Doctors defy new circumcision law

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Since January 1st, all of Norway’s state-run hospitals have become legally obliged to offer circumcision of newborn baby boys. A majority of doctors all over the country, however, have been refusing to perform the operation that’s often part of religious rituals, claiming it’s an unnecessary surgical procedure on otherwise healthy infants.

Only one hospital in all of southeastern Norway is officially offering to circumcise newborns, according to an internal document obtained by newspaper Dagsavisen. In a response to the state health ministry’s request for a status report on circumcision, state agency Helse Sør-Øst (Health Southeast) wrote on January 16 that only the hospital in Kristiansand (Sørlandet Sykehus) offered to circumcise newborn baby boys. A few others offered circumcision only to boys more than a year old.

Strong opposition
At Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) northeast of Oslo, fully 13 of its 15 urologists have submitted written statements reserving themselves against performing circumcision. “The opposition to this emerged before the law on circumcision was approved,” Dr Anja Løvvik, leader of the urology department at Ahus, told Dagsavisen this week. “The fact that many (doctors) want to reserve themselves against this should not be unexpected.” Her colleague Dr Frode Steinar Nilsen at Ahus called circumcision “a surgical operation with no health advantages and one that, as with all surgery, carries with it a risk and a burden for the child. That’s why we don’t want to perform it.”

Doctors, however, have no right to reserve themselves against the procedure in the new law, making their resistance potentially illegal, according to state secretary Cecilie Brein-Karlsen at the health ministry. She told newspapers VG and Dagsavisen that Norway’s public health system must now offer the procedure to parents who want their baby boys circumcised. The Parliament approved the new law last year after reports that babies in Norway risked being seriously injured during circumcision rituals performed outside the health care sector. One baby boy died in Oslo in 2012.

The law was approved by a large majority in Parliament but not without controversy. Doctors’ and nurses’ professional organizations opposed it as did many individual Members of Parliament, but they followed their parties’ lines. In addition to fearing that circumcision would continue to be performed by non-health professionals in Norway, party leaders didn’t want to be seen as being either anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim, since circumcision is traditional in the Jewish and Muslim communities. Others pointed to how millions of men around the world are circumcised including a majority of American men regardless of religious persuasion.

Fending off any ‘fear of foreigners’
“I think many (MPs) were afraid to be accused of anti-Semitism or fear of foreigners,” Jenny Klinge, an MP for the Center Party, told Dagsavisen. She unsucessfully proposed offering hospital circumcision only to males over the age of 18, when they could decide themselves if they wanted to be circumcised. Klinge added that she could understand the health care professionals’ opposition to performing circumcision: “It is in principle wrong for the state to carry out such surgery on babies. One shouldn’t cut into small children in the name of God.”

US health authorities view male circumcision positively, but their Norwegian counterparts don’t. Some doctors’ attempts to reserve themselves against performing abortions also have sparked controversy, not least last winter, but Nilsen of Ahus is adamant: “If (politicians) think they can force an entire profession to perform surgery they feel is wrong both medically and morally, I think that’s remarkable.”

Brein-Karlsen told Dagsavisen that she also understands “that this is a difficult issue.” She said hospitals should take the doctors’ objections into consideration, “but the regional health agencies are still responsible for making sure that an offer (of circumcision) is there.”

Ahus, located in Lørenskog, has estimated that parents of as many as 400 babies a year may request circumcision, and worry they won’t have the capacity to perform it. “Children who need other operations are already having to wait,” Løvvik said. “If we have to offer circumcision, they may need to wait even longer.” Ahus has told expectant parents that it will only offer the procedure after the child is a year old, at the earliest. Hospitals in Bærum, Drammen and Ringerike have set an age limit at two years, while Oslo University Sykehus was expected to start offering ritual circumcision next month, for boys over one year of age.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

  • inquisitor

    Based upon the Hippocratic oath and basic ethical medical philosophy no doctor, in practice privately or with the state, should ever be mandated to perform a surgery that does nothing to enhance the health or save the life of a patient. Period.

    This would include circumcision, abortion for reasons other than health of the mother, certain cosmetic procedures and assisted suicide or eugenics.

    And in this instance, a baby or small child is not even a voluntary patient giving their consent. But is being mandated to be cut and altered due to the will of the parents for non-medical reasons. That is not medicine. That is cultural-religious belief, ritual and for some…superstition.
    Should there be a doctor that is willing to accommodate such things, then that should be allowed. But the issue as to the will of the patient is still a factor to consider.

    Anyone acting with legislation to subdue the conscience of an ethical practitioner of medicine for fear of being labeled an anti-semite should resign their office and find some other line of work.

    • frenk

      Wise words. Again…this seems like a ‘non-issue’….but for some reason the Norwegian state has decided that it has to ‘micro-manage’ something that is not it’s business….I can imagine all the discussions that will take place in Norway this evening….people arguing for and against circumcision…its only a matter of time before there are two opposing political parties whose members will ‘fight to the death’ in defence of and against the ‘knife’….

      • Adam Cornish

        The intent was to keep unqualified practitioners from doing religious circumcisions. The law now has the unintended consequences of morally bothering the doctors, who see it as against their oath of “first, do no harm”.
        I can’t even picture the day when American doctors would have a moral conscience regarding circumcision. I applaud the Norwegians for thoughtful consideration on both sides of the controversy.

        • John Palmer

          Up until about 30 years ago, circumcision was almost universal in the U.S. Now parents are given an informed choice. As a surgical RN, I’d have to agree that it is usually not necessary; I’ve seen exceptions and have assisted on quite a few. Better done in the O.R. than in unsanitary conditions. No doctor or nurse should have to perform surgery he or she thinks is unnecessary.

          • Adam Cornish

            Best not done at all. It’s exceptionally responsive. What exceptions have you seen?

            • John Palmer

              Phimosis

              • collideronline

                Phimosis cannot be diagnosed in infants. The foreskin is attached to the glans and does not retract. That is why during infant circumcision it has to be torn from the the glans. Maybe you are talking about complete stricture of the opening..which I’m not sure of the name but it is not phimosis.

                • John Palmer

                  I’d say stricture. See my above replies. Circumcision in infants is a choice that can be made by parents. Not saying I agree or disagree with that choice. Infant circumcisions are most often done in the doctors office. I worked in the O.R. mostly on adult patients.

              • Angela Erdstrom

                Phimosis cannot be diagnosed in children! It is often diagnosed by unethical American physicians, so the parents’ insurance will cover the surgery. In other words, insurance fraud. Doctors Opposing Circumcision: http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/physiciansguide.html

                • John Palmer

                  See reply above to Jhon Murdock. My experience is limited to one small town hospital. All the doctors here are ethical and fully inform parents regarding pros, cons, risks, etc.

                  • Lawrence Newman

                    The doctors do not tell parents it destroys sexual sensation. Thereforeit’s not informed consent.

              • Aimee Child

                Phimosis can only be diagnosed in males and females post puberty.

                • John Palmer

                  See above replies.

              • Nohelpfulclues

                Phimosis cannot be diagnosed in an infant.

                • John Palmer

                  See my above three replies.

              • Jhon Murdock

                Phimosis in neonates? Their foreskins are naturally fused to and separate from the glans at their own pace usually by the time puberty arrives.

                In Florida a very costly “phimosis” outbreak occurred when Medicaid stopped paying for RIC. This resulted in an average charge of over $6000 per circumcision and in the 5 yr period studied, a grand total of $111.8 million dollars in boy circumcisions was billed to Medicaid.

                A revealing study was done by a pediatrician who wanted to see this lucrative business back in the pockets of PEDs and OBs. The information in the study could only be retrieved by writing a special program to extract it from Medicaid computer archives (Medicaid wasn’t looking for it).

                This phimosis diagnosis scam can be presumed to be going on in all States that have stopped covering RIC. But Medicaid seems not to want to notice what’s going on here:
                http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2013/11/14/allocation-of-healthcare-dollars-analysis-of-nonneonatal-circumcisions-in-flori-a-420653.html#.VMHAI9LF9jl

                Do you live in a State where Medicaid is not paying RIC?

                • John Palmer

                  Don’t know about Medical circumcision coverage in California. The circumcisions I’ve been party to have been on older patients with genuine phimosis which naturally would not have occurred had they been circumcised.

                  • yachty

                    Kaiser, who is the largest health insurance provider in CA pays for it! My boys were done after discharge in the doctors office and it was all covered……

                    • John Palmer

                      yachty . . . With all the vitriolic comments opposed to circumcision, I think you are brave to post your comment.

                    • yachty

                      They are loud, but really only a handful of generally uncircumcised males. It really shows the mentality of males that were not part of the club!

                    • Robert Howard

                      You couldn’t be more off the mark. The majority of “intactivists” are female. Mothers who can’t fathom how any mother could look at a perfect baby and say, “here, chop off this”, or women who fell for the lies and circumcised their son only to regret it later and vow to end the culture that essentially forces an elective procedure on a child just because of their sex. The men are also overwhelmingly circumcised and hate it, because they’ve learned the truth about what was done to them. I’m circumcised, my son is not and will not be unless he decides on his own when he’s old enough to make that choice. I never got that choice.

                      I’d rather not be part of a club that has vastly reduced sexual pleasure, narrowed urethras, painful erections/adhesions/skin bridges, a dried out and keratinized and desensitized glans, a penis that functions more like a broomstick than a well-oiled machine, or any of the other “benefits” cricumcision brings with it.

                    • Keith

                      As a guy who was cut by a an ignorant doctor in England, and now gets no pleasure from intercourse, I am only glad that I can help to get male genital mutilation made a thing of the past. My son was left intact and still is, with no health problems ever.

                    • Robert Howard

                      My 5yo son and 85yo father are both intact and perfectly healthy.

                    • yachty

                      Some Homosexuals like you love the smegma covered penis of the uncut males…..Howard you should date Mexicans!

                    • yachty

                      You have no clue!

                    • Robert Howard

                      Wow, what a brilliant reply! And it only took you two months. Though I suppose it is better than your homophobic, racist one that apparently got deleted. I’ll be saving that email. Classic.

                    • Mezzra Tey

                      Anti-circumcision groups can be a little nuts. They tend to spread lots of misinformation and it’s usually always the same group attacking people.

                    • Lawrence Newman

                      So you had your boys knife-raped and sexually crippled, and now you’re bragging about it. Nice.

                    • yachty

                      They are perfected. An uncircumcised male is sub-human, really lower than my dog!

                    • Robert Howard

                      Nothing says “perfection” like a big old scar.

                  • Adult phimosis. Not a problem unless the man thinks it is. And doctors as a whole in the USA would say it is. Many men with phimosis know their penis as it is, has always been and not a problem. Kaiser in Walnut Creek, CA. told a 18yoduring his well visit he has to get circumcised being phimonic, else his penis would fall off. He told his experience 3 years later that he no longer feels pleasure during intercourse and foreplay with his girlfriend feels annoying and uncomfortable. He did complain to his doctor, who then said it would get better in time. 3 years goes by and I see a handsome young man who is in deep PTSD. On the verge of crying. Yes the doctor took his frenulum. The harm has been done and 5-7 years post circumcision is when the lost of sensitivity becomes most noticeable due to keratinization. I suggested and outlined
                    tension restoring and legal referral.

                  • Lawrence Newman

                    Circumcision due to adult phimosis is medical negligence because it’s unnecessary. You’re removing the primary sexual organ so the primary sexual organ isn’t tight. This could easily be solved via stretching, steroid creams or last case scenario …. a small slit in the end to free it.

                    Circumcision for phimosis is overkill and goes against the “first do no harm” principle of medical ethics.

              • nick

                which in 99% of cases can be fixed with stretching and a corticosteroid. on top of that phimosis is diagnosed far to early in most cases retraction of the foreskin occurs sometime during puberty not at 6mo. circumcision should not the the first line in fixing phimosis and even if stretching fails to fix it their are other less invasive and less damaging procedures such as preputioplasty or dorsal slit

                • John Palmer

                  See my two above replies. As I mention, my experience is limited to 25 years with ethical doctors.

              • Lawrence Newman

                Not one case of phimosis ever to have affected a boy has necessitated circumcision. Removing a foreskin to cure a tight foreskin (the primary sexual tissue) is like cutting off a leg to cure a verruca on one’s foot.

          • M. Thomas Frederiksen

            Parents are not informed, the staff normally says, “When would you like him circumcised?” Phimosis cannot be diagnosed in adolescents, and is better treated with less invasive means. Ethicists point out that circumcision fails to meet the criteria for proxy consent. Indeed many thousands of men resent what was done to us without our consent.

            The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) says in their position
            paper on the subject that there are no valid reasons to make an ethical
            distinction between female genital mutilation and “non-therapeutic male
            circumcision.” Please take the time to consider their point of view, and think carefully about the ethical issues. I hope that you will reconsider your participation.

            http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976

            • John Palmer

              Some parents may not be informed. In my experience as a parent, I was informed. In my experience the past 25 years as a surgical RN, our doctors were ethical and did inform their clients. I cant’ speak for all US doctors, nor can you.

              I don’t resent what was done to me, as it was the custom at the time. Customs change. Perhaps my father was influenced by his experience of having a circumcision later in life. Quite painful for him. Yes, I know, infants experience pain. What is past is past. Get over it.

              • M. Thomas Frederiksen

                ” What is past is past. Get over it.” Apparently you are not aware that amputation of the prepuce is permanent. Just so you know, it doesn’t grow back, and even with years of foreskin restoration the nerve damage is permanent.

                Also the doctors you work with are not ethical if they are performing circumcisions for phimosis, as there are less invasive options that work just as well.

              • John, I just have to say I was liking you until you said “Get over it.” Is this your answer to the 21 yo man who in PTSD was looking for answers elsewhere because his circumcision doctor seemingly tricked him into having it which took away his sexual pleasure for life and replaced it with a promise it will get better. Get over it. – no one gets over. They assimilate. Yes what’s past is past but for me what is relavent and that helps me and others is making sure it doesn’t happen in the future.

              • Lawrence Newman

                “I don’t resent what was done to me, as it was the custom at the time. ”

                Said by virtually all FGM victims.

          • Up until about 50 years ago, circumcision was almost universal in Australia and New Zealand, too. Now it’s not offered, hardly ever done in New Zealand, seldom in Australia – with no ill-effects. In fact a generation has grown up looking different from their fathers, with no problems there, either. It’s hardly ever necessary, but in the USA the only thing doctors are taught about fhe foreskin is how to cut it off. Parent’s’ choice is seldom well-informed: myths abound. Better than the O R or unsanitary conditions is not doing it at all. The problem is convincing circumcised US doctors in a circumcising culture that it is virtually always unnecessary in newborns. .

            • John Palmer

              With two different doctors about 30 years ago, as a prospective parent I was fully informed. The doctors I worked with the past 25 years were all ethical in their advice to parents. We had such discussions in the O.R. about their pracitce. Your generalizations may apply to some US doctors but certainly not all.

              • I’ll stand corrected if the doctors say the foreskin has 16 known functions (so far) and that it is the primary sexual platform. That circumcision cuts off an average of 75% of the male’s erogenous fine-touch receptors, which changes the breadth and depth sensitivity and sensation, and also the ratio of pleasure and pain receptors, making pain/thermal receptors more prominent. The difference in sexual response is undeniably apparent even to a casual observer. Just seeing the amount and force of precum and ejaculate is telling.

              • Lawrence Newman

                It is not ethical to offer a sexually crippling unnecessary barbaric procedure to parents.

            • yachty

              Some area’s in Australia have a rate of 50% and other area’s 30%. You post is not factual!

          • Consent Forms came about by Jewish parents suing because their boys were circumcised without permission and so they were denied doing it on the 8th day. Still today, proper consent is not given because the full facts are never given. There’s no informed choice at least coming from the doctor or nurse. Circumcising a child is NEVER necessary (the children’s ombudsmen of Norway says this on youtube). There is absolutely no reason. Sure I know many reasons that doctors give that it is good to best to circumcise, but these are trying to provide something (they see as lacking) in exchange for something that has even more value that is never addressed. And again, it is forced circumcision that the true patient resents.

          • Lawrence Newman

            They aren’t given an informed choice. They are not told circumcision removes the primary sexual organ and will destroy his sexual pleasure and cause dysfunction.

          • Rood Andersson

            John … Please let us know when Male Genital Mutilation IS necessary. And what are the “exceptions” that prompt you to assist?

        • “The intent was to keep unqualified practitioners from doing religious circumcisions. ”
          If that was the intent then it seems that a law outlawing circumcision on minors, with stiff sentences to enforce it, would have been the more obvious choice.

        • Lawrence Newman

          Virtually all circumcisions are religious since the medical reasons given for doing “medical circumcision” are 99.9 times out of 100 completely bogus. Only reason to remove a foreskin would be something like frostbite/gangrene or flesh-eating bacteria. Tight foreskin, for example, never requires circumcision. The law should be changed to outlaw foreskin removal except for such life-threatening situations.

    • Hi69

      “does nothing to enhance the health or save the life of a patient. Period.”

      Circumcision does have some benefits apparently… google it.

      • John Palmer

        Glad you point out that there are pros and cons.

        This obviously is a very emotional issue. Freud might say there is a fear of castration being expressed. I’m not Freud nor Freudian. Just tossing it out there to add fuel to the fire.

        • Rodrigo_Girao

          Fear of castration may also be an essential element of blood libel: “If those sickos would do THAT to their own children, just imagine what they might do to ours!”

          • John Palmer

            Good point! 🙂

        • One of my books I own and read- It’s titled Problems of Bisexuality as Reflected

          in Circumcision – Nunberg (hardback)

          Originally printed in the International Journal of Psycho Analysis

          1947. 83 pages.

          5 yo circumcision develops homosexual trends:

          It
          is noted in the psychoanalytic literature that operations actually
          performed on the penis, such as circumcision, arouse castration fears
          whatever the level of libidinal development and facilitate the
          development of homosexual trends in boys. (Fenichel, 1945). Nunberg, in a most interesting article on circumcision and the problems of bisexuality,
          points out that injury to the penis may intimidate the boy and impair
          his development to full virility. However he also proposes that
          circumcision may stimulate the masculine strivings of the child by
          encouraging identification with the father. (Nunberg,1947).

          ————-

          BTW Nunberg is directly related to Nunberg author of

          Amazon.com: Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years …

          http://www.amazon.com › … › Words, Language & Grammar › Communication‎

        • Lawrence Newman

          The only emotion is displayed by those forcing circumcision on babies since circumcision is a non-medical superstitious (emotion) act.

      • There are “benefits” to removing LOTS of body parts. If you remove your fingernails, you’ll never break one below the quick, you’ll never get a hangnail, you’ll never get a nail fungus. Striving for some stretch of a benefit doesn’t negate a man’s right to have his healthy body left alone.

      • Brad

        Bullshit. those benefits are blown out of proportion. Female genital cutting has benefits too. Shall we force it on girls?

        • Yes there are two studies on female circumcision showing the same benefit as there is for men.

      • Lawrence Newman

        It has zero health benefits. Those are post hoc rationalisations. All studies purporting to show benefits are fraudulent or flawed and most are done by culturally biased, profit-making American medical doctors.

      • Lawrence Newman

        Cutting off a glans clitoris prevents cancer of the glans clitoris.

        If I lived in a culture which was biased in favour of cutting off glans clitorises for sex negative, profit-making reasons and I was an unethical doctor, I would say “glans clitoris amputation prevents glans clitoral cancer”.

        Following your current logic, you would say “clitoris amputation has some benefits apparently .. google it”.

        And all the rationalists would shake their heads at that, just as they’re doing at your male circ comment.

  • disqus_BNbEfrPmXP

    Good for the doctors. Circumcision should be a personal choice when the person is old enough to decide for themselves.

  • EuropeanMan

    The Norwegian Parliament messed up in this case. Too much pressure to be “politically correct” and overlook reality.

  • Lloyd Schofield

    This is really not so difficult, males deserve the same protection from forced genital mutilation that females currently enjoy. I hope Norwegian physicians stand firm against this sexist double standard and refuse to mutilate children of either sex

    • John Palmer

      Good point. They can always opt for the procedure later in life.

      • Lawrence Newman

        There are hardly any men who’ve given informed consent for circumcision. I haven’t come across one man circumcised as an adult who was told it would destroy his pleasure. Most have been duped into doing it.

  • “according to state secretary Cecilie Brein-Karlsen at the health ministry. She told newspapers VG and Dagsavisen that Norway’s public health system must now offer the procedure to parents who want their baby boys circumcised..”
    I notice that she did not tell them that the health system must offer the procedure to parents who want their girls circumcised.

  • d5810

    If only doctors in the U.S. were as brave and truly willing to uphold the oath to DO NO HARM!!

    • M. Thomas Frederiksen

      Some do, and their ranks are growing. Unfortunately, painfully few, even among those that refuse to mutilate are willing to speak out about it, thus their colleagues often have no clue as to why they don’t it.

      • John Palmer

        I wonder if this is a regional issue? North vs South? Urban vs Rural? My personal experiences have been very positive in terms of ethics and explanations.

        • A truly ethical doctor would not excise normal, healthy, functional, erogenous tissue from a child’s genitals. Period.

    • yachty

      Circumcision perfects the imperfect and affords a lifetime of benefits!

      • Rodrigo_Girao

        False, false, and false.

      • Peter Adler

        So the male and female foreskin evolved over 50 to 100 million years to function together, but one of them is imperfect? And god if any made a perfect world but made a mistake as to foreskins? And cutting off 30-50 square centimeters of highly erogenous tissue and preventing the normal function of the penis creates perfection? The opposite is true.

        A lifetimes of benefits? Name one. UTI’s are rare and treatable with antibiotics, and rarely cause long-term harm if not treated. Penile cancer is as rare as being hit by lightning. Risk can be reduced to near zero by not smoking and by washing and by treating a tight foreskin. Plus it ‘s treatable without loss of the foreskin, which men invariably choose to keep.

        HIV? It’s unproven whether it has any benefit. At best the benefit is 1.3% for a short time. Men engaged in unsafe sex would be insane not to use a condom. So the choice is keep your foreskin and use a condom (or be monogamous) or hope for a 1.3% reduction and get HIV.

        Plus circumcision increases HIV in women by more than it benefits men.

        The benefits are at best potential, unproven, questionable and weak, and any benefit can be achieved better without it.

      • There is no study conducted over a lifetime except the African HIV/circumcision studies in which case it’s 1 1/2 years.

    • If only. And yet I experience this as reality, for a brief moment, when I bring up male circumcision and the person replies “Where do they do this? ” The last conversation continued: ” Here in the US? No. You must be wrong. You say 70% are circumcised? Are you circumcised? You are? But you must be a few, not the majority. This is troubling. Really?”

  • Greg Hartley

    All children, regardless of gender, culture or parental religion, have a fundamental right to keep all their healthy, functional genitalia. Since an infant is incapable of religious beliefs, imposing an irreversible body alteration on him violates the freedom to choose his own religion as an adult. It differs from education, which can be changed. My body belongs to me!

    • John Palmer

      As you point out, they can choose as adults.

      • lipsy2

        Yes, an adult can choose, but his sanity must be questioned first.

        • Circumcision may be the original body dysmorphia.

  • Angela Erdstrom

    If the doctors will continue to present a unified front against forced genital cutting, the government will have no choice but to revise its position.

    • John Palmer

      Surgical interventions should be for legitimate surgical need not religious custom.

  • Lodewijk Gonggrijp

    Don’t mutilate children for Santa Claus

  • Bravi! These doctors know that “doctors should attend the sick, and leave the well alone”.

  • Jeff Cowsert

    The doctors do not have the right to inflict a non-accidental injury onto a child, nor perform a cosmetic ampuation of a functional part of a healthy child’s reproductive system, nor perform a flesh cutting cult ritual on a child. This is all CHILD ABUSE and those promoting are acting outside existing constitutional law. The alleged “Legalization” of forced circumcision in this country is completely unconstitutional thus null and void! Shame on the perpetrators of this horrible act.

  • Nohelpfulclues

    Unbelievable. Stand your ground, all ethical physicians of Norway! We stand strong in our absolute opposition to genital mutilation of children all around the world, even in the United States! Circumcision of healthy innocent children is wrong, regardless of sex!

  • ricky2B

    “risked being seriously injured during circumcision rituals performed outside the
    health care sector” In USA we have a lot of “medical” circumcisions. About 30% are botched horribly enough that corrective surgery must be done. Estimates of death (two studies in 20th century) ranged from 117 to 230 deaths per year. Primary cause of death is bleeding out, but a good many die from infections than cannot be brought under control. Why does the parliament believe it should force physicians in Norway to take such risks when they have valid moral and ethical objections to doing it?

    • John Palmer

      Doctors should not be forced to do unnecessary surgeries. And all surgeries involve risk.

      Should parents have the option of circumcising male babies? There seem to be opposing views on this.

      I know that there are botched circumcisions that require surgical repair later. Fortunately in my 35 year career, I’ve not been involved in any such botched cases. And, or course, my experience is limited and not universal.

      • “Should parents have the option of circumcising male babies?” What comes to mind is it was the Jewish father who circumcises his son before there was mohels.

  • Nathan

    This has nothing to do with what is in the best medical interest of the children and has everything to do with placating some Jews and Muslims. Making a doctor perform a surgery upon a child that is not in the best interest of the child is to make a doctor betray their patient or risk sacrificing their livelihood for their patient. In the industrialized world all forms of female genital mutilation even those equal or less damaging than a circumcision are illegal, to not only state that circumcision should be legal but that doctors should be mandated to perform them is nothing short of a profound manifestation of abject sexism.

  • Do jewish people have that much power in Norway that they can compel legislators to force doctors to basically torture babies on the command of their parents? This is kind of insane.

    • Krista

      Muslims. I don’t think they have any Jewish population in Norway to speak of. There are now plenty of welcomed Muslims from the middle east who have immigrated there, because of Norway being in the negative when it comes to the replacement level of their own people. In other words, like most of the countries in the world, more and more people either don’t have children or they only have one or maybe two kids. Human replacement level is an average of two (2.0) or more kids on average per family. The U.S.’s average is 1.8 which is below replacement level. Japan sells more diapers for senior citizens than they do for babies, and that’s been going on there for quite some time.

      • Oh, I didn’t know muslims did that child mutilation also.

        • Krista

          Yeah, I guess all the middle eastern countries (Muslims and Jews) usually do. In Israel many no longer do circumcision. The W.H.O. says that 30% of the world’s men are circumcised. All the intactivists say 10%-15% of the world’s men are circumcised. Either way most of the cut men in the world are from the U.S. and the middle eastern countries.

        • Nathan

          Some Muslim mutilate the genitals of children in part because they believe it to be religiously mandated. The Quran has no passages in it that commands or even suggest that the genitals of anyone should be mutilated.

    • John Palmer

      They have that much influence in the US.

  • bosaudf

    And again we discuss “antisemitism”. Sorry, religious circumcision is to be outlawed by death penalty. No ifs, no buts. And if circumcision religions like Islam and Judaism are unable to learn, I’m sorry, this two religions are to be made illegal. I’m sorry, but I’m fed up from this disucssion.

    • Nathan

      Changing people’s sincerely held beleifs is the only way to end a practice like circumcision. The threat of death for circumcising a child without medical need would only harden people’s hearts and deafen their ears. Persecuting an entire group of people because of their religious beleifs is never a good idea. This kind of extreme response doesn’t help as it portrays intactavism as a hate movement not a human rights movement.

  • John Palmer

    I’m not sure it is a valid analogy, a relatively benign procedure vs a truly mutilating one. I say benign since millions of circumcised males seem to be OK.

    • Adam Cornish

      Most female circumcisions remove only the clitoral hood, which is exactly analogous to male circumcision.
      Male circumcision isn’t always benign. If you search for circumcision and wrongful death, you get a lot of hits.

      • John Palmer

        I was wrongly thinking of the more extreme FGM.

        • Brad

          MGM isn’t competitively benign. That’s propaganda.

        • Lawrence Newman

          Circumcision ruined my life. But there again, I was cut at 14 and so actually knew what I lost. You , however, are ignorant due to being knife-raped at birth.

    • Rodrigo_Girao

      Millions of circumcised females also seem to be OK.

    • It’s been said male and female circumcision both remove as much as is possible and still be able to procreate. People have come to find male circumcision is worse than thought, and female circumcision is less. Note one study shows 74% of circumcised males do not experience “petite orgasms”, the powerful but very short bursts of orgasmic pleasure that occur every 5 seconds but can happen hundreds of times. Whereas all intact males do experience this eye rolling uncontrollable pleasure.

    • “When
      people speak of “FGM” they are (apparently) thinking of the most severe forms of female genital cutting, done in the least sterile environments, with the most drastic consequences likeliest to follow. This is so, notwithstanding the fact that such forms are the exception rather than the rule. When people speak of “male circumcision” (by contrast) they are (apparently) thinking of the least severe forms of male genital cutting, done in the most sterile environments, with the least drastic consequences likeliest to follow–because this is the form with which they are culturally familiar. This then leads to the impression that “FGM” and “male circumcision” are “totally different” with the first being barbaric and crippling, and the latter being benign or even health-conferring ”

      http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2014/02/female-genital-mutilation-and-male-circumcision-time-to-confront-the-double-standard/

    • if
      “FGM” is wrong because it “destroys sexual pleasure” – then
      forms of “FGM” that do not destroy sexual pleasure must, on this
      logic, be considered permissible, or else they should be given a
      different name. But if “FGM” is wrong because it involves cutting
      into the genitals of a vulnerable child, without a medical indication
      and without consent, thereby exposing the child to surgical risk
      (without the presence of any disease), and (in some cases) removing a
      healthy part of her body that she might later wish she could have
      experienced intact, then male circumcision is equally wrong on those
      grounds. This is true whether sexual pleasure is “destroyed” or
      whether it isn’t, and whether a complaint is made later or not.

    • Lawrence Newman

      More males die from circumcision than females.

  • RolandDay

    Involuntary circumcision of minor children violates the child’s human right to security of his person. It is an unethical operation. The Norwegian doctors are acting correctly.

  • John Palmer

    I’m learning a lot. And we in California like to think we are more progressive. 🙂 As for those cretins in the Midwest . . . Oh, I’d better not start name calling.

  • Are they going to force doctors to circumcise girls for religious parents too? You know if they do it at home, more than the intended harm might occur.

    • d5810

      That was the rationale for the (luckily short lived) suggestion in U.S. that a “symbolic pin prick” of girls’ genitals be allowed. It was quickly withdrawn after a huge public outcry. Hopefully the CDC will head the outcry in response to their “draft recommendation” that doctors advise all males and parents to-be of baby that circumcision is essential. My fear is that they may withdraw it, but quietly, without informing the public of the reason. Better than proceeding with it but not good enough.

      • The idea is a full blown national machine of professionals that works non stop to promote male circumcision to everyone that has any connection to a penis, is respected with perceived authority and trust, the medical profession is the answer and the CDC directs orders their compliance. I assume selling through repitition willlbe in play so every doctor visit will be used against the foreskin. And with no advocate for the foreskin equally represented alongside the CDC’s mouthpiece of a doctor and nurse, circumcisions will increase. Beneficial claims will reach absurd heights that will be bought by the public as they had in the past. Forced circumcision is about power over others. The CDC will force it, impose it on the medical workers to carry out, probably as a CDC info video with nurse fending questions, because doctors don’t have time for this as it is. Oh wait a minute, I forgot the internet. People go there for health matters too. The question is will our USA doctors and nurses stand up against soliciting circumcision with doubtful facts? Will the public stand up defiantly at every mandated mention?

      • Rodrigo_Girao

        And what dolt made that suggestion? Douglas Diekema, who is also one of the dolts behind AAP’s pro-cutting report. He seems to have a thing for cutting genitals of all kinds.

  • FrederickRhodes

    “Parliament approved the new law last year after reports that babies in Norway risked being seriously injured during circumcision rituals performed outside the health care sector. One baby boy died in Oslo in 2012.”

    The reports were flawed, ambiguous, and biased. They should have stated that “Babies in Norway risked being seriously injured during ritual, routine, and religious circumcisions within or outside the health care sector. Babies die every day from medical and witch-doctor circumcisions, not just one boy in Oslo in 2012.

  • Lloyd Schofield

    I can guarantee you a person who receives cutting on his genitals as an infant or child is not getting any religious uplift from the event. If you do it when you’re older, you’re making a choice and it’s meaningful to you.

  • yachty

    Doctors in Norway are Government employee’s and have no rights to do as they wish! They should all lose their licenses and made plumbers! It is a socialist country……..

    • Nathan

      Doctors have an obligation to their patients to do what is right for them which is direct conflict with what the parents and the Norwegian government desire. For them to behave ethically they have no choice but to willfully defy an unjust law.

  • yachty

    Many states cover it for the poor!

    • Peter Adler

      They may but that’s illegal. Medicaid only covers necessary medical care, not elective surgery. See Peter W. Adler, Is it lawful to use Medicaid to pay for circumcision? 19 J Law Med 335-53 (2011).

      • One of the largest health providers of the nation say upfront they do not cover elective circumcision, but getting to the nuts and bolts of what penile operations are covered are just many ways to circumcise. One unabashed reason is phimosis (infant).

  • The doctors are in the right. Circumcision is horrible. Let it be. Do not try to nice it up, make it prettier, make it safer, and make it more appealing (and increase circumcision rates). It’s not up to the healthcare sector to carry out non health care religious rituals. Stepping in to do these ritual blood and muscle sacrifice so that boys then can carry the yoke of burden is in itself anti-Semitic and anti-religious. Medicine is not part of these rituals. These rituals are sacrifices and that includes being very cognizant of those who had died or been seriously injured for many this is their sacrifice. Parliament is fundamentally changing the rituals by the way they performed.

  • one in five hundred will opt. which sounds high to me .

    • Peter Adler

      I heard from a leading physician that one in 10,000 American men per year volunteers to be circumcised.

  • Great rundown you give. And truly a recipe that is being cooked up now in Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Their Voluntary Male Circumcision Program is now to include infants to get their numbers up. I suspect this too will not go far with mothers. They know about corruption and judge accordingly.

  • Nathan

    You ignored everything that I stated,why is that?

    • yachty

      I believe as most doctors in the USA do that Male circumcision is beneficial. Women in the USA prefer circumcised males. Even Canada is changing it’s policy to more follow our agency’s.

      • Nathan

        You again ignored my question again, please answer.

  • Lloyd Schofield

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Now we have state sponsored genital mutilation (along with flagrant sexism) in Norway.

  • Notastupididiot

    ‘Others pointed to how millions of men around the world are circumcised’ – whilst completely ignoring the BILLIONS of men who aren’t, as well as ignoring the fact that the majority of circumcised males had it forced on them AS BABIES by Jewish and Muslim parents. What’s the Norway parliament going to do – imprison every doctor? Fine them so much that they leave the profession? Religion should never come above child welfare, and parents who genitally mutilate ANY child, male or female, should be locked up for YEARS.

  • Rick Martin

    How anyone could justify cutting the genitals of a baby boy is beyond me. It’s a barbaric ritual based in religion and should be banned. It’s illegal to perform ANY kind of FGM, so why the hell is circumcision still allowed?
    And don’t give me any of those fake medical reasons like cancer and HIV as both as been disproved.

  • thirdalbum

    The rule of “The child must be over 1 year old” is a good start, but it should really be “The child must be over 16 years old”.

    • steinnn

      18 years. Then he can decide for himself in this country. ;-).

  • Lucius

    The practice should be outlawed. Only children at the age of consent should have the right to have that done to their own body. The only time a child should have this done is if the foreskin is cancerous, which is extremely rare in a child.

  • Peter Adler

    In the U.S., physicians cannot violate their ethical duties to the patient, even if there is a law to the contrary. The same must be the case in Norway. They are medical professionals. If the state tells them they must do something that they are not allowed to do professionally, they cannot do it. E.g., cut off a toe if the state demanded it. The Norwegian physicians are absolutely right to refuse to perform unnecessary surgery on infants. Circumcision and unnecessary surgery violate many ethical rules.

    See AMA Cod of Medical Ethics, Opinion 1.02 – The Relation of Law and Ethics:

    “The following statements are intended to clarify the relationship between law and ethics.

    Ethical values and legal principles are usually closely related, but ethical obligations typically exceed legal duties. In some cases, the law mandates unethical conduct. In general, when physicians believe a law is unjust, they should work to change the law. In exceptional circumstances of unjust laws, ethical responsibilities should supersede legal obligations.”

  • Lawrence Newman

    Circumcision destroys sexual pleasure by removing the primary sexual organ. this is the worst form of rape. It is a 5000 yr old act of sexual suppression that causes irreversible lack of sexual sensation, erectile dysfunction and psychological consequences. It is more damaging in sensory terms than FGM. Histological analysis of the erogenous zone has proven that the glans has barely any pleasure-giving properties. When you remove the foreskin’s pleasure hub–the ridged band and frenular delta–you are removing a male’s sexual pleasure.

    This is a human rights abuse.

  • Lawrence Newman

    Sexually crippling boys via removal of their primary sex organ, the foreskin = socially acceptable. Performing less sexually damaging procedure on girls, involving removal of less nerves and tissue = BARBARIC.

    Gynocentrism 101.

  • Gordon Dorbecker

    It is human rights violation and discrimination and bltant disregard for the human rights of males. Wow! So, because someone is illegally breaching baby boys human rights they have legalised it to ensure none are killed while they are abused and have their human rights taken away. Imagine, if this was brought in to hospitals for baby girls. Imagine if the governments decided to kerb the injury or deaths of girls who were circumcised by forcing hospitals to offer the procedure. Can you imagine the outrage! But none for baby boys.

  • Justin Perez

    Anti-Semitism? Not at all and that is even before considering the fact that circumcision is almost universal amongst Muslims and many American Christians.

  • Ruben Reese

    Female circumcision should be allowed as well lest Norway offends Indonesian Muslims. Plus, Muslim girls are being circumcised in back alleys too. Female circumcision should be state sanctioned for the same reason. Not doing so makes Norway not only anti-Islamic but also sexist against boys.

  • steinnn

    None of the mutilations are “medical” as there’s no medical reason to do them. 😉

  • Viorel Predatorul

    I thought Norway has a Child Protection Service (CPS), the notorious Barnevernet. What does it say about circumcising toddlers and babies?

  • Greg Marlow

    One benefit to banning circumcision is that Jewish boys can’t be singled out and herded to the concentration camps like they were during WWII, and Muslim boys can’t be singled out like they were during the partition of Pakistan and India.