Egypt finally banned female genital mutilation. This is a pleasant surprise, and should be commended.
Unfortunately, a recent case in Egypt reveals a key flaw in medical thinking that dismisses complications from unnecessary genital cutting, whether on girls or boys.
In the latest fatality, 12-year-old Bedur Ahmed Shaker was taken by her mother to a private clinic in Minya, a town on the Nile south of Cairo, for the operation. She died before she could be transferred to hospital.
Her mother accused the woman doctor of negligence, charging that her daughter’s death was linked to the anaesthetic and not the removal of the clitoris, for which she had paid 50 pounds. Police have arrested both women.
Any time you read of more serious circumcision complications in America, it’s almost always attributed to some other factor. Claims of negative reactions to anesthetic are common, and probably factually true in most, if not all, cases. But when the cutting is not medically necessary, it is ethically wrong to blame only the anesthetic. If we don’t allow the unnecessary genital cutting, there would be no reason to use anesthetic.
One thought on “Will it be enforced?”
I wrote a paper in university about female circumscion. The research horrified me, and made me happy that I live where I do. One article I read really shook me though, it was a female reporter (British I think) speaking with another woman who had been circumscied at age 8ish (this was a long time ago that I read this) and she didn’t understand why the reporter wasn’t circumscised, she was down right shocked that she wasn’t. The women went as far as comparing what they each looked like and had a really frank discussion on the issue.
What really spoke to me in the article was how it’s a cultural thing, right or wrong it’s how some people are raised and it’s what they believe. That being said I think it’s wrong, any genital mutiliation without the consent of the individual is wrong. But how do you go about undoing something that is culturally acceptable? I’m glad that Egypt is banning it, and hopefully they are also educating at the same time. I’m a big believer in educating people in a frank and honest matter, perhaps then generations of culturally accepted protocol can be undone.
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