Authors: Ryan McAllister, Research Assistant Professor of Physics and Oncology at Georgetown University & John W. Travis, Adjunct Professor of Well-being at RMIT University
The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis.
For centuries, children have been subjected to cultural and medicalised practices that were ultimately proven harmful and a violation of basic bodily integrity. Such practices have included foot binding, forehead flattening, scarification and genital cutting.
Today, there is increasing awareness that infant male circumcision – once deemed a “parental choice” – is really an unnecessary, irreversible and harmful bodily modification.
With the recently discovered functions of the foreskin and a growth in awareness, we’re fortunately beginning to see the rights and experience of the child become the paramount consideration in discussions about circumcision.
The human foreskin is a contiguous part of the skin system of the clitoris or penis.
In infant males, the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis (glans). The outer foreskin protects the more sensitive inner foreskin and the glans from abrasion and injury.
When circumcised males lose sensitivity and skin mobility, it’s likely to significantly alter their sexual experience.
One recent Danish cross-sectional study concluded that male circumcision was associated with sexual difficulties for men and their female partners.
Surgery without consent is ethical only in cases for:
1) incapacitated patients, in order to save their life
2) minors, with proxy consent from a parent or guardian, but only for surgery that addresses an underlying condition.
Excision of an infant’s foreskin for dubious medical or cultural purposes is an anomaly. Because it removes healthy, typically-developed tissue, the procedure fails to meet either of the above conditions.
Circumcision of minors also stands in contradiction to other medical ethics principles, including:
Avoiding causing needless harm
Promoting the patient’s medical well-being
Providing information on a procedure that a reasonable person would deem significant.
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Dozens of case studies describe severe complications, including penile amputations and death; several infant deaths have been reported in the past few years. Continue readingPin It