Hello geebee2I think it's hard to argue that it is detrimental to the child in any significant way,Maybe you missed the statistic I quoted that in one hospital in one year, eleven children were admitted to pediatric intensive care because of complications with circumcision? Assuming that the statistic is correct, that is eleven children that may have suffered permanent damage, and in addition, eleven beds that could not be occupied by other patients, eleven unnecessary drains on the NHS.There is a big difference between being against something and thinking it should be illegal. Another example would be professional boxing - which I find barbaric, but I am not in favour of it being made illegal.That is not really a comparable example, because in professional boxing it is generally the case that both of the fighters (and the audience, referee etc) are willing participants, and are able to give their consent. It might be possible to make a comparison to junior boxing; can those who start out in the sport sometimes at a very young age really give informed consent to taking part in something that might cause them permanent damage?But that is a moot point; even teenagers have more ability to express their consent than an eight-day-old baby.And, of course, there are countless things that some people would think should be legal but aren't. For example, driving above the speed limit. Fox hunting. Deregulated gun ownership. In the past, similar examples might have included slavery, bear baiting, racism, domestic violence etc. These things are largely illegal because we as a society have over time changed our attitudes and now consider these things to be unacceptable. A better comparison might be the case of Andrew Wakefield, the former doctor who was the centre of the MMR uproar a few years ago. Wakefield performed various tests including colonoscopies, lumbar punctures etc on a group of children; one could say that they are distressing procedures at the time but have no lasting effects- that sounds familiar... But, to do such tests on children is hugely unethical: this was one of the central concerns of the GMC disciplinary panel that proved a long list of charges against Wakefield. It is a fundamental principle of paediatrics that no child should suffer more than a blood test unless it is necessary for their health*. Whatever adults may do is up to them; but circumcision is absolutely unnecessary for the health of an eight-day-old baby, helpless and unable to give consent. Were it not for its "cultural" overtones, it would be regarded as unethical. Hopefully one day it will be stripped of its wrapper of mumbo-jumbo and take its place on the long list of things we don't do any more.---Freshfroot* This quote is taken from the rather excellent book Science Tales by Darryl Cunningham
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