Religious freedom or human rights for babies?

20 07 2012

Guess what, I opt for human rights for babies.

This was in the news last week:

A court in Cologne, Germany has ruled that removing the foreskin of young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm. European Jewish and Muslim groups have joined forces to protest against the decision and defend their right to perform the act on religious grounds.

I read this heartbreaking article which a friend put up on face book.

Babies who get circumcised go into coma, deep depressive sleep and suffer health problems. They connect less with the mother, often drink badly or not at all for a while, and there is a marked psychological effect on them as adults. And there is the number of babies who die, but that is just collateral damage. There is also a detrimental effect on the penis, the now unprotected tip will become much less sensitive, And as the foreskin contains the highest number of nerves in the male body this is lost too. For women sex can be less pleasurable as well. The foreskin has a distinct function also during the sexual act. No foreskin should not be removed without real medical need.

I do not think that parents have any right to mutilate their children. It’s not a right of parents. But children do have rights here, the right to remain intact until hey decide as well-informed adults if they need to cut important pieces of their bodies. Parents have a job, and that it to protect their children from harm. Not to cause it!

If you belong to one of those religions where the invisible skydaddy expects you to worship him by offering up your foreskin you can do so as an adult, when it is your own informed decision.

A baby is not asked, and it will be many years before he is old enough to decide for himself is he likes to have a dangerous unnecessary and harmful procedure done on his most sensitive parts. But that is for me the only acceptable form of circumcision. An adult male, who has first been well informed about the uselessness and the effect on his sexual feelings, and who still wants to have the most sensitive bits cut off?
Fine.
Go for it. But don’t mutilate your baby. Wait 20 years and see what he decides.

I fully agree with the German court, intelligent modern rational people should not cut up, damage, traumatize and endanger the lives of their babies. And if they do they should be punished.

And read this article about how male circumcision harms women.

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7 responses

23 07 2012
Mezba

I am glad I was circumcised as a baby and don’t remember anything about it. I honestly don’t know what to make of “go into coma, depressive sleep, health problems” etc. It’s not been my experience or the countless people I know. A few had their circumcision as an adult and they wished they had it as babies. I would do it for my son and I would encourage anyone to do it for their sons as babies. People have been doing it for thousands of years without any ill effects.

23 07 2012
Aafke-Art

Actually, even when done in hospitals a percentage of boys get infections, gangrene and some die. Outside of hospitals that number would of course be significantly higher. Please look these things up before making rash statements.
I think no parent has the right to cut pieces off their babies. If an adult wants to cut pieces of himself, go at it! But don’t do this to babies who cannot consent, and who are suffering and are being put into wholly unnecessary danger.
I don’t care how much it hurts when you do it later. It is your decision. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with natural genitals, so why mess around with them?

But I know why, religions demand this of parents to dull the sexual feelings of their children so the populace can be better controlled.
Another wicked immorality of religions.

23 07 2012
mezba

There’s always risks in any medical procedure, and these risks multiply when performed by non-medically trained people in unsanitary conditions. However, that does not make the medical procedure itself invalid or risky. When a woman gives birth and takes epidural, there is a slight chance she could be paralyzed. Actually, a higher chance than say, a person will get injured for life during circumcision. So any statement about “risks” of circumcision is exaggerating the problem.

“Babies who get circumcised go into coma, deep depressive sleep and suffer health problems” – would appreciate a source of numbers for this. How many percentage of babies do this?

No less than the WHO and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) stated that male circumcision is an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention but should be carried out by well trained medical professionals and under conditions of informed consent (parents consent for their infant boys). PDF link: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2007/9789241596169_eng.pdf

I understand you don’t like religion and there are people abusing it, but trying to equate (male) circumcision with babies suffering is incorrect.

21 08 2012
jonolan

Then, obviously, by your reasoning, ANY medical procedure that is not immediately lifesaving performed upon an infant or child is a violation of their rights since they can’t legally decline such a procedure if their parents or guardians decide that they should have it.

I like you but you need to stop letting your Godlessness and hatred of religion cloud your judgment so badly.

27 08 2012
Aafke-Art

Yes. Parents should not be allowed to play around with their children’s safety. I heard that in America many parents have their babies circumcised just because, with no religion involved. How bizarre!

Or what about the orange lady who, not content with making a freak of herself, now subjects her daughter to being burned during artificial tanning.

30 08 2012
jonolan

The “orange lady” incident was bogus; it never happened, insofar as it was proven that she never had her daughter tanned in a booth.

But… You couched your argument in “rights” and in the context of voluntary medical procedures. Circumcision is no different, other than being much safer, than thousands of non-necessary procedures performed on children daily. Want to stop them too until the child is old enough to consent and require the consent of that child?

11 09 2012
radha

I agree Aafke,

Of course i do plenty of circumcisions because the parents want it. but In my view it’s totally unneccesary. Why not let the child decide. Medically there are arguments for and against it and also benefits and issues with doing it and not doing it. IMO there is no conclusive proof either way. So i’d not mess with something that’s not broken.

But it is also a lagely religious thng. Lots of people want their child circumcised for a host of reasons but a large percentage is because of
1. they were circumcised
2. their religion prescribes it.

I for one refused to subject my infant to the scalpel – a healthy child . leaving a piece of skin was not going to harm anyone else or him and that’s all i cared about. plus it’s not that he has his circumcised penis on display for the world to know. it’s private and left to him to decide what he wants . like i said as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else and his health i refused to cut. Poor F was caught between his belief and his knowledge and luckily for us all knowledge won with a min of fuss :-)

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