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Is Male Circumcision Ethical?
Male circumcision is a procedure that has been conducted for thousands of years. It is mentioned in the Bible in multiple different books and it is still executed in medical facilities all over the world today. However, whether this procedure is done for religious purposes or its medical benefits, many people question how ethical the process is.
Male circumcision is still a controversial medical procedure, usually conducted during the first few days after birth. During this minor surgery, the foreskin surrounding the penis is removed. Though “surgical approaches to circumcision are extremely varied,” all are painful either during or after completion of the surgery (Abdulwahab-Ahmed and Mungadi). Because circumcisions are so painful and are performed at such an early age most of the time, most everyone would agree it is an unpleasant thought.
Even so I feel that unless there are religious objections, “infant circumcision should be regarded as equivalent to childhood vaccination,” (Firger). Usually if circumcision is not completed as an infant, the “delay puts the child’s health at risk and will usually mean it will never happen,” (Firger). The risk an individual faces who has not been circumcised can actually be quite serious. Commonly, the aversion to male circumcision is the thought of hurting a very small child. But actually, if the child is not circumcised you do them no favors because it can hurt them later on in life by leading to serious health risks.
For men who are circumcised, there are many health benefits that make this procedure worth it. (Especially since most men are circumcised as an infant and will never remember the procedure). Circumcised men will find that it is easier to maintain good hygiene without a foreskin, but this convenience is the least of its benefits. A decreased risk of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, decreased risk of penile problems, and a decreased risk of penile cancer are all health related benefits of male circumcision as well (“Circumcision (male) Why it’s done”).
In short, I feel that the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this situation. This procedure may seem cruel to perform on a baby because it is painful, but as a parent I feel that it is your responsibility to do what is best for the child’s overall health. Immunizations will be painful as well but the vast majority of parents take their children in to get their shots (and for those who do not it is for what they see as the reason of potential health risk, not because it will hurt).