Passed to me by a friend, let’s draw the natural comparison on this story:
Thailand’s Health Ministry ordered hospitals and medical clinics to temporarily stop performing castrations for non-medical reasons, saying Wednesday that the procedure performed on transsexuals needs stricter monitoring.
“As of today, doctors can perform the surgery if there is a medical reason to do so — not for any other reason,” ministry spokesman Suphan Srithamma said.
The move came after a leading gay activist, Natee Teerarojjanapongs, called on the Medical Council to take action against clinics that perform castrations on underage boys.
I don’t have any knowledge of this topic beyond what this story offers. I assume it’s true that some number of males undergo castration to achieve “feminine qualities”. Like medically unnecessary circumcision, neither parental proxy nor choice by a legally incompetent individual should factor. Unlike medically unnecessary circumcision, this appears to be at the male’s request. But this is important to remember:
“It’s a totally wrong perception that castration will make boys more feminine,” Natee told The Bangkok Post last week. “These youngsters should wait until they are mature enough to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of such an operation.”
Unfortunately the real problem appears to be doctors overlooking the existing rule requiring parental consent for boys until they reach age 18. I don’t think there’s contention that enforcing this is reasonable.
So, instead, a thought experiment. I would like to assume that parents are rational enough not to sign off on this type of stupidity. I don’t assume that, of course, because the evidence proving otherwise is too strong. But apart from the distinction¹ on future reproductive capability from the two procedures, how is it any more reasonable to permit parents to impose circumcision than to permit them to impose castration? We can discuss degrees of violation, but that’s a distraction from the truth that they’re the same kind of violation. We don’t debate the depth to which it’s acceptable to stick a knife into someone, even though differences exist in probable outcome from the depth of the assault.
When considering surgery on minors, any intellectual journey towards acceptance after establishing medically unnecessary is unethical and illegitimate. There is no objective justification, so any legal permission granted to parents by society is subjective reasoning devoid of reason. It doesn’t matter if the topic is castration, genital cutting, breast augmentation or any other unnecessary intervention a second-party prefers. The individual isn’t just supreme, he is all that matters.
¹ Reproduction is not necessary for the individual to live, so its foundation is subjective, exactly like medically unnecessary circumcision.