Cultural Circumcision in EU Public Hospitals -- an Ethical Discussion
Bioethics 2009 October; 23(8): 470-482
The paper explores the ethical aspects of introducing cultural circumcision of children into the EU public health system. We reject commonplace arguments against circumcision: considerations of good medical practice, justice, bodily integrity, autonomy and the analogy from female genital mutilation. From the unique structure of patient-medicine interaction, we argue that the incorporation of cultural circumcision into EU public health services is a kind of medicalization, which does not fit the ethos of universal healthcare. However, we support a utilitarian argument that finds hospital based circumcision safer than non-medicalized alternatives. The argument concerning medicalization and the utilitarian argument both rely on preliminary empirical data, which depend on future validation
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