Don't touch children's bodies

In December, in a small town near Rome, a two-year-old boy died and his little brother was hospitalized with severe injuries after both were circumcised at home.

Ingrid Colanicchia
Ingrid Colanicchia MicroMega, Italy
Source: MicroMega
Don't touch children's bodies - NewsMavens
Surgery tools. Pexels

Why this story matters:

The incident has reignited the debate about whether or not hospitals should carry out circumcisions -- at the moment they do so, but for a fee.

Obviously, a circumcision performed in a hospital would not carry the same risks as an a home surgery, but we must not forget that the ritual of male circumcision, however much more socially accepted, is nothing but genital mutilation, even if its consequences are incomparably less serious than feminine genital mutilation. (Which, at its most cruel, involves infibulation -- the excision of the clitoris and the removal of the labia minora and sometimes -- mostly in rural areas - in the partial or total removal of the labia majora and the near-complete stitching of the vaginal opening). And if it horrifies us that FGM can be performed in a hospital -- and therefore implicitly endorsed -- should it not be the same for male circumcision? Always keeping in mind the profound difference in impact, of course.

Ultimately, the question comes down to this: these are traditional or religious practices that are not necessary from a medical viewpoint and that cause irreversible anatomical changes on minors who cannot consent. And this is why everything must be done to prevent these interventions from being carried out. 

Details from the story:

  • According to the latest UNICEF estimates, there are 200 million girls and women living with female genital mutilation (FGM) in 30 countries worldwide.
  • In Europe, where FGM is practiced mainly by a small group of migrants from specific African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, it is estimated that there are 500,000 women and girls who suffered FGM, and that every year 180,000 girls and women are at risk of FGM.
  • In 2012, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the first resolution against female genital mutilation, calling for global efforts to eliminate the practice. On 7 February 2018 the European Parliament approved a Resolution on zero tolerance for female genital mutilation.
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