious or tradition-bound rituals.
A growing recognition
UN Human Rights Council has urged all countries to abolish intervention that compromises children’s privacy and dignity , and that does not respect the rights of children . International NGO Council on Violence Against Children , heavily adviser organ of the UN, raised last year revealed that circumcision without consent is a gross violation of boys’ physical integrity and the right to protection from violence.
To introduce ritual circumcision as a free service to the hospital , is a bad idea. This will legitimize and maintain the practice as it exists today . It can also increase the pressure on those who do not want to perform the procedure. Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly defines in a recent resolution ritual circumcision of boys as a violation of their physical integrity and urges Member States to work for the boys’ right to be consulted . The Nordic children Ombudsmen recommend an age limit . And here at home have requested Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law in Oslo a thorough analysis of the human rights issues concerning ritual circumcision of boys – which requires an assessment of the medical conditions of the intervention .
Children’s best is the government ‘s responsibility
To introduce ritual circumcision as a free service to the hospital , is a bad idea. This will legitimize and maintain the practice as it exists today . It can also increase the pressure on those who do not want to perform the procedure. To perform the procedure in a hospital , is no guarantee against pain and complications. The procedure should be in a transitional period done in private clinics the user fee . To minimize risk , it should only be performed by experienced physicians and with optimal pain relief.
We want a respectful dialogue between all interested parties on how best to ensure the boys full impact of this issue . We encourage our new government to educate the communities where circumcision is a tradition of children’s rights and the health consequences of the procedure. The government must initiate the necessary measures to ensure that boys even get to decide whether to circumcise .