Dutch Doctors Raise Voice Against Male Circumcision
Dutch doctors have spoken out against the practice of circumcision in their country as they think it is harmful and painful, and violates children’s rights. The Royal Dutch Medical Association reveals that around 10,000 to 15,000 boys are circumcised annually in the Netherlands for religious reasons. Dutch doctors say male circumcision can cause problems and violates a child’s integrity. Complications arise in around five percent of circumcisions and there can be psychological implications too.
Doctors Bid to Change Religious Mentality
Male circumcision is common among Jewish and Muslim boys. Dutch doctors are urging religious leaders to search for other methods that are not painful or irreversible. The Netherlands banned female genital mutilation in 1993. Dutch doctors are urging politicians and social activists to step in and speak out against male circumcision. The doctors want politicians to change society’s and religious group’s mentality which is in favor of circumcision.
Why Circumcision can be Dangerous
Dutch doctors say circumcision can lead to minor and serious complications like panic attacks, urethral stricture, infection and bleeding. They find no valid medical reason to mutilate the genitals of healthy young children and babies who are not old enough to understand the procedure and give their consent. But, the doctors do not want a ban on circumcision as this could drive the practice underground.
Safe Circumcision is Recommended
The doctors say circumcision should be done in a safe manner by a doctor using anesthesia. In the Netherlands, Muslim boys aged between five to seven years are circumcised in special clinics. 50% of Jewish babies also undergo circumcision every year in this country. A rabbi group says their community faces no complications during circumcision as they have strict rules regarding the practice.
The doctors’ protest against circumcision is sure to stir controversy as circumcision is widely practiced among Jews and Muslims. In June, both these communities had protested together against the Dutch government’s bid to ban the religious killing of animals.