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NHS performing religious circumcisions

  • 7 Comments
Some hospitals are flouting NHS guidelines by offering infant circumcision on religious or cultural grounds, it has been revealed.

More4 news said the procedure has been performed 1314 times in Birmingham alone and Stephen McCabe, Hall Green MP, doesn’t believe it should be paid out of the public purse.

He said to More4 News, ‘I think it’s (the NHS) there to service health needs and that’s the only priority and that’s what people believe they are funding.'

Doctors at the offending trusts have justified their actions, stating that they are protecting young boys against the unsafe and unregulated circumcision practiced outside hospitals.

One PCT explained: ‘We have received anecdotal evidence of boys requiring multiple plastic surgery operations to correct poorly performed circumcisions. In some cases, the consequences lasted into adulthood.’

  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • If there is a public health need, then the service should be made available (although not necessarily free on the NHS). By rejecting this need what else should the NHS stop providing? Do we really want a return to back street abortions? What is clearly needed is a wellran and regulated service that can meet the religious and cultural needs supported by the knowledge, skills and expertise that comes with the NHS.

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  • Charlotte Peters Rock

    No National Health Service organisation has any right or duty to mutilate children.

    Where this happens those people responsible should be taken through Court and jailed.

    Any parent trying to procure this mutilation should equally be treated as flouting the law. If their child was born here, or lives here, the child needs a 'place of safety' - preferably far removed from any Social Worker..

    If the parents are not British Nationals, they should be removed from this country.

    Which religions demand this mutilation? Those religions need to be outlawed in a civilised country.

    But then, perhaps Britain is not civilised, after all?

    Who runs this country?

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  • I agree that the NHS should indeed carry out this procedure to safeguard young boys. Badly performed religious circumcision is still widely practiced and can cause infections leading to later problems. To correct arising problems is a burden of cost to the NHS. This is a simple operation requiring minimal stay in hospital. We cannot stop religous circumcision, so let's protect yound innocent babies.

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  • Circumsistion is performed for cleanliness. Whether it be for medical or religious practice the theory behind it is the same. The penis has no foreskin and therefore is easier to clean and less like ly to get infected.

    It is simple and none invasive and heals well, if done correctly.

    I have been a nurse for a long time and have seen much worse things happen to foreskins!!

    I find the views considering male circumsistion 'mutilation' very offensive, I am a white Bristish woman and have lived here all my life, and I chose to have my son circumsised. I did however find it very difficult to find a decent medical practictioner, willing to perform it within the NHS. Therefore I believe circumsistion should be performed in NHS hospitals, so as it can be regulated, but a fee should be paid to cover the NHS time and resources.

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  • If one researched the evidence base for this practice looking at the incidence of infection due to non removal of the foreskin, this practice would fail.
    This archaic custom should not be condoned because of its religious; cultural or historical past. Each child should be allowed to make their own decision at an appropriate age, freedom of choice; not a dictatorial edict, stamping its mark on an infant that is unable to defend its choice in life.
    It requires the re-education of the people who promote this procedure, informing them that this choice is not a prerequisite for cleanliness and it doesn’t result in infections, anecdotally, I haven’t had an infection in 50 years. The GPs within the Birmingham area should be more proactive in this area of patient care; or are they implicit in this treatment regime, especially if they are from the same cultural background as their patients.

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  • George Kuchanny

    This is an outmoded and barbaric practice - no matter what the defenders of it say. Hygiene reasons? - quite simply a joke. The same futile argument is trotted out for female circumsision. Should the NHS offer this as well? Fact - those who have had this practice inflicted on their offspring use almost any unstustainable argument to justify. To those who are considering it - examine the evidence before proceeding. Religious grounds? I wonder - what God demands this kind of thing? The same one who demands that witches be burnt clearly.

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  • So you wish to regulate the mutialtion of boys, why not girls too as here are currently 16000 at risk despite despite the legislation.

    The removal of sexually erogenous tissue from children regardless of gender is child abuse and Nurse in New Mexico became conscientous objectors to his practice over a decade ago.

    Those who continue to say his should be allowed need to look at what is happening international and they will be proven to be ignorant and uneducated. Shame on you.

    National Organisation Circumcision Iformation Resource Centre of Northern Ireland

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