How do you justify the forced genital mutilation of minors?
- Invent pathological conditions that make it indispensable.
- Link anatomically correct male organs to the proliferation of disease.
It used to be that forced genital mutilation, particularly the forced genital mutilation of males at any age, was sanctioned under the immunity of "religious freedom." Additionally, parental privilege and cultural relativism could be invoked in order to justify the forcible amputation of a male child's foreskin.
Given other practices that fall under this category, however, the alibis of "religious freedom, "parental choice" and "cultural immunity," have lost validity.
Perhaps the best example of this is none other than female circumcision; a federal law makes the forced cutting of girls of any kind, and at any age, a punishable offense, and there are no exemptions for "religious" female genital cutting, or cultures where female genital cutting is practiced.
For this reason, advocates of circumcision, particularly male circumcision, have sought to, not only justify the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors, but to make the practice indispensable.
For over a century, circumcision "researchers" can be seen trying to link circumcision with the prevention of feared diseases; there is no shortage of "studies" that say that circumcision prevents this or that, all written by "researchers" who promote its universal adaption. They can also be seen trying to pathologize the presence of anatomically correct male genitalia, and the many stages of its development, setting arbitrary ages by which the foreskin should be "retractable for cleaning."
While there will never be enough "research" to justify the forced circumcision of girls, it seems circumcision advocates have made the covert contract with themselves, that the forced circumcision of boys will one day be justified, even made compulsory, if only they could come up with the right amount of "studies" that say circumcision prevents disease. We see them trying very hard today, promoting "mass circumcision" in Africa, in the so-called name of AIDS prevention.
Despite their hard work and efforts, however, not a single respected medical organization has found the latest HIV/circumcision propaganda to be convincing enough to recommend the circumcision of minors. In their latest statement, the AAP tries to sell the one-line "benefits outweigh the risks" slogan, but still concluding that the same "benefits" are "insufficient to recommend the practice."
Not quite having achieved the recommendation they wanted, it appears circumcision advocates are returning to the older tactic of trying to pathologize anatomically correct genitals.
WHO Codifies False Conditions Into Existence
The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released their new 2013 ICD-10 codes, which are scheduled to go into effect in October 2014. ICD, which stands for "International Classification of Diseases", is the global system for reporting morbidity and mortality statistics, for billing, and for health care automated decision support.
The new codes for conditions of the foreskin include a prominent (first on the list) billable code, for a condition whoever wrote these codes want to call "adherent prepuce in the newborn." If these codes go into effect, it means that doctors and hospitals will be able to claim "adherent prepuce" as a valid medical diagnosis in neonates (valid in the sense that a billable code exists in the WHO ICD system, not that it is an actual medical condition necessitating surgical correction), and be able to legally charge to "correct" it, thereby possibly justifying routine infant circumcision.
The new proposed codes under classification N47, "Disorders of the Prepuce," can be seen here. (To view, click on the hyperlink for "9 codes" in the second bullet point to read the full list of nine, beginning with N47.0 - Adherent Prepuce, Newborn.)
Without medical or clinical indication, doctors have no business performing surgery on healthy, non-consenting newborns, let alone asking parents to make any kind of "decision." However, if these codes, which the US Centers for Medicaid and Medicare use, go into effect, doctors will have a code available to justify routine infant circumcision, starting next year unless the new code is rescinded. A whole new ICD-11 code system is slated to be introduced for 2015.
Who Did It?
Research documents the normal development of anatomically correct male organs,(1-5) and there is no such thing as a pathological condition known as "adherent prepuce in the newborn"; all boys are born with the prepuce fused to the glans at birth, and if we are to believe the WHO, then all boys are born with a pathological condition which doctors can charge for "correcting." In essence, the WHO's board of physicians has declared the newborn foreskin, which is normally fused to the glans at birth, to be a disorder.
"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." - Abraham Lincoln
The fact that the WHO's board of physicians have decided to call a normal stage of development in the male infant penis a medical disorder, and have even made an ICD code for it does not make it a medical disorder. The foreskin is not a congenital birth defect.
What I want to know is, who was responsible for writing these codes?
I suspect it was Americans who are in cahoots with fellows at the American Academy of Pediatrics; judging from their last statement, the AAP would like nothing more than to force the 18 state Medicaid programs who dropped coverage for male infant circumcision to start covering it again.
It is despicable to know that interested individuals at the WHO can use their ICD system to codify anatomically correct organs as pathological disorders, in order to warrant medical reimbursement for their "correction."
Who wrote these codes?
Who is responsible for this deplorable travesty?
Why would a Geneva-based international organization do such a thing as pathologize all males at birth? I would expect that coming from a country where circumcision is rare, that the people of Switzerland would have a better understanding of anatomically correct male genitalia.
The WHO needs to be called on this immedeiately.
- Kayaba H, Tamura H, Kitajima S, et al. Analysis of shape and retractability of the prepuce in 603 Japanese boys. J Urol 1996;156(5):1813-5.
- Imamura E. Phimosis of infants and young children in Japan. Acta Paediatr Jpn 1997;39(4):403-5.
- Ishikawa E, Kawakita M. [Preputial development in Japanese boys]. Hinyokika Kiyo 2004;50(5):305-8.
- Øster J. Further fate of the foreskin: incidence of preputial adhesions, phimosis, and smegma among Danish schoolboys. Arch Dis Child 1968;43:200-3.
- Thorvaldsen MA, Meyhoff H. Patologisk eller fysiologisk fimose? Ugeskr Læger 2005;167(17):1858-62.