Circumcision Debate: Charity manager dismisses health claims about the procedure

Circumcision Debate: Charity manager dismisses health claims about the procedure

Circumcision: Who should be responsible for this life choice?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Charity manager David Smith has dismissed claims circumcision cuts the risk of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.

The issue has been in the news recently after a devout Muslim failed to persuade a high court judge to rule his sons should be circumcised after the boys’ mother, who grew up in Devon and is separated from their father, disagreed.

That case was obviously based on religious grounds, but health reasons are often cited as a benefit of the procedure.

But Smith, whose charity 15 Square helps circumcised men suffering with physical or psychological damage caused following the operation, dismisses those theories.

He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: “There are always people willing to pump money in to finding out why circumcision is a good thing because they're making money. If you throw enough money at research you can prove anything.

“The medical industry is in the United States is making a great deal of money out of it. It’s a great industry in the States [where many children are circumcised]. The HIV rate in America, where the circumcision rate is high, is also high – much higher than in Europe. Some of the lowest rates of HIV are in Nordic countries, where the rate of circumcision is also low.

“The only person who should consent to having a part of their body amputated is the owner of the body part. Once they get to an age where they can make their own informed choice that’s fine. But no child under the age of three is liable to contract a sexually transmitted disease, and once you get to point, a condom is far more effective than circumcision.”