Wednesday, June 29, 2016

FACEBOOK: Another Circumcision Horror Story

I can't write a long detailed rant every time I see a circumcision horror story on my Facebook news feed, so I'm just going to post a screen shot of the most recent one I've seen and make a short comment.
The facts of the matter:
  • Male infant circumcision has risks.
  • In most, if not all male infants, circumcision is elective, non-medical surgery.
  • The risks of male infant circumcision include infection, partial or full ablation of the penis, hemorrhage and even death.
  • Doctors and hospitals have financial incentive to downplay, misattribute, or simply not talk about the adverse incidences of male infant circumcision.
  • Stories like these rarely, if ever, make the news; the only reason we know about incidences like these is because parents slip up and post them on Facebook.
  • Because male infant circumcision is elective, non-medical surgery, any number of adverse incidences above zero is unconscionable.
  • Without medical or clinical indication, reaping profit from performing non-medical surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud.
  • Taking advantage of a child to push needless cosmetic surgery no him/her that s/he would never choose for him/herself as an adult is clear abuse.

The child in this story appears to have lived; others haven't been so lucky. (See other posts linked to below.)

How is it that any number of deaths or adverse incidences are "acceptable" for a non-medical, elective surgery?

Is the AAP counting?

Because we sure are...

Related Links:
AFRICA: Yet Another Circumcision Botch
CIRCUMCISION DEATH: This Time in Italy
INTACTIVISTS: Why We Concern Ourselves
MALE INFANT CIRCUMCISION: Another Baby Boy Dies
Circumcision Death: Another One Bites the Dust

Circumcision KILLS

CIRCUMCISION: The Silent Killer

CIRCUMCISION: Another Baby Dies

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: Yet Another One (I Hate Writing These)

Another Circumcision Death Comes to Light

Circumcision Indicted in Yet Another Death: Rabbis and Mohels are "Upset"

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: Yes, Another One - This Time in Israel

CANADA: CPS Diverges from AAP on Infant Circumcision

CIRCUMCISION RISK: Two More Circumcision Botches

FACEBOOK: Two Botches and a Death

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: Child Dies After Doctor Convinces Ontario Couple to Circumcise

ONTARIO CIRCUMCISION DEATH: The Plot Thickens

Joseph4GI: The Circumcision Blame Game

Phony Phimosis: How American Doctors Get Away With Medical Fraud

Mogen Circumcision Clamp Manufacturers Face Civil Lawsuit

Sunday, June 26, 2016

FRANCE: French Surgeon Heavily Fined for Circumcision


This was recent news, but on the count of I can't read French, I just recently got wind of it. Were it not for a fellow intactivist who translated this from French to English, I may have never heard of it.


The original article in French can be accessed here. (Last accessed 6/26/2016)


I'm not going to comment on it, as I think it's pretty self-explanatory.

CIRCUMCISION: French Surgeon Heavily Fined
June 24, 2016

A French man has won a conviction against the surgeon who circumcised him as an adult. The court acknowledged sexual harm and ethical harm following the lack of information on alternatives to circumcision.

In early 2016, the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) in Paris ruled on a dispute between a patient and his surgeon, a member of the French Association of Urology. In 2007, then aged 26, the patient was circumcised by his surgeon for an indication of a phimosis. Not only did the surgeon not inform him about the risks and consequences associated with this action, but he failed to propose less invasive alternative therapies.

Deeply affected by the injury, especially by a loss of sensation following the removal of his foreskin, the victim of this procedure decided to sue the surgeon in court and won the case.

After an investigation which revealed that the recommendation to circumcise was made "arbitrarily", and further that the operation had not been carried out properly, the Paris Court fined the surgeon almost 32,000 euros in compensation:

- € 5000 for moral damage resulting from the lack of information given;
- € 3000 for physical and mental suffering;
- € 250 for temporary functional deficit and € 3,560 for permanent functional deficit;
- € 20,000 for sexual harm because, inter alia, "a partial loss of the ability to access pleasure."

Essentially, what can we learn from this judgment?

- The law does not tolerate circumcision as the only therapeutic solution proposed by the medical profession in cases of phimosis;
- The law recognizes that foreskin removal can cause a loss of sexual pleasure; and
- The law recognizes that circumcision, practiced even in a medical setting, can cause considerable and currently irreparable damage.

This is a landmark judgment: the time has come for circumcision victims not to hesitate to prosecute those responsible for their mutilation.

There's been a policy of covering-up, and medical insurance, public or private, will have to make a 180 degree turn: in France, circumcision simply has no place in health care practices, except in extremely rare exceptions. How many circumcisions are performed each year on infants or children under the guise of "phimosis" in order to receive a payment by the medical system? * This fraud is all the more immoral considering it generates great suffering, as illustrated by the testimony of victims, among others.

This judgment confirms the position of the organization Droit au Corps; namely, that we need to have a public debate surrounding consent to circumcision.

* * *

* In Belgium in 2014, 25,698 circumcisions were performed at a cost of 2.6 million euros (from among 11 million inhabitants).

Related Posts:
Phimosis and Circumcision in Japan

Phony Phimosis: How American Doctors Get Away With Medical Fraud

What Your Dr. Doesn't Know Could Hurt Your Child

Thursday, June 23, 2016

LAS VEGAS: Parents in Hot Water After Giving Baby Zelda Ear Mod


I don't want to say too much about this.

I have already spent enough time writing my previous post.

I'm just going to re-post the news article verbatim and give a commentary at the end.

Here goes:

Las Vegas Parents Facing Charges For Modifying 8 Month Old Baby’s Ears 

Las Vegas, NV –  A Las Vegas mom was arrested on Tuesday after an acquaintance called the police saying that the mother was doing body modifications on the child. 19-year-old Tonya Creighton says she was just trying to make her daughter look “cool” and meant no harm to the baby. Child Protective Services was called to the scene and the baby was removed from Creighton and put in their custody.

According to the anonymous tip made by Creighton’s acquaintance, the mother and the baby’s father, 22-year-old Brian Shekel gave the baby Benadryl to calm her down and applied a numbing agent to her ears. They then began the “Ear Pointing” surgery on the child, which is usually performed by a plastic surgeon at a cost of around $3000. According to the parents confession, they knew they would find no plastic surgeon willing to do it to the child and they “could not afford it because they had no jobs and their only income is welfare.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” said Creighton in her statement to the police. “That’s my child and I should have the right to do whatever I want to do with her. There was no harm done and everybody is doing it anyway and it looks cool. Our friend up the street did our ears and we didn’t need no plastic surgeon. It’s a family trait, and we wanted our daughter to have it.”
Doctors say the reversal will be very difficult. However, reconstructive surgeons in the area have volunteered to fix the child’s ears at no charge. Both parents are being held in the county jail on no bond. They are facing charges of child abuse, child endangerment, and performing a surgical procedure without a license.

The mother is right, you know.

Her child, her choice.

Besides, she wants her daughter to look like her and daddy, right?

Related Links:
ALABAMA: Mother Busted for Tattooing Son

"Religious Freedom" and "Parental Choice" Not Absolute: Yet Another Example
 
"Religious freedom?" "Parental choice?" or "Child Abuse?"
INTACTIVISTS: Why We Concern Ourselves
The Circumcision Blame Game
Pageant Mom Loses 8yo Daughter Over Botox
 
 
OREGON: Couple Face Prison for Denying Their Child Medical Care

Botox bill yes, circumcision bill no?

LATEST FROM AFRICA: 2 Circumcision Initiates Die


Yearly, circumcision initiation rites happen all over Africa. Every year scores of men either die, or they lose their penises to gangrene, but for whatever reason, these deaths and loss of external genital organs in male initiates are overshadowed by female circumcision.

In a recent news article, the deaths of two initiates have been reported. (Link available here. Last accessed 6/22/2016) A list of articles in past years can be read here.

For whatever reason, human rights activists come down hard on female circumcision, but when it comes to male circumcision, there is a deafening silence.

In some newsreports, readers are supposed to take comfort in the fact that some very shoddy "studies" show that male circumcision "could" "reduce" HIV transmission by "as much as 60%."

So male circumcision should still happen, although it should be performed by medical professionals, although death and other complications still happen when medical professionals perform them.

I ask, would human rights groups stop decrying female circumcision if "research" could "prove" that female circumcision "could" reduce HIV transmission by some magical number like "60%?"

Or would they still be decrying it?

What if female circumcision could be made "quick and painless" with "no detriment to female sexuality?"

Would it still be viewed as a human rights violation?

A paper calling for a compromise procedure for females has recently been published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

The authors are actually coming out and admitting on a published journal that there are forms of female genital cutting that are less severe than male genital cutting as commonly practiced in the US and elsewhere.

There is a sexist, self-serving double-standard when it comes to publishing research on male and female circumcision. Whereas publishing "research" that claims that male circumcision is "harmless" if not "beneficial" is not a problem, publishing research that minimizes female circumcision or that it may even be beneficial, is.

Whereas "researchers" were eager to push the idea that "circumcision is a harmless intervention that could help prevent the spread of HIV," scholars discourage the publishing of research that would "play right into the hands of those who defend female genital cutting" and/or "encourage female genital mutilation."

It's not a problem if "research" gives the green light to tribal circumcisers of men to go ahead and perform circumcision on initiates, but it is a problem if research givesthe green light to tribal circumcisers of women.

Why is that?

Related Links:
MALAWI: USAID-Funded Program Kidnapping Children for Circumcision - Boy Loses Penis

FACEBOOK NEWS FEED: A Complication and a Death

MASS CIRCUMCISION CAMPAIGNS: The Emasculation and Harassment of Africa

Male Circumcision and HIV in Africa: EPIC FAIL
Where Circumcision Doesn't Prevent HIV
Where Circumcision Doesn't Prevent HIV II
INTACTIVISTS: Why We Concern Ourselves
JAMA: Lead Article is a "Study" on Bribing Men to Get Circumcised
AFRICA: Creating Circumcision "Volunteers"

FGM NEWS: Gynecologysts Urge a "Nick" as Compromise for FGM

Politically Correct Research: When Science, Morals and Political Agendas Collide

Male and Female Infant Circumcision: Which One is Worse?

Circumcision is Child Abuse: A Picture Essay

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How Would Circumcised Men React to Suddenly Having Foreskin?




I could only imagine it might be something like this!

So I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed today when I saw this video published by CNBC come up. Since I think it is closely related, I decided to share my reaction to it on this blog.

In case my readers can't see it, it is a video depicting people who have been color blind their whole lives, experiencing for the first time in their lives what it feels like to see color.

They look through glasses that have been fitted with special lenses that separate pigments by blocking certain wavelengths.

To see these people experience what the rest of the world sees normally is nothing short of amazing.

I can only imagine what they are feeling at experiencing something they've been missing throughout their whole lives.

Which raises the question, what if circumcised men could suddenly experience what it's like to have a foreskin?

To feel sensations through nerve endings that they were missing their whole lives?

What would their reactions be?

To feel sensations unfiltered through a keratinized glans?

To feel the sensations of their missing inner mucosa?

For men who had it removed in infancy, their frenulum?

A study conducted in 2007 tells us that the glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis.

That the transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. 

In essence, circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis, and desensitizes the remaining parts due to keratinization, desensitizing the penis by a factor of four.


So what if it were made possible for men who were circumcised from birth, to suddenly experience the sensations of having a foreskin?

What would their reaction be?

How would they feel?

To experience what for most men in the rest of the world (something like 70-80%) is "normal?"

To think, that unlike color blindness, this is something that was purposefully taken away from them at birth?

That they have had to live with an artificial condition iatrogenically given to them for life?

ALABAMA: Mother Busted for Tattooing Son


And why shouldn't she be able to?

Her son, her prerogative right?

She had someone cut off part of his genitals, but she can't have someone tattoo him?

Parents have less and less rights these days...

That's all I'm going to say about this.

Here's the article and link:

Mother Arrested After Tattooing Her Son And Attempting To Trade Him For Drug
 A manhunt for 24 year old Shaunetta Wright came to a peaceful end early Monday morning after she was apprehended in Alabama for child abuse, neglect and several other charges. Authorities say that Wright is accused of allowing her boyfriend to etch a full chest tattoo across her two-year-old son’s upper torso and then trading the boy for crack cocaine.

 According to reports, Wright approach her drug dealer with her son Monday morning around 2:15 AM. The boy was upset, crying and in a lot of pain as she showed off his new ink. Her drug dealer, 34-year-old Tito Greene says she approached him for crack cocaine, but said she had no money. She offered him the injured child for collateral until her welfare check came in on the first of the month. Greene, who is in custody and currently being questioned on the ordeal, said he agreed to take the boy and gave Wright her drugs.

 “I know I’m a drug dealer but I do have a heart,” said Greene in his confession to the police. “I gave her the drugs and took the boy into the house. We applied some Neosporin to his chest and an ice pack to try to calm him down. I knew I was going to be in trouble, but I had no choice to call the police and get this kid some help.”

A manhunt for Wright began, and she was apprehended in a dingy motel just 2 miles from the exchange. Greene is facing charges of drug possession, however, police are considering a lighter penalty because of his heroic actions. The child is currently in custody of Child Protective Services. Wright is being held in the county jail on no bond. They are still searching for the boyfriend, 23-year-old Oscar Williams, who illegally tattooed the child.
 The boyfriend is a fugitive on the run.

So should it be with all who forcibly circumcise healthy, non-consenting minors.

Related Links:
"Religious Freedom" and "Parental Choice" Not Absolute: Yet Another Example
 
"Religious freedom?" "Parental choice?" or "Child Abuse?"

INTACTIVISTS: Why We Concern Ourselves

The Circumcision Blame Game

Pageant Mom Loses 8yo Daughter Over Botox
OREGON: Couple Face Prison for Denying Their Child Medical Care

Botox bill yes, circumcision bill no?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

AFRICA: Yet Another Circumcision Botch


When people try to minimize male circumcision, but make a big commotion about female circumcision by saying "Female circumcision is worse," what are they comparing?

I want to know, because it seems the comparison being made is that of male infant circumcision as it happens in hospitals in the United States, to the worst possible scenario as it happens somewhere in the African bush.

"With female circumcision, women are forcibly tied down to have their labia and clitoris cut off with a rusty blade, glass shard or tin can lid, and have the remaining area sewn up to leave only a small hole for menstruation. Afterwards the must be cut back open if they want to have children, and they will never experience orgasm in their life, ever. Women experience excruciating pain. With males, it's just a little piece of skin, performed in the hospital by professionals, and they don't even remember it," seems to be the usual argument used to shut down any protest against male circumcision.

But is the comparison really this clear cut?

Is female genital cutting really only a matter of the materials used to perform the procedure? Pain management? The person who does it being a professional? In a medical setting? Is not remembering the pain and/or enjoying sex really at the crux of the argument?

The fact is that the kind of female circumcision described above is actually the rarest form of female genital cutting, also known as "infibulation." Even the WHO recognizes that there are different degrees of severity.

Could forcible female genital cutting really be made more acceptable if it were made as equal to, or less severe than male circumcision? If it were performed by a medical professional? In a medical setting? With sterile utensils under the most pristine conditions? With pain management? When a baby girl does not remember?

In the past, the AAP tried to approve a form of female genital cutting that they themselves admit would be much less severe than male infant circumcision. A "ritual nick," as it were. As recently as 2014, a paper was released in the Journal of Medical Ethics calling for a similar compromise.

Is it really just a matter of severity? Pain management? Setting? Facilitator? Effects on sexual prowess?

What if the proposed "acceptable" form of female genital cutting could result in the reduction of some disease? Say, HIV. Would it be more ethical to forcibly perform on healthy, non-consenting girls?

I'll leave the reader to answer this question for him or herself.

For now, I'd like to, once again, point out the fact that comparing the worst case scenario for female genital cutting to male infant circumcision as it is performed in hospitals in the west, is a false comparison. (Who reading this has actually seen male infant circumcision as it is performed in medical hospitals? Through the magic of YouTube, it is now possible to actually see, and hear, what happens during the forced circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting minor.)

In Africa, boys are circumcised pretty much in the same way girls are; in the bush, by amateurs, using raw utensils, under filthy conditions. As in female circumcision, male circumcision also results in failed procedures where the resulting male's organs are deformed, and/or dysfunctional. As in female circumcision, male circumcision also often results in infection. In many cases, it results in the loss of the organ itself. As in female circumcision, male circumcision often results in death.

Every year come circumcision season in Africa, the news is filled with reports of scores of men having been infected, having lost their organs, or their lives.

Yet, for whatever reason, this isn't a problem.

It isn't a problem worth reporting, and if it is, it is usually minimized or dismissed because "Circumcision helps reduce HIV." It's the men's loss for not having gone to get circumcised by a trained professional.

Why is female circumcision as performed on girls and women in Africa compared to male circumcision as it is performed in Western hospitals? Why is it not compared to its corresponding counterpart in Africa itself?

This frustrates me to no end.

The implication seems to be that female circumcision could be made more acceptable if only it were performed in the hospital, by a trained professional, using sterile utensils, with pain management, on girls too young to remember the pain.

The thing is, girls are already circumcised in this manner.

Girls are circumcised in infancy at hospitals by trained professionals in South East Asia, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.

The people of those countries justify it by saying it is less severe than male circumcision.

And they're right.

Most female circumcisions performed in those countries are carried out without a hitch.

As in America, most women don't see a problem with it, and don't have any problem demanding that the same happen with their daughters.

So why isn't male infant circumcision as performed in the US compared with THAT?

Is it that it hits too close to home and Americans don't want to be put in the awkward position of ratifying female genital cutting? Or conversely, of questioning their own practice?

Why do purposefully avoid comparing like with like?

In Africa, yet another boy loses his penis to ritual circumcision. According to Waza:

A 13 year old boy is recuperating at his parents’ house in Webuye after a circumcision rite turned tragic. The boy accidentally got sliced on his pen!s on Tuesday as he was being initiated in to manhood in the ongoing Bukusu circumcision festivals.

The boy’s parents’ rushed him to Webuye district hospital after they realized he had been wrongly cut. They described this as an accident that was not intended.  Webuye district medical superintendant Dr. Bita confirmed they had received the boy whos manhood had been chopped off slightly  by what they suspected to be a quack circumciser and treated him before releasing him . Dr. Bita appealed to the general public to be aware of the quacks performing the cut cautioning them of other possible dangers like HIV.

Um, I'm quite sure slicing his penis was intentional. Slicing off the foreskin from a penis is the whole point of circumcision. Later the report must clarify that the boy was "wrongly" cut, meaning that the cutters cut off more than they intended. But I assure you, slicing the penis was no "accident."

And unless there is a clinical or medical indication for surgery, circumcisers are ALL "quack doctors."

In the comments, someone is already saying that circumcision is "beneficial," and that the boy should have been circumcised by a "professional."

What if female circumcision could be deemed "beneficial?"

Would we still be against it?

Related Post:
Circumcision is Child Abuse: A Picture Essay