Free Republic links to the flawed ABC News story I discussed a few days ago. There’s nothing to go on, since it’s exclusively an excerpt, so I want to highlight reader comments. A couple were intelligent but most are uninformed garbage. For example, this from user NonValueAdded:
Apples and oranges, friend. Cutting off a little skin is very different from injecting a virtually untested drug into a prepubescent child. Signed, DES baby. (Keep that in mind if you want to tell me how safe the new vaccine might be.)
When making comparisons, if one side is bad, the other side must be good. Injecting a “virtually untested” drug is much worse than the commenter’s opinion that is circumcision is just cutting off “a little skin.” It’s apparently not possible to be against both and accept that forcing either intervention on a child is fundamentally wrong. Debate must have a pro-position and a con-position.
Next, from dangerdoc:
Uncircumcised babies or their hygene [sic] motivated mothers pull the foreskin back, there is some swelling, the foreskin gets stuck in the retracted position and cuts off blood flow to the glans. I’ve never seen amputation as the result but I’ve seen some severely inflamed members and a few emergent surgeries.
There is risk to having an intact foreskin in the early pediatric years.
Before anything else, I refuse to respect a doctor who discusses the penis as the “member”. But to dangerdoc’s example, there is risk to having a parent ignorant of the proper care of normal human genitals in infancy. The blame in that case rests with the parent, not biology. Parents have a responsibility to care for their children. That means not retracting the adherent prepuce of an infant child. Circumcision is not a valid option for disposing of that responsibility. Every doctor should know this basic fact.
The winner in all the irrational comments, though, is Canticle_of_Deborah. First, this:
Uhh, what adult male is going to voluntarily undergo this procedure? It’s much faster and easier medically and psychologically to perform this on an infant. I’m female and I cringe for any adult man who has to have this done.
She does not, however, cringe for the infant males who don’t need it but have it done to them anyway. She also ignores that approximately 3 in every 1,000 intact males choose circumcision out of necessity or desire after reaching the age of majority. But she’s convinced that it’s better to circumcise all 1,000 at birth to save those three the cringe-factor as adults. Remember, it is medically necessary for only a subset of those three.
Still, I demand proof that it’s easier psychologically. The adult male’s ability to choose and understand the procedure is significant when compared to the infant’s inability to choose or understand. But Canticle_of_Deborah doesn’t much care for choice.
I believe there is an increased risk of urinary tract infections in uncircumcised men as well. I don’t think it’s worth delaying the procedure. Adult men are not going to have this done voluntarily.
She offers no context for the increased risk before deciding that it’s not worth waiting. Especially when adult men might choose something different for their bodies than what she would choose for their bodies.
Free Republic bills itself as “The Premier Conservative News Forum”. Cutting the healthy genitals of infants is the least conservative stance possible in the circumcision debate.