Between Prophylaxis and Child Abuse: The Ethics of Neonatal Male Circumcision

  title={Between Prophylaxis and Child Abuse: The Ethics of Neonatal Male Circumcision},
  author={Michael Benatar and David Benatar},
  journal={The American Journal of Bioethics},
  pages={35 - 48}
Opinion about neonatal male circumcision is deeply divided. Some take it to be a prophylactic measure with unequivocal and significant health benefits, while others consider it a form of child abuse. We argue against both these polar views. In doing so, we discuss whether circumcision constitutes bodily mutilation, whether the absence of the child's informed consent makes it wrong, the nature and strength of the evidence regarding medical harms and benefits, and what moral weight cultural… 

Neonatal Male Circumcision: Ethical Issues and Physician Responsibility

It is reasonable to wait for the infant to grow, develop his own set of values, and ultimately decide on whether to pursue the option of circumcision, and at this later date it might be permissible for medical doctors to partake in circumcision procedures.

Cutting History, Cutting Culture: Female Circumcision in the United States

Doctors who come to the opposite conclusion should conscientiously refuse to perform the procedure, even when it is requested by parents.

Newborn Male Circumcision with Parental Consent, as Stated in the AAP Circumcision Policy Statement, Is Both Legal and Ethical

  • M. Brady
  • Medicine
    Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
  • 2016
The CDC and the AAP believe that parents should be allowed to make the decision concerning circumcision of their male infants after receiving non-biased information on health risks and health benefits.

Neonatal circumcision – violation of children’s rights or public health necessity?

The article concludes that the rights of neonates to bodily integrity should not be tampered with lightly, and that only a severe public health hazard such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic may justify incursion into this constitutionally protected right.

Male circumcision: a scientific perspective

  • R. Short
  • Medicine
    Journal of Medical Ethics
  • 2004
In this issue, John Hutson has reiterated the conventional Western medical view that “the surgical argument for circumcision of all neonatal males at present is very weak” and he criticises many of the circumcisions performed in later childhood, without anaesthesia, as “physically cruel and potentially dangerous”.

Short Changed? the Law and Ethics of Male Circumcision

This chapter suggests that the medico-legal failure to take seriously the risks involved is understandable if the authors recognise that the concept of harm is inherently fluid and that pain is often incapable of articulation.

Male Circumcision and the Rights of the Child 1

This paper examines guidance on male circumcision issued by professional medical associations in countries which share a similar tradition of circumcision to the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and adopts a more progressive and less tolerant approach to the issue of elective neonatal circumcision.

Routine (Non-Religious) Neonatal Circumcision and Bodily Integrity: A Transatlantic Dialogue

  • W. Dekkers
  • Medicine
    Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal
  • 2009
The practice of RNC is questionable from a variety of viewpoints including not only the ideal of evidence-based medicine and human rights considerations, but also the notion of respect for bodily integrity.

Male Circumcision, Religious Preferences, and the Question of Harm

  • M. Sheldon
  • Philosophy
    The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
  • 2003
It is proposed that, arst, the choice of whether to circumcise a male child is an acceptable choice and a choice appropriately left to parental prerogatives, and, second, that the participation of the physician is permissible as well.

Ethical challenges of female genital mutilation and of male circumcision

This article is about the ethical challenges related to female genital mutilation and male circumcision, by showing similarities and differences. Male circumcision is a medical procedure to some



Does circumcision influence sexually transmitted diseases?: A literature review

In the present review the medical literature is examined to determine what influence if any circumcision has on STDs.

The status of circumcision of newborns.

  • E. Schoen
  • Medicine
    The New England journal of medicine
  • 1990
From the early 1940s until the mid-1970s, circumcision of newborn boys was accepted in the United States as a simple procedure that promoted hygiene and prevented genital disease. Educated

Respect in the Context of Infant Male Circumcision

A slide that was prepared as part of a presentation I gave on the ethical issues raised by human cloning is relevant to responding to this question.

Male circumcision: assessment of health benefits and risks.

A decision as to whether to recommend male circumcision in a given society should be based upon an assessment of the risk for and occurrence of the diseases which are associated with the presence of the foreskin, versus the risk of the complications of the procedure.

The Highly Protective Effect of Newborn Circumcision Against Invasive Penile Cancer

The results confirm the highly protective effect of newborn circumcision against IPC and the less protective effect against CIS.

New Policy on Circumcision—Cause for Concern

The negative conclusions on newborn circumcision drawn by the recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Circumcision are misleading and contrary to the current medical evidence.

Report of the Task Force on Circumcision

Newborn circumcision has potential medical benefits and advantages as well as disadvantages and risks, and the benefits and risks should be explained to the parents and informed consent obtained.

Circumcision in the United States. Prevalence, prophylactic effects, and sexual practice.

The National Health and Social Life Survey evidence indicates a slight benefit of circumcision but a negligible association with most outcomes, which supports the view that physicians and parents be informed of the potential benefits and risks before circumcising newborns.

Painless Neonatal Circumcision

  • P. A. Poma
  • Medicine
    International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
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A simple easy‐to‐learn technique of superficial dorsal penile nerve‐block procedure was employed on 109 infants, which does not increase circumcision morbidity and ought to be employed before neonatal circumcision, so that they may benefit from the practice of modern anesthesia.

Routine Neonatal Circumcision

The results suggest that the financial and medical advantages and dis advantages of routine neonatal circumcision cancel each other and that factors other than cost or health outcomes must be used in decision making.