Benefits of male circumcision 'outweigh the risks'

 

The health benefits of circumcising baby boys outweigh the risks associated with the procedure, according to leading paediatricians.

New guidance by leading children’s doctors in the United States will reignite debate on the controversial subject which has pitted faith groups against opponents of religion who have described the operation as little more than genital mutilation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, (AAP) which had previously opposed the routine circumcision of newborns, said parents should decide and urged insurance companies to pay for it.

“The benefits of newborn male circumcision justify access to this procedure for those families who choose it,“ the academy said.

The recommendation follows research showing circumcision reduces the chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

It can also lower the chance of urinary tract infections and penis cancer, it is claimed.

This summer a German regional court in Cologne concluded the practice amounted to bodily harm.

The ruling prompted a furious joint response from European Jewish and Muslim leaders who described it as an affront to religious freedom.

“Circumcision is an ancient ritual that is fundamental to our individual faiths and we protest in the strongest possible terms against this court ruling,” the statement said

In Britain the procedure for religious or other non therapeutic reasons is considered legal provided that both parents consent.

In guidance published in 2006 the British Medical Association said it had no policy on the issue because of the “absence of unambiguously clear and consistent medical data on the implications of the intervention.”

However it said doctors were under no obligation to comply with a parents’ request to circumcise a child. Some NHS Trusts only carry out the surgery on medical grounds.

In the United States where nearly half of newborn males – about one million per year - are circumcised the practice is on the wane.

But a recent study projected that continued decline could add more than $4bn in health care costs due to increased illness and infections.

It is estimated around 30,000 boys are circumcised each year in the UK.

The procedure involves removing the tip of the penis reducing germs which growth underneath the foreskin.

The AAP concluded that bleeding and infection as a result of the surgery were rare.

Opponents argue that the foreskin is highly sensitive and plays a vital part in lubrication during sex.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Graduate Pricing Analyst - 6 months / 1 year analytical experience

    £20000 - £25000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

    Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

    IT Specialist for a one month cover role

    £110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: IC...

    History Teacher

    £7200 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education is...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits