Most of this article from a Portland, Maine television station is boilerplate stupidity. The parents’ opinion matters exclusively. It’s no big deal. The potential for benefits overcomes the absence of medical need. Every one of those incorrect excuses is the brain output of a narcissist. But this is a different, less-common expression of that:
In the past, pain relief was not commonly used on babies during the procedure. [Obstetrician-Gynecologist] Dr. [Anne] Rainville says she always uses a local anesthetic.
“When I do a circumcision on a baby, they cry less than the baby next door who is getting their blood drawn. The way we do it is very humane and it is not a terrible barbaric procedure as some people might be led to believe,” she said.
The use of pain relief is not the primary determinant for whether or not a surgical procedure is humane. Humane intervention requires science. Humane intervention requires medical need. Humane intervention respects individual human rights. Medically unnecessary genital cutting forced on an individual fails every test of humanity.
A doctor can cut off a child’s healthy arm without forcing the child to feel it. Only a fool would argue that such a procedure is humane and not terrible or barbaric. Cultural blindness based on tradition and peer pressure does not excuse violating a healthy individuals bodily integrity.
From the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1995, the discriminatory federal prohibition on medically unnecessary genital surgery on female minors:
In applying subsection (b)(1), no account shall be taken of the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed of any belief on the part of that or any other person that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.
Any other person includes parents. And doctors. And God. And Jimmy next door who will (allegedly) tease Billy in the middle school locker room if Billy’s parents leave his healthy, normal foreskin intact.
Subsection (b)(1) states:
(b) A surgical operation is not a violation of this section if the operation is —
“(1) necessary to the health of the person on whom it is performed, and is performed by a person licensed in the place of its performance as a medical practitioners; …
That is humane. Where that exact interpretation is not also applied to males, any pretense that the use of pain relief makes the surgery acceptable is willful denial. It is a shameful ignorance of humanity. It is the permanent subjugation of a part of an individual to another’s control.
Post Script: Note Dr. Rainville’s statement that boys under local anesthetic cry less. She did not say they don’t cry.