I compared infant male circumcision to tattooing a child based on a recent example from California. My original analysis translates to this story:
A Floyd County man has been charged with child cruelty after authorities say he tattooed his 3-year-old son.
Floyd County Police Sgt. Teri Davis said Eugene Ashley, 24, tattooed the back of his son’s right shoulder with “DB,” which stands for “Daddy’s Boy,” sometime this spring. The man told police he was intoxicated at the time, Davis said.
The children remain with their mother; Eugene Ashley was arrested May 21 and faces charges of child cruelty and tattooing a person younger than 18 years old, the latter being a misdemeanor, Davis said.
Like father, like son. Right? Or is there some limit to parental consent and imposition? Again, both a tattoo and a circumcision are a permanent mark on the child’s body without the child’s consent. There is justifiably a law against tattooing, but there are more dangerous risks – bleeding, infection, amputation, death – involved in circumcision, an unnecessary surgical procedure. This is a double standard with no justifiable defense.
As I wrote in my initial entry:
None of these possible exemptions satisfies the primary ethical flaw in either violation. The act is forced upon the child without his consent. Necessity requires an acceptance of limited proxy parental consent for infant male circumcision that does not exist for tattooing because the probability of a medical need for circumcision is not equal to zero. But when the surgery is unnecessary to the child’s health, circumcision is the same violation, a permanent change to the child’s body without his consent. The disparity in protecting the rights of children is obvious and inexcusable.
For a few opinions on this story, read through the mind-numbing comments at Momania, Theresa Walsh Giarrusso’s blog hosted at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Is it informed to have an opinion no deeper than “what we do is good, what we don’t do is bad”?