J Med Ethics 30:237 doi:10.1136/jme.2004.009001
  • Symposium on circumcision

Irreversible bodily interventions in children

  1. S Holm
  1. Correspondence to:
 S Holm
 Cardiff Law School & University of Oslo;

    Is the opposition to circumcision partly driven by cultural prejudices?

    In this issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics you can read a minisymposium on circumcision, mainly dealing with the circumcision of male children at an age where they cannot consent, but also touching upon issues of female genital mutilation.

    When reading the papers I found it strange, but of course not really surprising given its symbolic importance, that we are so worried about interventions on the male penis. Why are we not equally worried about other irreversible bodily and mental interventions to which parents subject their children? I will not dwell on the irreversible mental imprinting, apart from mentioning that upon becoming a father I was amused to find that certain Danish lullabies and children’s rhymes had apparently been stored in my mind for the last 40 …

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