<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html><head><title>Intactivism news</title> <meta name="subject" content=""> <meta name="description" content="The case against infant circumcision and for genital integrity"> <meta name="keywords" content="circumcision, foreskin, Intactivism, circumstition,restoration,news,HIV,AIDS,Africa,circumcised,intact,human rights,consent,voluntary,aap policy,cologne,koln,germany,metzitzah"> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=WINDOWS-1252"> <link rel="shortcut icon" href="../Images/favicon.ico"> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../intact.css"> </head> <body> <p><a href="../index.html#news">HOME</a> </p> <h1>Intactivism News</h1> <h2>January - February, 2015</h2> <p><!--<A HREF="news68.html">To more recent news</A> --> <a name="c-news"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <center> <table bgcolor="#ccffff" cellpadding="5" width="50%"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>News items are copied to <a href="http://circumstitionsnews.blogspot.co.nz/" target="_blank">Circumstitions News</a> blog (which takes comments) </p> <p align="right">- thanks to <a href="http://joseph4gi.blogspot.co.nz/" target="_blank">Joseph4GI</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">How shocking female genital cutting is! - whoops!</span> <a name="aus-f-or-mgc"></a><br> </div> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/bendigo-councillor-elise-chapman-tweets-graphic-female-genital-mutilation-photos/story-fnj4aog3-1227240584305" target="_blank">News.com.au</a> (Australia)</p> <p>February 26, 2015</p> <h3>Bendigo councillor Elise Chapman tweets graphic <s>female</s> genital mutilation photos</h3> <p>A VICTORIAN councillor has tweeted graphic <s>female</s> genital mutilation photos to a supporter of a controversial mosque development. </p> <p><b>WARNING: Disturbing image below.</b> </p> <p>Bendigo councillor Elise Chapman has been outspoken against Islam in her campaign to stop a $3 million mosque development approved by Bendigo City Council in June 2014.</p> <p>A mosque supporter had sent a message to Chapman on Twitter saying she hoped the mosque would get built soon.</p> <p> It s great to see someone who cares about all Bendigo residents and their religions, the supporter tweeted.</p> <p>Ms Chapman responded with the image showing five <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[<span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">boy</span>]</span> babies with bloody wounds.</p> <p> Oh, we could have this here too? Would you like your fanny sliced off, she captioned the photo.</p> <p> Yes. I m opposed to female genital mutilation, child brides, inequality, women beating, all part of Quran, read it. <br> <img style="width: 650px; height: 366px;" alt="The graphic tweet that has caused so much reaction" src="../Images/news-images/chapman-tweet-fgc.jpg"></p> <p class="caption">&nbsp;<span class="caption-text">The graphic tweet that has generated so much reaction</span> <span class="image-source"><em>Source:</em> Twitter <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">&nbsp;[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Elise Chapman has since had her Twitter account suspended.</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span></span> </p> <p>Ms Chapman was one of two councillors who voted against approving the mosque, which would include two prayer rooms, a shop and community sports centre.</p> <p>The project has been the subject of vocal protests and a social media campaign from opponents, including 350 who submitted formal objections to the council.</p> <p>About 40 letters of support were also received.</p> <p>Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearings into the development are ongoing.<br> <br> <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Apart from Ms Chapman's Islamophobia, only one problem with this story: the picture shows <span style="font-weight: bold;">boy</span> babies who have just been genitally cut ("circumcised"). Here is the original from <a href="http://www.quranicpath.com/misconceptions/circumcision.html" target="_blank">here</a> (NSFW). <br> </span></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><a href="../Images/news-images/islamic-mgc-nsfw.png" target="_blank"><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"><img style="width: 165px; height: 100px;" alt="boys after Islamic circumcision" src="../Images/news-images/islamic-mgc-nsfw.png"></span><br> <span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"></span></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><a href="../Images/news-images/islamic-mgc-nsfw.png" target="_blank"><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Click to enlarge.</span></a><br> <span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"></span></div> <p><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Will learning this change Ms Chapman's view of male genital cutting? Or female? Since the firestorm this generated may have ended her career, does it matter?</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="uk-botcher"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2970145/Callous-NHS-child-doctor-struck-running-sideline-mobile-circumcision-service-cash-left-baby-boys-screaming-agony.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a> (UK)<br> February 26 2015 </p> <h3>'Callous' NHS child doctor struck off for running sideline mobile circumcision service for cash which left baby boys screaming in agony&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <b><li>Dr Mohammed Siddiqui was NHS paediatrician at Southampton Hospital</li> <li>He ran an unregistered mobile circumcision service for cash as a sideline</li> <li>Siddiqui botched procedures, leaving babies in agony and needing surgery</li> <li>He failed to respect hygiene and had a 'reckless regard' for their safety</li> <li>Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found 69 allegations proved</li> <li>Tribunal ruled Siddiqui should be struck off the medical register</li> <li>But there are fears he could continue to run mobile service because male circumcision is not illegal in the UK, and common in Muslim communities</li> </b> </ul> <p><b><i>by Claire Carter</i></b></p> <p>A 'callous and contemptuous' paediatrician who ran an unregistered mobile circumcision service has been struck off after he carried out a string of bungled and unhygienic procedures - including one while a baby boy was screaming in agony because the anaesthetic had worn off.</p> <p>Dr Mohammed Siddiqui, 49, of Southampton, carried out four botched circumcisions on youngsters at their homes in Southampton, Bath, Birmingham and Reading for parents who wanted to have their children circumcised for religious reasons.&nbsp;</p> <p>But the NHS doctor failed to wear gloves or carry proper resuscitation equipment, leaving one baby suffering seizures and another in agony when he woke up during the circumcision and Siddiqui decided to carry on anyway.</p> <p>He has now been struck off the medical register.</p> <p>Siddiqui's 'mobile clinic' was not registered with the Care Quality Commission and the doctor failed to secure proper insurance for each procedure. He worked at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust at the time he was running the clinic for cash, as a sideline, between June 2012 and November 2013.</p> <p>He was suspended but carried on carrying out the procedures using a loophole in the law. He has since resigned from the NHS.</p> <p>Following a three-week hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, 69 separate allegations against Dr Siddiqui were found proved and he was branded a risk to patients, having acted with a 'reckless disregard' for their safety.</p> <p>Siddiqui performed the procedures on four separate boys.</p> <p>The families said the medic did not wash his hands prior to the procedures treatment, did not wear surgical gloves, failed to carry out proper examinations and did not have proper resuscitation equipment including oxygen and airway equipment.</p> <p>He even carried surgical materials in plastic carrier bags and used baby wipes during the procedures.</p> <p>An investigation began after a complaint by Kelly Braiha and her husband Ghali, from Littlehampton in West Sussex, which claimed their 23-month-old son Najem was left traumatised and suffered an infection because Siddiqui did not take hygienic precautions.</p> <p>When one boy suffered an adverse reaction to a local anaesthetic, Siddiqui did not realise it was a seizure and failed to act immediately to ensure an ambulance was called.</p> <p>Instead, when the boy's eyes started rolling back in his head and he began frothing at the mouth, Siddiqui thought the boy was cold and asked the baby's father to wrap him in a blanket and turn the central heating up. The baby was later taken to hospital where suffered two further seizures.</p> <p>When the parent of a second boy rang the medic to say his son was still in pain, Siddiqui failed to respond and in an email accused him of 'telling lies'.</p> <p>A third boy - whose parents are themselves both doctors - woke up during the procedure and began screaming in agony but Siddiqui saw 'no point in waiting any longer'.</p> <p>The hearing was told he kept saying: 'I didn't need to stop because the child was already crying.'</p> <p>An operation on a further youngster was such a poor standard he had to carry out another circumcision on the same child the following day.</p> <p>The boy suffered injuries from the operation because too much skin was removed, Siddiqui failed to refer him to a hospital and then ignored his parents when they expressed concerns over his condition, the tribunal had heard.</p> <p>Circumcision is only available through the NHS if there are compelling medical reasons but healthcare workers still have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission if they want to perform home circumcisions for religious reasons.</p> <p>However it is feared Siddiqui - despite being struck off - could try to continue to operate his dangerous private mobile clinic because male circumcision is not illegal in Britain. The practice is popular among the Muslim community.</p> <p>Panel Chairman John Donnelly said Dr Siddiqui had been 'evasive and contradictory' during his evidence and said the medic had treated the GMC with 'contempt.'</p> <p>He added: 'His misconduct was both a particularly serious departure and reckless disregard of good medical practise and patient safety. Some of his behaviour as previously identified, involved breaches of very basic mandatory medical principles.'</p> <p>Mr Donnelly said Siddiqui had put one baby's life at risk by failing to deal with the situation properly when a baby suffered a seizure and had caused considerable pain by continuing with the circumcision when one baby woke up crying.</p> <p>The chairman added:&nbsp;'He seemed completely indifferent to the fact he had caused pain to this baby and actually said that when babies were already crying he established the effectiveness of the local anaesthetic by beginning the procedure and seeing the reaction.</p> <p>Siddiqui also failed to obtain adequate histories of each boy he was performed the procedure, it was said, as well as failing to make sure his equipment was aseptic.</p> <p>Mr Donnelly added 'Mr Siddiqui said he is an experienced, hospital-based paediatric surgeon, yet he made a number of failures in basic hygiene in preparing babies for the circumcision and in preparing himself to perform them. Taken together they amounted to serious failures that must have increased the risk of infection to the very young children upon whom he was operating.</p> <p>'Given his experience he must have known that the level of hygiene he was applying fell far below the standard expected of a medical practitioner carrying out a surgical procedure in the home and was wrong.'&nbsp;</p> <p>The Panel said it was also concerned that Siddiqui's attitude showed a significant lack of concern for the wellbeing of the babies and their parents.&nbsp;</p> <p>It found the only option was for 'erasure', or striking off, from the register.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Donnelly said:  The Panel has concluded that Mr Siddiqui s behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration.</p> <p>It is satisfied that erasure is necessary in order to protect the public, to uphold professional standards and to maintain confidence in the profession.</p> <p>The panel also found he often showed an arrogance and was reluctant to take advice from senior doctors</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="metzitzah52"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://jpupdates.com/2015/02/24/exclusive-mayor-de-blasio-annuls-metzitzah-bpeh-regulation/" target="_blank">Jewish Press</a><br> February 24, 2015</p> <h3>Mayor de Blasio Annuls Metzitzah B peh Consent Form Regulation</h3> <p><i>by Jacob Kornbluh</i></p> <p>NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to annul the regulation enforced by the Bloomberg administration on the practice of Metzitzah B peh, JP has learned.</p> <p>The city has agreed to <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">no longer require that a mohel obtain a signed consent form</span> before he is allowed to perform the ritual. The City will support a Board of Health consideration to repeal the health code provision regarding written consent, the mayor s office announced Tuesday evening.</p> <p> While the de Blasio Administration continues to believe that MBP carries with it health risks, given<span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"> the sacred nature of this ritual to the community</span>, the Administration is pursuing a policy centered around education of health risks by the health care community and respect for traditional practices by the religious community, the mayor s office said in a statement.  Increasing trust and communication between the City and this community is critical to achieve the Administration s ultimate goal of ensuring the health and safety of every child, and this new policy seeks to establish a relationship based on engagement and mutual respect. </p> <p>During the race for mayor,&nbsp;de Blasio criticized former mayor Michael Bloomberg s attitude and enforcement of the new consent regulation on Metzitzah B peh. He promised Jewish leaders that he will seek to find a solution the moment he will enter office. After entering office, the mayor engaged in discussions with community leaders and health officials to reach a compromise that will satisfy the Orthodox Jewish community over the Bris Milah dispute with City Hall.</p> <p>At a get-out-the vote rally in Williamsburg two days before the Democratic primaries for mayor, Satmar (Ahronim) community leaders declared that de Blasio pledged to eliminate the consent forms required for Metzitzah B peh. As first reported by <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYbQjQHnOn8">JP</a>, one community leader&nbsp;told the crowd assembled that de Blasio was  the first one in politics to come to our defense on the issue of Metzitzah B peh. And he s the only candidate that recommitted himself now to guarantee that we as Orthodox Jews can practice [it] without compromise. </p> <p>After Mr. de Blasio has finished his speech, Rabbi Moshe Indiq approached the microphone and said he d been asked  to announce to our community that Mr. de Blasio was  the only mayor candidate that promised & it will be eliminated! </p> <p>According to the new deal reached&nbsp;with a coalition of Rabbinical leaders from across New York City, the administration will ask hospitals, obstetricians and pediatricians who serve the community to distribute information about the health risks associated with and MBP. Health care providers will also provide parents with contact information for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) for parents who seek additional information.</p> <p>Additionally, the community will direct mohelim to continue to respect the wishes of any family that has chosen to not have MBP performed on their son.</p> <p>In return, the rabbinical coalition has pledged, for the first time, to cooperate with the DOHMH in identifying the mohel in question and asking the individual to undergo testing <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">in cases where an infant has HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus 1) associated with MBP</span>.</p> <p>In cases where the mohel tests positive for HSV-1, DOHMH will conduct DNA testing to attempt to definitively establish the source of the baby s infection as part of a comprehensive investigation of any other possible sources. If the mohel is found to have infected the infant with herpes, he will be banned for life from performing MBP by DOHMH, with support from and cooperation of the community.</p> <p>The community has also agreed to engage in campaign to have every mohel who performs a circumcision or MBP take steps to lessen the risk of transmission of&nbsp;herpes.<br> <br> <a href="metzitzah51">Earlier story</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="chase-14"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/palm_beach/">Palm Beach News</a> (Florida) <br> February 23, 2015</p> <h3>Protesters at Doctor's Office Hope to Stop 4-Year-Old From Being Circumcised</h3> <p>by Dierdra Funcheon</p> <p> A 4-year-old boy named Chase has been at the center of a long court battle between his parents over whether he should be circumcised. The courts have now ruled that the circumcision be allowed to proceed, and the boy is reportedly due to be circumcised tomorrow at South Florida Pediatric Surgeons in Plantation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Protesters, who believe that childhood circumcision is wrong because it's an invasive cosmetic surgery performed before a boy is old enough to consent, will be holding signs outside the doctor's office from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. today.&nbsp;</p> <p>Organizer Jen Cote VanWie said they hoped to persuade Dr. Subhash Puranik not to perform the procedure. She said this tactic worked a few months ago, when a doctor in Boynton Beach had been scheduled to circumcise Chase but backed out after a protest at his office.</p> <p>"We hope to convince this doctor to change his mind," she said. Even though the court had ruled that the boy's father be allowed to schedule the circumcision, the court "can't force [Puranik] into doing the surgery."</p> <p>The saga began in 2010, when Dennis Nebus of Boca Raton and Heather Hironimus of Boynton Beach had a child together. They did not remain a couple but entered into a parenting agreement more than a year later. The agreement clearly stated that the father would be responsible for scheduling and paying for the boy's circumcision.</p> <p>But after the mother learned more about what the procedure entailed, she objected because, court papers said, it was "not medically necessary and she did not want to have the parties' son undergo requisite general anesthesia for fear of death."</p> <p>Both a local judge and then an appeals court eventually sided with Nebus. A judge ordered that Hironimus stop speaking to the media, but anticircumcision activists -- sometimes called "intactivists" -- largely took up the cause on her behalf, organizing protests and launching a website, savingchase.org, and a group, Chase's Guardians.</p> <p>Jen Cote Van Wie said she became interested in the intactivist movement when she became pregnant and researched circumcision. She became an activist "when I found out that babies are dying from this."</p> <p>Jonathan Friedman of Chicago designed the Saving Chase website and also does work for Attorneys for the Rights of the Child. He says he became involved in the intactivist movement because he had problems with his own circumcision.</p> <p>He said that last year, Chase had a circumcision scheduled with a Boynton Beach doctor but that at the last minute, after a protest, the doctor backed out.</p> <p>Friedman says that "a lot of doctor policies require consent from all guardians" and that the Boynton doctor had even asked the court if he would be legally protected from lawsuits by the mother if he performed the procedure; the judge would not guarantee it. The doctor, he says, "called me two hours into the protest and said, 'I am on your side. Unless [the father] hands me a signed and notarized consent form from the mother [I won't circumcise Chase].'"</p> <p>Friedman said his group disputes the supposed health benefits of circumcision.<br> <br> <a href="#chase-13" target="_blank">Earlier story</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="malay-fgc"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://tribune.com.pk/story/841392/female-circumcision-on-the-rise-in-malaysia/" target="_blank">The Express Tribune</a> (Pakistan)<br> February 20, 2015</p> <h3>Female circumcision on the rise in Malaysia</h3> <p><strong style="font-weight: bold;">Syahiera Atika, a 19-year-old Malaysian girl &nbsp;has happily embraced western-style capitalism but in contrast strictly follows the local interpretation of Islam as she informed the </strong><em style="font-weight: bold;">Vice</em><span style="font-weight: bold;"> of her circumcision.</span> </p> <p>Female circumcision involves the surgical removal of all or part of a woman s clitoris. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classed this procedure as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).</p> <p>WHO also defines it as an operation that  <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">involves partial or total removal of the external</span> female <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">genitalia, or other injury to the</span> female <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">genital organs for non-medical reasons</span>. </p> <p>Syahiera however, rejects the notion that it is inhumane and says that&nbsp; I m circumcised because it is required by Islam. She refers to it as  wajib , which means any religious duty commanded by Allah.</p> <p> I don t think the way we do it here is harmful, she said, adding that  it protects young girls from pre-marital sex as it is supposed to lower their sex drive. But I am not sure it always works. <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"> [</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Of course it does not affect their drive, only their sensations.</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span></p> <p>According to a 2012 study conducted by Dr Maznah Dahlui, over 93 per cent of Muslim women surveyed had been circumcised. This made Syahiera among the majority of Muslim women in Malaysia.</p> <p>Dr Dahlui also noted that the procedure was increasingly performed by trained medical professionals in private clinics, instead of by traditional circumcision practitioners.</p> <p>Shocking to Western sensibilities, Dr Maznah insisted that Malaysia s version of the procedure in less invasive than in other parts of the world.</p> <p>Obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Mighilia of the Global Ikhwan private clinic located in Rawang, north of Kuala Lumpur, admitted that she performs a more drastic version with a needle or scissors.  I just take a needle and slit off the top of the clitoris, but it is very little, she said.  Just one millimetre. </p> <p>WHO has declared FGM to provide no medical benefits whatsoever. It simply reflects the deep-rooted inequality between the sexes. For this reason, the&nbsp;United Nations General Assembly in 2012 unanimously passed a resolution&nbsp;calling it a  <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">human rights violation</span> and urged states to ban the practice.</p> <p>Some Malaysian medical practitioners also defend the practice by passing judgment onto other countries.  We are very much against what is going on in other countries like Sudan, says Dr Ariza Mohamed, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital in Kuala Lumpur.</p> <p> That is very different from what we practice in Malaysia, she said adding  and there is a big difference between circumcision and female genital mutilation. </p> <p>All Malaysians however, do not support the practice. Syarifatul Adibah, who is the Senior Programme Officer at Sisters in Islam, a local women s rights group, insists that female circumcision isn t once mentioned in the Quran.</p> <p>Instead she points to its popularity as a stemming from an increasingly conservative interpretation of Islam.  Previously it was a cultural practice but now because of Islamisation, people just relate everything to Islam. And<span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"> when you link something to religion, people here follow it blindly, they don t enquire</span>, she explained.</p> <p>The practice is not banned in Malaysia, although public hospitals are prevented from performing the surgery.&nbsp;More concerning however is that in 2009 the Fatwa Committee of Malaysia s National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs ruled&nbsp;that female circumcision was obligatory for all Muslim women, unless it was harmful.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="nh-medicaid2"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://nhpr.org/post/house-committee-hears-circumcision-bill" target="_blank">New Hampshire Public Radio</a></p> <p>February 18, 2015</p> <h3>House Committee Hears Circumcision Bill</h3> <p>Today a house committee considered a bill that would prohibit Medicaid from funding circumcisions of newborn baby boys.</p> <p>Bedford Republican Keith Murphy sponsored this bill. He firmly believes circumcision is dangerous  potentially, very dangerous.</p> <p>"One hundred and seventeen children a year, on average, die from circumcision complications. In fact it s one of the leading causes of neonatal male deaths," says Murphy.</p> <p>Medical experts are highly skeptical of that number, which comes from <a href="http://www.academia.edu/6394940/Lost_Boys_An_Estimate_of_U.S._Circumcision-Related_Infant_Deaths">a report by an anti-circumcision advocate</a>. For the only year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked this data in 2010, there were no [reported] <a href="../death.html">deaths</a> from circumcisions.</p> <p>Still, Murphy says New Hampshire should join the 18 states that have cut Medicaid payments for what he calls an elective procedure  including California, Florida and Maine. Circumcisions cost New Hampshire's Medicaid program about $212,000 every year.</p> <p>But anti-circumcision activists didn t talk much about the financial bottom line.</p> <p>Ronald Goldman, Director of the Boston-based Circumcision Resource Center, painted a dark picture of circumcision s impact on the male psyche.</p> <p>"Anger, a sense of loss, sadness, and sexual anxieties....A recent study found a connection between circumcision and the risk of autism," said Goldman.</p> <p>The bill s opponents disputed these claims. A rabbi also warned it would discriminate against low-income Jews. <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Since when did the taxpayer have to fund religious rituals?</span> </p> <p>Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, meanwhile, countered circumcision carries public health benefits, including lowered risk of urinary tract infections and some sexually transmitted diseases.</p> <p>Jay Smith, a retired family physician, spoke on behalf of the New Hampshire Public Health Association.</p> <p>"Basically, I think we just feel that it s bad public policy to remove a procedure from Medicaid that is still approved for other insurance," said Smith.<span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"> [</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">And doubtless other insurance&nbsp;</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">justifies funding it&nbsp;</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">because it's covered by Medicaid.</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span></p> <p>If passed, it s worth noting this bill could impact a lot of people. The latest data from 2010 found Medicaid paid for <a href="http://www.whijournal.com/article/S1049-3867%2813%2900055-8/fulltext#tbl2">nearly 30 percent of the babies born in New Hampshire</a>.<br style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"> <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">There were 12,352 live births in NH in 2012, some 6,000 of them boys, some 2000 of those covered by Medicaid. The circumcision rate was 75% in 2009, so some 1500 of them would be genitally cut - IF Medicaid pays for it .</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span><br> <br> <a href="news66.html#nh-medicaid">Earlier story</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="foregen"></a><br> <table style="text-align: left; background-color: white; width: 70%;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://motherboard.vice.com/read/regrowing-foreskins-like-salamander-arms" target="_blank">VICE: Motherboard</a><br> February 17, 2015<br> <br> <big><span style="font-weight: bold;">How One Company Aims to Help Circumcised Men Grow Their Foreskin Back</span></big><br> <span style="font-style: italic;">by Arikia Millikan</span><br> <br> If someone has grown up male in the United States, odds are that he doesn t have a foreskin. Most Americans likely haven t given this much thought, and if they have, it s probably along the lines of  good, it s better this way. <br> <br> But a growing number of men known as "intactivists" are expressing outrage about being circumcised which they call an  unnecessary amputation  before they were old enough to understand the implications of the procedure and consider providing consent.<br> <br> As adults, short of undergoing a complex surgery that transplants scrotal tissue onto the penile shaft, or practicing a body mod technique called  tugging that can sometimes stretch the remaining foreskin tissue back over the head of the penis, these men have been left to wonder:  What would sex be like with a foreskin? <br> <br> Now, a company called Fore gen purports to soon be able to help these men answer that question by using regenerative medicine to regrow their foreskins much like a salamander can regrow a severed appendage.<br> <br>  The premise behind Foregen is that if we are regenerating entire body parts from more complex body parts, why not apply this to the only body part that hundreds of millions of boys are missing, says Foregen spokesperson Eric Clopper.<br> <br> Of the 660 million circumcised men worldwide, 115 million of them are American, making the United States the country with the most circumcised men, even outnumbering African and Middle Eastern countries, according to st ats from the World Health Organization. In fact, the United States is the only developed country where male infant circumcision is the norm, rather than something done out of religious ceremony.<br> <br> Today, national circumcision rates hover between 50 60 percent, but in the 1980s as many as 83 percent of infants were circumcised in the Midwest; in some places it was so common that physicians wouldn t even bother cons ulting new mothers on whether or not they want their infant sons circumcised, they d just go ahead and do it.<br> <br> Though circumcision has been steadily dec reasing in the US, dropping about 10 percent over the past 35 years and hitting a regional low of 30 percent on the present day West Coast, rates are much higher than in European countries. There, only about 10 percent of boys are circumcised, and rates are as low as 1.6 percent in Denmark.<br> <br> But what exactly are circumcised guys missing? Depending on who you ask, the answer ranges from  penile cancer to  the best sex you and your partner have never had. It s hard to weigh the factors around this issue, as the science is wrought with bias and even deliberate interference, and sexual enjoyment is largely subjective. But after conducting extensive research on the topic, I ve found the intactivists make a more compelling case.<br> <br> Since the 1800s, proponents of circumcision in the US have pointed to health as the main reason parents should have their infants circumcised. Back then, circumcision was medically touted as a method of reducing a boy s urge to masturbate, which was believed by the Puritans of New England to be the cause of illnesses. There s a pretty clear medical consensus these days that this isn t the case, but the tradition lingered and foreskin became associated with a new host of ailments.<br> <br> In December of 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a draft endorsing infant male circumcision. This mirrors a 2012 statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics which links circumcision with the decreased transmission of HIV, STDs that can cause cancer, and urinary tract infections. However, both statements were called out by the international medical community by and large as lacking on a scie ntific and eth ical basis.<br> <br> When it comes to medical recommendations about circumcision, there is an undeniable cultural bias that is persistently reflected in the scientific literature. Most medical societies in developed nations except for the American ones agree that in environments where hygienic conditions allow men to wash themselves regularly, any health benefits circumcision might offer cease to outweigh the risks.  The other claimed health benefits, including protection against HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts, and penile cancer, are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, states the critique of the AAP s stance on circumcision led by Danish epidemiologist Morten Frisch.<br> <br> The European scientists did find that circumcision can result in reduced UTIs, but only by about 1 percent. They cite the AAP s own estimates of the risk of complications from circumcision to conclude that  1 case of UTI may be prevented at the cost of two cases of hemorrhage, infection, or, in rare instances, more severe outcomes or even death. A UTI is no picnic, but I m sure it beats a penile hemorrhage.<br> <br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Logic is often no match for religious zealots, or those on the other end of the spectrum: "circumfetishists."<br> <br> This isn t a new stance either scientists h ave been arguing against circumcision on the basis of health benefits since the 1970s. But logic is often no match for religious zealots who think masturbation is a sin, as well as those the other end of the spectrum circumfetishists. Most egregiously, one Australian man named Br ian Morris has been plaguing circumcision-related research for the past decade, lying about his scientific credentials and publications, submitting criticisms of circumcision research in which he disproportionately cites him self, and  issuing misstatements faster than they can be checked and refuted. I can t speak to his motivation for doing this, but one circumcision watchdog site observed him linking to circum cision erotica.<br> <br> Aside from the scientific debate, there is a parallel ethical debate which revolves around the issue of consent. Even if medical science could irrefutably prove health benefits from circumcision, many intactivists contend that performing a preventative surgery on a child is unethical; the decision to circumcise should only be made for children in medical emergencies, or voluntarily by adults such as is the case with cosmetic surgery and other body modifications. This view rubs up against religious views that circumcision is necessary to protect children from their sexual impulses, which could distract them from God.<br> <br>  I think that children should be protected from having their genitals modified because they don t understand what s at stake, says Brian Earp, an ethics researcher at the University of Oxford.  In general we should consider legal adults competent to modify their own bodies. He raised the point that removing the breast buds of infant girls could prevent breast cancer, but nobody would seriously recommend doing that in a medical setting.<br> <br> Earp says he became interested in the ethics of circumcision after the city of San Franciscio considered ban ning infant circumcision in 2011, and more so in 2012 when a local court in Germany ruled that child circumcision was illegal, even with parental consent, after a botched circumcision involving a four-year old Muslim boy.  While the court held that religious circumcisions in fact are to be deemed illegal because they violate the child's right to physical integrity and self-determination, it differentiated such acts from instances when a circumcision is medically necessary, the ruling reads. Similar legal measures have been considered in Finland, Denmark, and Sweden.<br> <br> Religious dictates aside, the main ethical consideration parents use to have their baby boys circumcised in the US is the pop cultural belief that in doing so they are somehow protecting their kids from future locker room harassment. But studies show this isn t actually a problem if guys are going to have their penises made fun of for any reason, it will probably be the size, not whether or not they re circumcised.<br> <br> But locker rooms are one thing what about the room where it really matters: the bedroom?<br> <br> Think about what a foreskin does, biologically: In a non-erect penis, the foreskin covers the shaft completely, hanging over the tip and making it effectively an internal organ. When its gets hard, the foreskin secretes lubrication that allows the skin to slide back and forth against the shaft. When it gets really hard, the top part of the foreskin flips inside out, exposing a really sensitive part called the frenulum and the head of the penis, which is almost always otherwise covered. Some liken the function of a foreskin to that of a lip or an eyelid, as it protects the mucosal membrane beneath.<br> <br> Circumcision removes about 15 square inches of skin containing about 20,000 nerves (as an adult), makes the penis an external organ with the head constantly exposed, disables the frenulum, the lubricating function, and its gliding mobility, and even dulls the color of the penis and that s if the procedure goes well.<br> <br>  Overwhelmingly, men who have foreskins like them and want to retain them, whereas men who have never had a foreskin assume it s useless, Earp says.<br> <br> Largely absent from the scientific and medical literature is research on the sexual benefits of foreskin for men; there s almost a complete void when it comes to how male circumcision impacts sex from a female partner s perspective. A 2015 paper by Jacobs and Arora claims that foreskin has basically no effec t on sexuality, but it cites likely biased sources connected with Brian Morris, and, as Earp points out in a critique published in the American Journal of Bioethics, the research they cite relies mainly on a pair of clinical trials that were carried out not on infants but on adult men who were voluntarily circumcised.<br> <br> But even absent a basis for comparison or any compelling research, intactivists contend that the loss is dire.<br> <br>  The effects of adult circumcision, whatever they are, cannot be simply mapped on to neonates, Earp says.<br> <br> Likewise, the big question for the folks over at Foregen is if they can map the function of adult foreskin back onto someone who was circumcised as a neonate.<br> <br> Clopper, whose friends call him  foreskin guy, has been a vocal intactivist ever since his college rugby team went to Scotland.  We d get really drunk and naked and do really stupid things. Not gay things, just weird things, Clopper says, which was when he noticed that his Irish counterparts weren t circumcised, prompting a debate over which penile format was better. I said,  I think being circumcised is better so I ll do my own research. Now that I know that having the entire penis is better, it seems insane that I felt otherwise, Clopper says. Ever since his initial foray into circumcision research, he s connected with several other men who also feel they have been robbed of one of nature s coolest biological functions, and are pissed about it.  It s really a brainwashing, he says.  Once they realize what they lose and the internet s a huge help that s where the outrage comes from. <br> <br> The biomedical technologies that would enable a procedure like this to be conducted safely are still theoretical at best, but Fo regen founder Vincenzo Aiello of Rome, Italy, says he plans to have a procedure patented and cleared for clinical trials within five years.<br> <br>  The peripheral nervous system can regenerate. The only obstacle to getting this to work is getting the new nerve endings to connect to the severed ones, Clopper says.  We are able to graft entire limbs to amputees right now. We re doing the same thing using the same exact technology but on a smaller scale with a bigger market. <br> <br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; "Now that I know that having the entire penis is better, it seems insane that I felt otherwise."<br> <br> The process Clopper described would involve taking a donor foreskin and decellularizing it, or 3-D printing a new cellular skeleton, then  reseeding the decellularized matrix with stem cells matched to the recipient.  They ll pick up on the cellular signals and grow into the full tissue, Clopper says. They completed their first animal experiment in December of 2013 at the University of Bologna s School of Veterinary Medicine in Italy.  Foreskin has proved exceptionally fruitful as a regenerative agent, making the likelihood of real foreskin regeneration in vivo, on a living male, all the better, the websi te claims.<br> <br> Though the science may be theoretically possible, it s definitely not there yet. Perhaps the greatest challenge, even beyond the theoretical stem cell science, is the piece that involves grafting or regenerating peripheral nerves; nobody can do that yet, and the first people to figure it out probably won t use it for foreskin.<br> <br> When I asked Aiello about the exact details of the procedure, he said he couldn t tell me because he wanted to protect his future patent, but I got the feeling that he still had some conceptual track to lay. After all, Aiello is a mosaic artist, not a scientist. That said, plenty of startup founders know nothing about the technology that powers their products when they go into VC meetings. Currently, he is working on a sculpture project that he described as an anatomical depiction of the adult foreskin, which he expects to be highly controversial.<br> <br> The Forege n team admits that  the main obstacle in achieving foreskin regeneration is aligning the overwhelming demand for a cure for circumcision with the correct scientific personnel. Aiello told me the biomedical researchers who have agreed to work with Foregen so far have done so on the condition that he doesn t name them.  I think they are a little bit scared for many reasons. They don t want to be remembered in history for regenerating the foreskin. It s basically a taboo. <br> <br> Aiello estimates that Foregen, a nonprofit registered in the US and Italy, has raised about $100,000 to date from private donors, mainly Americans, and intends to crowdfund the rest. But this is a negligible amount compared to what will be needed to set up a clinic if and when the procedure makes it through clinical trials.  We d like to do everything in four years, but we don t know if this will be possible because the bureaucracy makes the entire process very slow, he says.<br> <br> Regardless of whether or not Foregen meets their quotas, the main variable that will impact the prevalence of infant circumcision in the United States and beyond in coming years is the culture. If present trends are any indication, that culture is shifting in favor of foreskins. What s needed now to confirm that this is indeed the most beneficial path health-wise, ethically, and sexually is unbiased research collected to this end that could formally influence the recommendations of respected medical bodies and perhaps even local law.<br> <br> When I asked Earp how to achieve this, he shrugged.  It would be great if there was some dispassionate researcher somewhere who was just curious about the effects of circumcision. <br> <br> <br> Correction: This post was updated to clarify how often Brian Morris's research criticism cites his own work, changing "mostly" to "disproportionately."&nbsp; The post was also updated to clarify that the city of San Francisco considered, not proposed, a 2011 proposal for a circumcision ban.<br> <br> <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[<span style="font-style: italic;">Variations of this story were published widely with headings like "Men Will Soon Be Able To Regrow Their Foreskin". This is hopelessly optimistic and discounts the importance of leaving babies' foreskins on them. Already some objectors to infant cutting are being told "Who cares? If he doesn't like it, he can just restore it when he grows up."</span>]</span><br> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="malta-intersex"><br> </a> <table style="text-align: left; background-color: white; width: 70%;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150216/local/-Healthy-hermaphrodite-is-both-man-and-woman.556257" target="_blank">The Times of Malta</a><br> February 16, 2015</p> <h3>Healthy hermaphrodite is both man and woman</h3> <p><b>Castrated at seven  but now welcoming Malta s stance on  intersex <br> </b></p> <p><i>by Claudia Calleja</i></p> <p>When Tony Briffa was seven years old doctors in Australia made <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">a choice that was never theirs to make</span>  castration.</p> <p>Tony was born with healthy testes, as well as a vagina, and doctors decided it made more sense for Tony to live life as a woman  called Antoinette.</p> <p>But Tony  who was born intersex  never felt comfortable being a woman, or a man for that matter.</p> <p> Nature  many would say God  made me a&nbsp;healthy hermaphrodite... I tried my best to be a woman but I couldn t keep up the lie forever. Something was going to give.</p> <p> At 30 I rejected what the doctors had done to me and started living life as a man. I was open about my past, about&nbsp;the way I was born, and what doctors had done to me. Now, at the age of 44, I am comfortable explaining I am both a man and a woman, Tony tells Times of Malta.</p> <p>It is because of this personal bitter experience that Tony, born to Maltese immigrants in Australia, is glad that<span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"> the Maltese government is doing something about this through the Gender Identity Bill</span>, currently being debated in Parliament.</p> <p>The draft Bill proposes <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">prohibiting doctors from carrying out surgery on intersex children unless it is a medical emergency</span>.</p> <p>It also allows parents to wait until an intersex child turns 14 to officially register the gender as male or female.</p> <p>Tony agrees that the law should not allow doctors to change the physical sex of a child, unless it is medically essential.  Sadly,&nbsp;castrations and physical sex changes are exactly what happen to children all over the world  it happened to me. As a Maltese person I am very proud Malta is the first country to stand up and put a stop to it, says Tony who was born with Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.</p> <p> I was born with the same chromosomal pattern and testes like typical boys but because my body doesn t fully respond to testosterone I was also born with a vagina.</p> <p> Doctors decided I should be raised as a girl because my genitals appeared more female than male, but incredibly they also chose to castrate me even though there was&nbsp;no medical need to remove my healthy testes and they didn t know what I would want when I was older, Tony adds.</p> <p>Tony spent many years on female hormone treatment but never identified with the imposed gender.</p> <p>"Doctors decided I should be raised as a girl because my genitals appeared more female than male, but incredibly they also chose to castrate me even though there was no medical need.</p> <p> I struggled being the girl and woman doctors wanted me to be. How could I deny the real me and keep up the charade? How would I have relationships? I was lonely, confused&nbsp;and profoundly sad. </p> <p> Although I threw myself into my career, community work and music, my personal life suffered enormously. It affected my relationship with my parents and siblings and I avoided intimate&nbsp;relationships.</p> <p> I often considered ending my life, Tony recalls.</p> <p>At the age of 30 Tony renounced this imposition and lived as a man for some time. But this too felt wrong.</p> <p>Tony then understood that happiness lay in being true to nature  and embracing both genders.</p> <p>Armed with this new confidence Tony became the first openly intersex mayor in the Western World  serving as deputy mayor of the City of Hobsons Bay, Victoria, between 2009 and 2011, and mayor between 2011 and 2012.</p> <p>Tony believes the Gender Identity Bill is important because it will stop doctors&nbsp;from imposing genders.</p> <p>It will also ensure people could have their gender recognised without having to lie and be ashamed.</p> <p>Tony has had a female and a male birth certificate and now has a blank one. Legal issues presented by Tony s non-specific birth certificate meant marriage was not possible in Australia where the law only allows a union between a man and a woman. In September 2013, Tony married Manja Sommeling in New Zealand.</p> <p>Documents, Tony believes, should not refer to a person s gender  because it s irrelevant . But, if gender markers are to stay, then there should be  M or  F for those who feel male or female.</p> <p>There should, however, also be additional categories such as  M and F for adult intersex people that want their sex to be recognised for what nature made them, and  X for people who feel outside of the male and female categories.</p> <p> Personally, I would not want  X on my documentation, Tony says.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <a name="qsl-dog"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/doctor-took-his-dog-to-surgery-with-him-and-did-not-wear-gloves-while-circumcising-patients/story-fnn8dlfs-1227211766245" target="_blank">The Courier-Mail</a> (Queensland)</p> <p>February 8, 2015</p> <h3>Doctor took his dog to surgery with him and did not wear gloves while circumcising patients </h3> <p><i>by Kay Dibben<br> </i></p> <p>A GOLD Coast surgeon was barred from performing circumcisions after he undertook the procedures without wearing gloves and had his dog at his practice during consultations. </p> <p>Dr Rodney Michael Tracey went to a tribunal to apply for a stay on the conditions placed on his medical registration in February last year, but was unsuccessful.</p> <p>One of the conditions imposed by the Medical Board of Australia was that he complete an approved education course in infection control.</p> <p>He was not allowed to perform circumcisions until approved by the board, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal said in a recently-published decision.</p> <p>The conditions were put in place because a board committee believed Dr Tracey s practise of medicine was below the accepted standard of a medical practitioner.</p> <p>The action was taken as a result of notifications to the Health Quality and Complaints Commission about Dr Tracey s performance of circumcisions.</p> <p>The board said there were factual matters that could not legitimately be disputed by Dr Tracey, including that he did not wear gloves while performing Plastibell circumcision procedures.</p> <p>The board told the tribunal Dr Tracey s dog was present at his practice during the course of consultations.</p> <p>Dr Tracey claimed there was limited evidence to support the board s decisions which were manifestly inappropriate and said the decisions were vague and imprecise.</p> <p>The tribunal said there was no evidence of any adverse impact on Dr Tracey by imposition of the conditions.</p> <p>Dr Tracey did not provide evidence as to the extent the circumcision ban affected his practice.</p> <p>He pointed to the large number of Plastibell circumcision device fittings he had performed, from the original complaint in 2012 until the board decision in 2014, without complications or adverse outcomes.</p> <p>The board said it had expert evidence that did not support Dr Tracey s practises and which suggested his conduct was below acceptable standards.</p> <p>The tribunal refused the application for a stay of the board s decision.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="fl-devil"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://www.ocala.com/article/20150207/articles/150209747?p=3&amp;tc=pg" target="_blank">Ocala Star Banner</a> (Florida)<br> February 7, 2015</p> <h3>Uncle accused of trying to circumcise toddler says 'the Devil' made him do it</h3> <p><i>Austin L. Miller</i></p> <p>OCALA  For the last seven or eight years, Larry Leroy Floyd said he has heard the same voice in his head, a voice he calls  the Devil. </p> <p>Floyd said the voice has been controlling his actions ...<!--to the point where it almost cost him his life. He said that, while crossing the street in 2007, he was arguing with the voice in his head when he was hit by a vehicle.</p> <p> I need help. I need a mental examination, medication. I'm mentally ill, said Floyd, sitting on an aluminum bench at the Marion County Jail.--></p> <p>On the afternoon of Jan. 31, Floyd said the voice told him to injure his nephew.</p> <p> I grabbed skin and I cut and when I was finished, I flushed the foreskin (of his nephew's penis) down the toilet. It was the worst thing it has ever told me to do, Floyd said describing how he attempted to circumcise his 21-month-old nephew.</p> <p>Charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, Floyd was arrested by Ocala police ...<!--not long after someone called 911 to report what he had done.</p> <p>The child has since been treated at UF Health Shands Hospital and has been released after undergoing surgery to mend broken vessels. Officials say they are hoping the boy will make a full recovery.</p> <p>According to an Ocala Police Department report, the 24-year-old Floyd was in a room with the victim when he came running out with the child in his hands and told two adults -- both men who were in the residence with three other children -- that he had tried to circumcise the toddler. The boy was bleeding heavily, officers were told.</p> <p>Floyd told one of the men that he needs to call 911, and the man went outside, leaving Floyd holding the child.<br> </p> <p>The child's parents, who had gone out and were near their residence, were told that their son was bleeding. The child's father and the man who had left Floyd inside the residence  at Spring Manor Apartments  returned and saw Floyd holding a knife.--></p> <p>The boy's father told officers he saw his son bleeding from his penis and asked Floyd what had happened. He said Floyd told him that he had tried circumcise the boy ...<!--and the father noticed that Floyd was holding a knife.</p> <p>The man said he was going to punch Floyd, but Floyd then put down the large kitchen knife and fled the apartment without the child.</p> <p>Authorities say an officer saw Floyd, who was shirtless, with no shoes and wearing gray striped shorts, walking north in the 600 block of Northeast 27th Avenue. The officer said he identified himself as a police officer. Though Floyd stopped, he didn't acknowledge the officer, authorities say. Another officer arrived and Floyd was ordered to the ground, handcuffed and placed in a cruiser to go to the OPD for questioning.</p> <p>The child was first taken to Munroe Regional Medical Center, then transferred to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville for further treatment.</p> <p>At the police department, Floyd told a detective that he  needed a mental evaluation. --></p> <p>In his interview with the Star-Banner, Floyd said he  was possessed at the time he tried circumcising his nephew. He said when he  came to his senses, he realized what he had done...<!--.</p> <p> It wasn't a dream and I was awake, he said.</p> <p>Floyd said he tried to get a cellphone from one of the men at the home so he could call for help.</p> <p> I was freaking out, he said.</p> <p>With a huge smile on his face, which wasn't often during the interview, Floyd said he has frequently babysat the little boy. He said he has roughly a half a dozen nieces and nephews and buys chocolate and sweets for them.</p> <p>The knife Floyd used was a steak knife, which he got from the kitchen, Floyd said. Floyd, who's on suicide watch at the jail, hopes his family can do two things for him.</p> <p> I want them to pray for me and I do want them to forgive me. I'm sorry for what I did. Tell my sister(the child's mother) that I'm so sorry, he said.--></p> <p>Clara Hurt, Floyd's mother, said ...<!--his sister has  forgiven him, and that the little boy is healing. She said--> the child's mother just wants to know why.</p> <p>She said the little boy had some broken vessels, and doctors had to perform surgery to stabilize him.</p> <p><!--Hurt believes her son needs psychiatric help and thinks his problems got worst after he was hit by the car.</p> <p> He has been very distant and says things that doesn't make sense, she said, adding that before the accident, he wasn't  this bad. </p> <p>Records show Floyd has been Baker-acted three times  two of those times occurring within two days of each other in June 2010  and the third in October 2014.</p> <p>Floyd has had several convictions dating back to 2008. Hurt told the Star-Banner that, after one instance of Floyd being Baker-acted, she had him committed because he was trying to get a gun and ammunition.</p> <p>Last month, an aggravated stalking case against Floyd was dropped. But a motion has been made to reopen the stalking case. In January, Floyd was convicted of trespassing. His-->...[Floyd's] hearing for his latest charge is slated for next month.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="ak-10botch"></a><br> <table style="text-align: left; background-color: white; width: 70%;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&amp;objectid=11394478" target="_blank">New Zealand Herald</a> (Auckland)<br> Januay 31,2015<br> <h1 style="text-align: left;" id="articleTitle" class="articleTitle"><small>Inquiries into botched home operations</small></h1> <p style="font-style: italic;" class="details">by Martin Johnston</p> <br> Two investigations are under way after botched home circumcisions that resulted in 10 boys being taken to hospital - one of whom required surgical treatment.<br> <br> The Ministry of Health and police are investigating after Middlemore Hospital attended to 10 boys, of whom eight were admitted to the Starship children's hospital this month.<br> <br> The ministry understands that the individual of interest is now outside New Zealand, said its chief legal adviser, Phil Knipe.<br> <br> The boys, all around the age of puberty, are thought to have had circumcisions performed by the same man, understood to be a visitor from Tonga who is not registered as a medical practitioner in New Zealand.<br> <br> "We had eight patients who were admitted because of complications from botched circumcisions," said Starship spokesman Gilbert Wong. "They were done in a medically inappropriate manner. They had infections afterwards."<br> <br> He said the Auckland District Health Board was considering undertaking some "community outreach" among Pacific Island residents of Auckland to encourage families to seek proper medical care if they wanted their boys circumcised.<br> <br> Otara GP Dr Harley Aish said a doctor at his clinic had performed circumcisions, mainly for local Pasifika communities, for many years.<br> <br> Dr Aish's colleague did the procedure under local anaesthetic and the cost was $350 to $450.<br> <br> Mangere MP Su'a William Sio said male circumcision between the ages of 8 and 14 was a cultural norm for Samoans and Tongans, but he urged Pacific communities to ensure the operations were done only by people with the proper training and qualifications.<br> <br> <br> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Circumcision</span><br> <br> <span style="font-style: italic;">Q: Who can legally perform a circumcision?</span><br> A: New Zealand-registered health practitioners who have a current practising certificate. This includes GPs although some surgeons consider GPs under-qualified unless they have had special training.<br> <br style="font-style: italic;"> <span style="font-style: italic;">Q: What is male circumcision?</span><br> A: Surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis.<br> <br> <span style="font-style: italic;">Q: How common is it?</span><br> A: Very common until the 1970s but now fewer than 10 per cent of male babies in NZ are circumcised. <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Much fewer, more like 5%</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span><br> <br> <span style="font-style: italic;">Q: How much does it cost?</span><br> A: Free at public hospitals, which will generally only do procedure if there is a medical reason. Cost: around $400 at a GP, using local anaesthetic, or $2,000 in hospital under general anaesthetic, which is recommended if older than six months.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="pn-botch"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/couple-claims-moses-taylor-doc-botched-son-s-circumcision-1.1825389" target="_blank">The Times-tribune</a> (Pennsylvania)<br> January 30, 2015<br> <p> <big><span style="font-weight: bold;">Couple claims Moses Taylor doc botched son's circumcision</span></big></p> <p style="font-style: italic;">by Jon O'Connell</p> <p>A Spring Brook Twp. couple have sued a Scranton doctor and Moses Taylor Hospital for what they say was a botched circumcision for their son.</p> <p> The couple s attorney, Peter Paul Olszewski Jr., on Thursday filed the civil suit in Lackawanna County Court claiming Maria T. Bigus, D.O., disfigured and caused permanent damage to the boy s penis while performing a routine circumcision procedure in August 2013.</p> <p> The Times-Tribune is withholding the names of the parents and their son because of the child s age. Commonwealth Health, Moses Taylor Hospital s parent company, does not comment on pending litigation, spokeswoman Renita Fennick said.</p> The lawsuit says Dr. Bigus performed the circumcision on Aug. 7, one day after the boy was born, but failed to take extra precautions to account for <a href="../hypospadias.html" target="_blank">hypospadias</a>, an abnormalitiy in his penis that occurs when the <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[<span style="font-style: italic;">opening to the</span>]</span>&nbsp; urethra is in the wrong position. <p>The suit accuses Dr. Bigus and the hospital of failing to assess the infant s condition before and during the procedure. A physical exam report dated Aug. 8  the day after the procedure  noted the abnormality, but by that point, the damage had been done. </p> <p>After leaving the hospital, the boy s parents noticed a split urine stream, a symptom of a blockage in his penis, which will require complicated surgery to correct.<br> The parents have been told their son s condition could require future surgeries, and the injuries from the circumcision are of a  continuing and permanent nature, the suit says. </p> <p>The suit seeks restitution for all damages that are allowed by law.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="nor-paid2"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://www.newsinenglish.no/2015/01/22/doctors-defy-new-circumcision-law/" target="_blank">News in English</a> (Norway)<br> <p>January 22, 2015</p> <h3>Doctors defy new circumcision law</h3> <p> <i>by Nina Berglund</i></p> <p>Since January 1st, all&nbsp;of Norway s state-run hospitals have become legally obliged to offer&nbsp;circumcision of newborn baby boys. A majority of doctors all over the country, however, have been&nbsp;refusing to perform the operation that s often part of religious rituals, claiming it s an unnecessary surgical procedure on otherwise healthy infants</p> <p>Only one hospital in all of southeastern Norway is officially offering to circumcise newborns, according to an internal document obtained by newspaper <em>Dagsavisen</em>. In a response to the state health ministry s request for a status report on circumcision,&nbsp;state agency <em>Helse Sr-st</em> (Health Southeast) wrote on January 16 that only the hospital&nbsp;in Kristiansand <em>(Srlandet Sykehus)</em> offered to circumcise newborn baby boys. A few others offered circumcision only to boys more than a year old.</p> <p> At Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) northeast of Oslo, fully 13 of its 15 urologists have submitted written statements reserving themselves against performing circumcision.  The opposition to this emerged before the law on circumcision was approved, Dr Anja Lvvik, leader of the urology department at Ahus, told <em>Dagsavisen</em> this week.  The fact that many (doctors) want to reserve themselves against this should not be unexpected. Her colleague Dr Frode Steinar Nilsen at Ahus called circumcision  <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">a surgical operation with no health advantages</span> and one that, as with all surgery, carries with it <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">a risk and a burden for the child</span>. That s why we don t want to perform it. </p> <p>Doctors, however, have no right to reserve themselves against the procedure in the new law, making their resistance potentially illegal, according to state secretary Cecilie Brein-Karlsen at the health ministry. She told newspapers <em>VG</em> and <em>Dagsavisen</em> that Norway s public health system must now offer the procedure&nbsp;to parents who want their baby boys circumcised. The Parliament approved the new law last year after reports that babies in Norway risked being seriously injured during circumcision rituals performed outside the health care sector. One baby boy died in Oslo in 2012.</p> <p> The law was approved by a large majority in Parliament but not without controversy. Doctors and nurses professional organizations opposed it as did&nbsp;many individual Members of Parliament, but they followed their parties lines. In addition to fearing that circumcision would continue to be performed by non-health professionals in Norway, party leaders didn t want to be seen as being either anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim, since circumcision is traditional in the Jewish and Muslim communities. Others pointed to how millions of men around the world are circumcised including a majority of American men regardless of religious persuasion.</p> <p> <strong>Fending off any  fear of foreigners </strong><br>  I think many (MPs) were afraid to be accused of anti-Semitism or fear of foreigners, Jenny Klinge, an MP for the Center Party, told <em>Dagsavisen</em>. She unsucessfully proposed offering hospital circumcision only to males&nbsp;over the age of 18, when they&nbsp;could decide themselves if they wanted to be circumcised. Klinge added that she could understand the health care professionals opposition to performing circumcision:  <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">It is in principle wrong for the state to carry out such surgery on babies</span>. One shouldn t cut into small children in the name of God. </p> <p> US health authorities view male circumcision positively, but their Norwegian counterparts don t. Some doctors attempts to reserve themselves against performing abortions also have sparked controversy, not least last winter, but Nilsen of Ahus is adamant:  If (politicians) think they can force an entire profession to perform surgery they feel is wrong both medically and morally, I think that s remarkable. </p> <p> Brein-Karlsen told <em>Dagsavisen</em> that she also understands  that this is a difficult issue. She said hospitals should take the doctors objections into consideration,  but the regional health agencies are still responsible for making sure that an offer (of circumcision) is there. </p> <p> Ahus, located in Lrenskog, has estimated that parents of as many as 400 babies a year may request circumcision, and worry they won t have the capacity to perform it.  Children who need other operations are already having to wait, Lvvik said.  If we have to offer circumcision, they may need to wait even longer. Ahus has told expectant parents&nbsp;that it will only offer the procedure after the child is a year old, at the earliest. Hospitals in Brum, Drammen and Ringerike have set an age limit at two years, while&nbsp;Oslo University Sykehus was expected to start offering&nbsp;ritual&nbsp;circumcision next month, for boys over one year of age.</p> <p><a href="#nor-paid">Earlier story</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="sw-anti"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://www.times.co.sz/news/101104-ingatja-circumcision-against-swazi-culture.html" target="_blank">The Times of Swaziland</a><br> January 22, 2015<br> <h3>Ingatja: Circumcision against Swazi culture</h3> <div id="article_body"> <span style="font-style: italic;">by Siusiso Shange</span><small><small><small><small><small><strong style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: medium;">NGABEZWENI  While the Church Forum and other organisations have embraced circumcision, some members of Ingatja have not.</span></strong></small></small></small> </small></small><br> <small><small><small><span style="font-size: medium;">In an interview, some members of Ingatja, who were found debating about the subject while they waited to be dispersed by the King, said circumcision was against culture. They said the removal of the foreskin was not good for them because it was necessary to ensure that the traditional attire attire known as imvunulo stayed on.  Ideally, when a man dons traditional attire, there is no need for him to wear underwear, they said.</span></small></small></small> <br> <small><small><small><span style="font-size: medium;">  Nawulijaha uyancwadza futsi nebetemphilo bayakukhutsata kushaywa ngumoya. Ngaphandle kwemvunulo kufana nekutsi uhamba ngcunu, pho ungahlalaphi nasesisokile, wondered Bheki Mnisi, who was found buying a product to make umncadvo, which is worn as underwear by males in traditional regalia..</span></small></small></small> </div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <a name="turkey-botch-pay"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/20/turkey-botched-circumcision-record-award?commentpage=1" target="_blank">The Guardian</a><br> January 20, 2015<br> </p> <h3>Record award for family of Turkish boy whose circumcision was botched</h3> <div style="font-weight: bold;"> <p>Boy who was taken to mass circumcision ceremony for disadvantaged children lost large portion of his penis and health ministry ordered $255,000 payment</p> </div> <div class="flexible-content"> <div class="flexible-content-body" data-display-hint=""> <p>A Turkish court has approved a record compensation payment for the family of a boy who had a large portion of his penis removed and burnt off in a botched circumcision operation, media reported. </p> <p>The boy, who is now six, underwent the operation when he was one year old in a mass circumcision ceremony for boys from disadvantaged families in the south-eastern city of Batman.</p> <p>The upper portion of the penis was mistakenly cut and burnt off during the operation, and the boy was still receiving care for his wounds, private Dogan news agency reported. </p> <p>On Tuesday, a Batman court ordered the health ministry to pay the boy s family a record 600,000 Turkish liras ($255,000) in damages, Dogan said. </p> <p>The family of seven claimed that the operation was carried out only by a health technician because no qualified doctor was present during the circumcision. </p> <p>The boy was sent home with burn creams and was told to  have some rest to heal properly . </p> <p>The parents, however, are not satisfied with the amount, saying that their child might require further treatment, including care abroad. </p> <p>They are still seeking more than 2 million more Turkish liras ($850,000) in damages, Dogan said. </p> <p>Circumcision is widely practised in all Islamic countries, including predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular Turkey.</p> <p>It is an expense that many families find difficult to afford, with the operation costing hundreds of dollars and the ensuing celebrations even more. </p> <p>As a result, many parents choose to pay unskilled circumcisers or barbers, who perform the operation with unsterilised instruments.</p> </div> </div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="chase-13"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/fla-boys-circumcision-spurs-lengthy-legal-battle-protests-132622671.html" target="_blank">Yahoo! News</a><br> January 20, 2015<br> <h3>Fla. boy's circumcision spurs lengthy legal battle, protests</h3> <span style="font-style: italic;">By Matt Sedensky</span><br> <br> BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (AP)  An estranged Florida couple's fight over whether to circumcise their son has become a rallying cry for those who denounce the procedure as barbaric.<br> <br> The dispute between Heather Hironimus, the mother opposing circumcision, and Dennis Nebus, the father favoring it, has sparked a prolonged court battle, protests and the rapt attention of a movement of self-proclaimed "intactivists."<br> <br> Judges have ruled in favor of the father, meaning the surgery is likely to happen, but the possible closure of the legal chapter has done little to mute the case's most passionate followers. Though many [other people] still choose to remove their sons' foreskins at the suggestion of a doctor, for religious or cultural reasons, or out of habit, opponents have been bolstered by the overall waning popularity of circumcision, and the fact this fight has gone on so long the boy at its center is now 4 years old.<br> <br> "I couldn't speak when I was cut, but I can speak now," said Thomas Frederiksen, a 39-year-old machinist who traveled from Orlando to protest, wearing a red beret and "I (Heart) My Foreskin" T-shirt and speaking breathlessly about the issue.<br> <br> Volumes of court filings tell the story: Hironimus and Nebus had a six-month relationship that resulted in a pregnancy, the birth of a boy named Chase, and a fight over nearly everything since. Nebus sued to prove his paternity and to get partial custody of the boy and the couple whittled out a parenting plan outlining everything from his surname to his legal address, to whom he calls mommy or daddy and, notably, what becomes of his penis.<br> <br> In that document, the circumcision of the child was agreed to by both parents. When it came time to schedule the procedure, though, the mother resisted, having researched the subject further. The matter wound its way through circuit court, which ruled in Nebus' favor, then to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which refused to overturn the lower court's ruling. Hironimus could ask for a rehearing in the appellate court, but has made no further legal filings.<br> <br> "Just the normal thing to do," the father said of circumcision, according to the court files. "To me, it's not worth it to put my son's life at risk for a cosmetic procedure," the mother said.<br> <br> The parents entered an agreement on Dec. 24 to not talk to the press and to avoid any other campaigns or actions that might exploit the child. There is no indication in the court documents the circumcision is being done for religious reasons. The attorney that had represented the mother, who lives in Boynton Beach, is no longer being retained and has not been replaced, the lawyer's office said. The attorney for the father, who lives in Boca Raton, did not respond to requests for comment.<br> <br> Though circumcision rates have fallen in the U.S., a majority of boys still undergo the removal of their foreskin. ...<!--A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 58.3 percent of newborn boys were circumcised in 2010, down from 64.5 percent in 1979. (The data excluded babies who were circumcised after leaving the hospital  many Jewish boys have the procedure during a ceremony called a bris, eight days after birth.)--> Meantime, a bubbling anti-circumcision movement has grown.<br> <br> They have made the boy at the center of this case their cause celebre, as evidenced by one of several small sidewalk protests here featuring signs including "Let Chase Keep His Foreskin," ''Don't Cut Chase's Penis," ''Don't You Dare Circumcise Chase!" and "Ethics 101: No Disease, No Consent, No Circumcision." Some passing motorists honked or gave gestures of support; some looked puzzled or shouted "Who's Chase?"<br> <br> Jonathan Friedman, 27, who organized the demonstration as part of his "Saving Chase" campaign, traveled from Chicago for the event and makes anti-circumcision advocacy the focus of his life. He wore a "Children Never Forget Trauma" T-shirt and said he became vocal on the issue when he realized the harm of his own circumcision, which he blames for bleeding, chafing and painful erections.<br> <br> What has driven supporters to his side, Friedman says, is the age of the boy in this case.<br> <br> "People are not OK with a 4-year-old boy being circumcised  a conscious, articulate boy. That's just not OK," Friedman said. "Not everyone is against circumcisions, but I think everyone is against a 4-year-old's circumcision."<br> <br> ...<!--Last month, the CDC released a draft of long-awaited federal guidelines on circumcision, stopping short of telling parents they should choose the procedure, but saying medical evidence shows benefits clearly outweigh risks. It can lower a male's risk of sexually transmitted diseases, penile cancer and even urinary tract infections, the CDC said, potential benefits of which the protesters expressed serious doubt.--><br> <br> Gathered quietly near the office of a pediatric urologist who examined the boy and who may be chosen for the surgery, [the protesters] said the circumcision should be put off until adulthood, when the patient could decide for himself. To those who view the procedure as minor, they gave a list of reasons they believe shows it is not  from loss of sensation to unseen psychological damage.<br> <br> "They think it's just a little snip and it's not," said Jennifer Blanchard, 34, of Miami. "It's a big deal."<br> <br> <a href="news66.html#chase-12" target="_blank">Earlier story</a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <a name="uk-fgc-birth"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30886077" target="_blank">BBC</a><br> January&nbsp; 19, 205<br> <h3>Doctor 'performed FGM on new mother in hospital'</h3> <p class="introduction">A British doctor performed female genital mutilation on a young mother after she gave birth in hospital, a court has heard.</p> <p>Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, is accused of carrying out the illegal procedure at the Whittington Hospital in north London.</p> <p>The doctor, of Ilford, London, denies the charge in what is the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.</p> <p>A second man, Hasan Mohamed, 41, denies encouraging and abetting the offence.</p> <p>...<!--Female genital mutilation, often abbreviated to FGM and also known as female circumcision, involves procedures that include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons.</p> <p>It is practised in 29 countries in Africa and some countries in Asia and the Middle East, but is illegal in the UK.--></p> <p>Carrying out female genital mutilation carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.</p> <span style="font-weight: bold;" class="cross-head">'Encouragement'</span> <p>The mother-of-two, who cannot be identified, first underwent FGM aged six in Somalia, London's Southwark Crown Court heard.</p> <p>She was 24 and living in Britain when she give birth to her first child in November 2012. </p> <p>The court heard that during labour, her FGM stitches were torn and Dr Dharmasena, a junior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology, sewed her back up in a procedure that amounted to FGM.</p> <p>The prosecution alleges the doctor did so at Mr Mohamed's "insistence or encouragement".</p> <p>Kate Bex, prosecuting, told jurors that FGM was "very dangerous for a woman's health and psychological well-being"....<!--</p> <p>"It can lead to severe health problems and, in some cases, to death. FGM causes gynaecological, urological and obstetric problems in women, chronic pain and sexual dysfunction," she said.--> </p> <p>"It increases the risk of death in childbirth to both mother and baby."</p> <p>Jurors heard the woman would have been most exposed to these side-effects when the surgery was first performed when she was six. </p> <p>Dr Dharmasena's stitches would not have carried the same risks, but should not have been sewn at all "unless medically necessary", Ms Bex said.</p> <span style="font-weight: bold;" class="cross-head">'Changed tack'</span> <p>The hospital trust launched an investigation into the incident within a few weeks.</p> <p>In a statement, Dr Dharmasena said he had carried out the procedure because he thought the woman wanted him to. He also said Mr Mohamed had urged him to do so.</p> <p>He said: "At no point in time did I intentionally or deliberately want to cause any harm to the patient. I had obeyed all of the patient's wishes."</p> <p>But jurors were told he had changed his justification when he was interviewed by police in August 2013.</p> <p>Ms Bex said: "It would seem that Dr Dharmasena had familiarised himself with the law and you may feel that he changed tack as a result."</p> <p>Ten months after the operation, he raised the possibility that it had been "medically justified", she told the court.</p> <p>Dr Dharmasena denies one count of female genital mutilation.</p> <p>Mr Mohamed denies one count of aiding or abetting the procedure, and one count of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.</p> <p>The trial continues.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="tz-fgc-arrest"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/201501190057.html" target="_blank">Tanzania Daily News</a><br> January &nbsp;19,2015<br> <h3>Tanzania: Police Confirm Single Arrest Over Forced FGM in Tarime</h3> <cite class="byline">By Mugini Jacob</cite> <p>Tarime  POLICE have arrested a man here for allegedly forcing her daughter to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) at a village in Tarime, Mara Region .</p> <p>The single arrest came in the wake of shocing reports that dozens of girls who escaped the cut and camped at Termination of Female Genital Mutilation(TFGM) Masanga Centre in the critical months of November and December when FGM was widely conducted in area, are now being subjected to forced circumcision.</p> <p>More than 600 most school girls refused the cut and sought shelter at the rescue centre, which operates under the Roman Catholic Church of Musoma Diocese with the support of several partners, including United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) and Children's Dignity Forum(CDF), a nongovernmental organisation, which has of late enhanced the battle against FGM in the area.</p> <p>...<!--According to the Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Tarime/ Rorya Special Zone, Mr Benedict Mambosasa, all those who will be found forcing the girls to be circumcised will be arrested and prosecuted .</p> <p>"Already, we have arrested the father of one of the girls, who was recently grabbed out of her free will and circumcised by force. We are searching for others ", the RPC told the 'Daily News' on Sunday .</p> <p>He confirmed that the girl, who was forcibly cut is among those who were sheltered at TFGM Masanga Centre for the past two months . "</p> <p>The children were in safe hands; mutilating them is a criminal offence we will search the perpetrators ", the police said.--> The girls left the centre early this month in a colourful function officiated by Minister for Labour and Employment, Ms Gaudensia Kabaka.</p> <p>Tanzania Media Women's Association (TAMWA) Executive Director Ms Valerie Msoka described the report about the girl who was forcibly cut in Tarime as "shocking and humiliation of the highest order".</p> <p>She called for immediate new effective measures that will help to save girls from the outdated harmful culture. FGM is illegal according to the law. "</p> <p>...<!--We also want FGM to be on the top of next general elections agenda. Aspirants from those areas where FGM is still practiced should say what they will do to end FGM ", Ms Msoka told the 'Daily News' over phone at the weekend . TAMWA, she said, is occupied with the number of girls fleeing from forced FGM in the region .</p> <p>" At TFGM Masanga Centre, there were more than 634 girls in 2014 FGM season and in Serengeti District, there is a new Mugumu safe house which sheltered 134 girls .</p> <p>This means sheltering a total of almost 800 girls ", Ms Msoka complained , insisting that new actions must be in place to stop FGM in the region .</p> <p>CDF Executive Mr Koshuma Mtengeti cited lack of accountability as the major problem hampering ongoing efforts to end FGM in Tarime and other districts of Mara Region.</p> <p>"It is clear that FGM is illegal but there is no accountability and responsibility," Mr Koshuma said when reached for comment He said his organization has been disappointed with reports that some girls who were sheltered at Masanga centre are being cut by force.</p> <p>Mr Koshuma recommended immediate establishment of a mechanism that would be protecting girls faced with FGM in the area .--></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="ke-force-wife"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://diasporamessenger.com/wife-sends-a-whole-village-to-circumcise-her-husband-in-broad-daylight/">Diaspora Messenger</a> (Kenya)<br> January 17, 2015<br> <h3>Wife sends a whole village to circumcise her husband in broad daylight </h3> <p>A&nbsp;man was forcefully circumcised in Chwele Market Bungoma county after his wife reported him to the elders.</p> <p>A 39-year-old man woke up to the shock of his life when he found thousands of people gathered outside his house waiting to circumcise him.</p> <p>The father of 11 is said to have had an argument with his wife when she decided to go and expose him to the elders on his state of manhood.</p> <p>He was drugged out of his house and circumcised in front of a large multitude in Chwele market.</p> <p>He was later awarded gifts and is expected to stay in isolation for four months before elders teach him on <span class="IL_AD" id="IL_AD4">how to be a</span> man, according to the Bukusu culture.</p> <p>Social media was awash with critics some condemning the act while other praised the act under #GoCutMyHusband</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="cdc-reaction"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/15/circumcision-proposal-by-cdc-drawing-detractors" target="_blank">The Washington Times</a></p> <p>January 15, 2015 </p> <h3>Circumcision proposal by CDC drawing detractors </h3> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Nearly 2,000 postings against the practice</span> <p><i> by Cheryl Wetzstein</i></p> <p>A federal proposal to encourage discussions about circumcision for baby boys and at-risk men of all ages has drawn nearly 2,000 mostly negative comments and a planned protest in front of a federal agency this month.</p> <p>The proposal from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn t explicitly recommend circumcision, but it urges health care providers to proactively discuss the benefits and risks of circumcision with parents of baby boys and  uncircumcised at-risk heterosexual males to allow people to make well-informed decisions about the procedure.</p> <p>A public comment period on the proposal in the Federal Register ends Friday.</p> <p>Circumcision, which cuts away a section of the tissue covering the head of the penis, is associated with a lower risk for acquiring HIV, genital herpes and human papillomavirus, as well as penile cancer and infant urinary tract infections in male infants, the CDC said in its draft recommendations.</p> The overall risk of adverse events is  low, with minor bleeding and inflammation cited as the most common complications, the agency said. <p><figure class="photo-zoom"></figure> The scientific evidence is clear that the benefits outweigh the risks, Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, told The Associated Press when the proposal was unveiled in November. </p> <p>But the vast majority of the 1,978 public comments on the CDC proposal opposed it  often furiously.</p> <p> Stop mutilating helpless babies, wrote one commenter named Lucy Brenton.  There is no reason to cut healthy tissue of a normally functioning organ, especially without the permission of the owner, she wrote. </p> <p>Others decried the physical harm and deaths that have occurred with circumcision, as well as lifelong trauma associated with the loss. An online organization called foreskin-restoration.net said it had more than 5,000 members, some of whom  are so bothered by the imposed loss of their foreskin that they endure a tedious process of nonsurgical foreskin restoration to undo some of the sexual damage. </p> <p>Other critics noted that circumcision is unlikely to dent HIV transmission in the U.S. since most HIV cases are among men who have sex with men. The CDC proposal recognized this, saying that the studies showing circumcision as an effective HIV-prevention strategy only involved men who had sex with women.</p> <p> U.S. health care providers  should inform men who exclusively have sex with men that male circumcision has not been proven to reduce the risk of HIV or [sexually transmitted infections] during anal sex, the CDC said, adding that circumcision is still advised for bisexual men as well as men who have sex with HIV-infected women, commercial sex workers, injection-drug users and women who live in areas with a high HIV prevalence in the population.</p> <p>The agency did not directly respond to a question about whether its expert-review panel would include anyone who is critical of circumcision. <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[<span style="font-style: italic;">Will even one of them have a foreskin?</span>]</span>&nbsp; But it said its peer reviewers would be selected because of their expertise in such matters as urology, pediatrics, public health, infant circumcision and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Foreskin anatomy and function, sexology, ethics?</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span></p> <p> We all know that there are no benefits to the amputation of healthy body parts, said organizers, including members of Bloodstained Men &amp; Their Friends, who protest while wearing white pants with bright red circles at the crotch.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="uk-fgc-law"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span class="entry-categories"></span> <a href="http://www.inside-man.co.uk/2015/01/15/male-circumcision-can-be-worse-than-fgm-rules-senior-judge/" target="_blank">InsideMAN</a><br> January 15, 2015<br> <h3>Male circumcision can be worse than FGM rules senior judge </h3> <span style="font-style: italic;">by Glen Poole</span> <p>One of the country s most senior judges has courted controversy by declaring that male circumcision can be more harmful than female genital mutilation (FGM). </p> <p>Sir James Munby acknowledged he was entering  deep waters by highlighting inconsistencies in the law, but said it would be  irrational to dispute the fact that male circumcision can be more harmful than some forms of FGM.&nbsp;The High Court judge made the comments as he passed judgment in care proceedings brought by a local authority seeking to take a brother and sister, from a Muslim family, into care on the grounds that the girl was a victim of Type IV FGM. </p> <p>While the case failed on the grounds that damage to the girl s genitals was probably caused by a condition called vulvovaginitis, Munby, who is president of the family division, felt compelled to highlight the sexist double standard that the case brought to light. </p> <p>In summing up the judge noted that while subjecting a girl to Type IV FGM could result in that child being taken into care, male circumcision would not lead to a boy being removed from his family, even though the procedure is more harmful than at least some forms of Type IV FGM. </p> <p><strong>An inconvenient truth&nbsp;</strong> </p> <p>Campaigners against male circumcision have long been hampered by the myth that subjecting girls to FGM is different and always worse than circumcising boys. </p> <p>The uncomfortable truth, to which Munby has now given judicial credibility, is that male circumcision is different and sometimes worse than FGM. </p> <p>This is particularly true of Type IV FGM which incorporates practices such as pricking, piercing and nicking the genitals, which are less harmful and invasive than removing the foreskin in it s entirety.</p> <p>Male circumcision in the UK is often performed without anaesthetic, in non-medical conditions and can cause complications such as life threatening haemorrhage, shock, sepsis an in <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-21374643" target="_blank">extreme cases death.</a></p> <p>In 2012 a Freedom of Information request revealed that two boys a week are admitted to the emergency department of Birmingham children s hospital as a result of male circumcision.</p> <p><strong>Society more tolerant of male circumcision&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>However, despite Munby s assessment that  on any objective view male circumcisions is sometimes worse than FGM, he also made clear that current judicial thinking is that there is no equivalence between the two practices.</p> <p> In 2015, he said in his judgment,  the law generally, and family law in particular, is still prepared to tolerate non-therapeutic male circumcision performed for religious or even for purely cultural or conventional reasons, while no longer being willing to tolerate FGM in any of its forms.</p> <p> Given the comparison between what is involved in male circumcision and FGM WHO Type IV, to dispute that the more invasive procedure involves the significant harm involved in the less invasive procedure would seem almost irrational. In my judgment, if FGM Type IV amounts to significant harm, as in my judgment it does, then the same must be so of male circumcision. </p> <p>The phrase  significant harm is important as this is the first threshold that must be crossed before a child can be taken into care under section 31 of the Children s Act 1989. There is another criteria which must also be considered in care proceedings and this is whether the care given to a child is  what would be reasonable to expect a parent to give .</p> <p><strong>Why the law is different&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>According to Munby, while it can never be reasonable parenting to inflict any form of FGM on a child, the position is quite different with male circumcision.</p> <p>Munby argued that there are at least two important distinctions between the two practices. Firstly, that FGM has no basis in any religion, while male circumcision is often performed for religious reasons. Secondly, that while FGM is said to have no medical justification and confers no health benefits; male circumcision is seen by some people as providing hygienic or prophylactic benefits, although opinions are divided.</p> <p>Even taking the conflicting medical evidence on any perceived benefits into account, Munby concluded that  reasonable parenting should be seen to permit male circumcision.</p> <p>And that is where UK law stands on the matter today. The Head of the Family Division of the Family Court has judged that while male circumcision is sometimes worse than FGM, it is deemed to be reasonable for parents of all backgrounds to circumcise their sons, while carrying out a less invasive and less harmful from of Type IV FGM on their daughters is not considered reasonable parental behaviour.</p> <p>...<!--<strong>A welcome coup for campaigners</strong></p> <p>Having a senior judge acknowledge that FGM can be less harmful than male circumcision is a welcome coup for those of us who advocate for the right of every human being to enter adulthood with intact genitals, except in rare cases where therapeutic surgery is unequivocally unavoidable.</p> <p>The fact that our society, led by politicians and the judiciary, is still prepared to tolerate greater harm happening to boys than to girls, reveals a great deal about the sexist double standards we apply to the issues that affect men and boys in 2015.</p> <p>The fact that we are collectively more tolerant of the harm that happens to men and boys, than the harm that happens to women and girls, doesn t begin and end at genital mutilation.</p> <p>Our shared cultural beliefs that  boys don t cry ; that men should  man up ; that women have problems and men are problems; that females are the weaker sex and that we should always put the protection of women and girls first; is reflected in our inability to tackle a whole range of social issues that, predominantly impact men and boys, head on.</p> <p><strong>Why this is a men s issue</strong></p> <p>These include male suicide; male homelessness; the high rate of male workplace deaths; men s lower life expectancy; the expulsion of boys from school; the exclusion and marginalisation of separated fathers from their children s lives; the way we respond to male victims of violence and the harsher treatment and sentencing of men and boys in the criminal justice system.</p> <p>What Sir James Munby has uncovered is an inconvenient and important truth about men, manhood and masculinity in 2015 which is simply this while the harm that happens to men and boys in our society is different and sometimes worse than the harm that happens to women and girls, we still view any harm that women and girls experience more seriously.</p> <p>Munby is part of the problem he has raised, for while he acknowledges that male circumcision can be more harmful than FGM, he has essentially declared that while it s reasonable for parents to harm their sons, it is never reasonable to harm their daughters.</p> <p>Article by Glen Poole author of the book&nbsp; style="color: rgb(33, 117, 155);" <a href="http://equality4men.com/book/" target="_blank">Equality For Men</a>--></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="metzitzah51"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/01/8559644/rockland-takes-new-tack-risky-circumcisions" target="_blank">Capital</a> (New York)<br> Janauary 9, 2015<br> <h3> Rockland takes a new tack on risky circumcisions</h3> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">by Dan Goldberg</span> </p> <p>While New York City remains stalled in its efforts to come up with a better way of regulating a controversial circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jewish sects, Rockland County health officials made a deal with a local community to create a protocol to assess and mitigate risks associated with the practice.</p> <p>The ritual, called metzitzah b'peh, involves a mohel the practitioner of the circumcision ritual suctioning blood from a baby's wounded penis with his mouth. The practice of placing mouth to open wound has been linked by city health officials to the spread of Herpes Simplex Virus-1 to babies.</p> <p>The protocol worked out in a nonbinding agreement between health officials and community leaders in Rockland County home to one of the state's largest concentrations of ultraorthodox Jews is as notable for what it doesn't attempt do to as what it does.</p> <p>It doesn't alter the ritual, or require parents of boys undergoing it to sign a waiver acknowledging the dangers of the practice, as New York City currently requires. It also doesn't immediately eliminate the risk of babies contracting herpes from infected mohels.</p> <p>But it does, by securing the cooperation of a deeply religious community that is sometimes hostile to regulation by secular authorities, allow for testing and data-gathering to identify and ban mohels who infect circumcised babies with herpes.</p> <p>Per the agreement between the county health department and community leaders, if a mohel is found to be the direct source of a baby contracting HSV-1, then that mohel would be permanently banned from performing the ritual, according to Dr. Oscar Alleyne, the county's director of epidimiology.</p> <p>The Rockland health department has so far tested eight babies who presented with herpes symptoms after circumcision, Alleyne said. Of those, three had the virus. In two cases, the Rockland health department concluded the mohel was not responsible. One case was inconclusive.</p> <p> From Rockland County's perspective, the individuals who did the metzitzah b'peh were not the ones who matched, and that tells us we have to look at the bigger picture, Alleyne said.</p> <p> It's a very small sample, but the effort attempts to address, however imperfectly, the health-based concerns about the practice.</p> <p> Of the cooperation with the Orthodox community, Alleyne said,  That in and of itself was a major breakthrough."</p> <p> Under the system set up in Rockland, if a state lab determines a circumcised baby has HSV-1, county officials work to identify all the potential point sources that come into contact with the infant. Those individuals are then swabbed and tested to see if they have HSV-1 and if their strain matches the infant's. Because the virus is not always detectable, the county conducts 60 swabs over a period of 30 to 60 days to try and ensure that nothing is missed.</p> <p> The agreement also requires mohels not to perform the ritual on other babies while testing is taking place, and Rockland health officials are discussing additional measures that can make the practice more hygienic.</p> <p> The community has agreed, according to Alleyne, that if a mohel is found to be the cause of infection then he will voluntarily stop performing anywhere in the world for the rest of his life.</p> <p> The agreement between Rockland and the Orthodox communities there the largest communities are in Monsey and New Square is similar to one that was discussed with the New York City health department in 2006. That plan was rejected by the city, according to court documents.</p> <p> By only testing mohels after the fact of an infection, the system can reduce but never actually eliminate the health risk. And it leaves in place a ritual that is unhygienic and, according to New York City health officials, among others, inherently dangerous.</p> <p> But Alleyne says it is clearly the best option available to the county.</p> <p>  We are a health department," he said. "We can't legislate the procedure. We don't have the ability to do so and there is the question of how efficacious it would be anyway. But there are ways for us to encourage practices to be safer. </p> <p> New York City's efforts to reckon with metzitzah b'peh would seem to bear him out, in terms of the difficulty of imposing a more aggressive system of regulation.</p> <p> The issue has been a live controversy in New York City since the Bloomberg health department first sought to regulate the practice by requiring that parents sign a consent form acknowledging that the city health department does not believe the ritual is safe.</p> <p> The regulation was challenged in court. Attorneys representing the Orthodox sects said the city's health department was overestimating the dangers, and that there was insufficient evidence to prove metzitzah b'peh is dangerous enough to warrant a public health intervention.</p> <p> Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to address the consent-form arrangement which the neither the city nor the Orthodox sects affected by it were happy with on his </p> <!--Metzitzah b'peh, which began well before the understanding of how germs and viruses can spread, is practiced by a small segment of the Orthodox Jewish population who believe it is a necessary part of the circumcision, and by some Orthodox Jews who do not believe it is necessary but do it because of its religious significance.</p> <p>Many Jewish leaders, including prominent Orthodox rabbis, say it is not required and that a sterile pipette may be used to suction the blood away from the wound.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/12/8559130/city-reports-new-case-herpes-after-metzitzah-bpeh">A case in December </a>was the fourth reported by the health department in 2014, which began with de Blasio promising to address metzitzah b'peh.</p> <p> The current approach can be better and that's what we are going to figure out a way to do with the community, de Blasio said last January when introducing Mary Bassett as city health commissioner.</p> <p>De Blasio, during <a a Democratic mayoral primary debate</a> in 2013, was asked if he approved of the consent form, and he criticized Bloomberg for not engaging in a dialogue with the  community. </p> <p> I would start over, de Blasio said.  Change the policy to find a way to protect all the children but also respect religious tradition in an appropriate manner and come in Day 1 to City Hall with a new policy that's fair. --> <p></p> <p><a href="#metzitzah50" target="_blank"><em>Earlier story </em></a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <br> <a name="autism"></a><br> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> style="font-weight: normal;" <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2902214/Circumcised-boys-likely-develop-autism-ADHD-10.html#ixzz3OJXzPcyB" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a><br> January 9, 2015<br> <h3>Circumcised boys may be more likely to develop autism and ADHD by the age of 10, study claims &nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li><font style="font-size: 17px;">The findings hold regardless of cultural background, say researchers</font></li> <li><span style="font-size: 17px;"></span><span style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 17px;">They suggest the pain caused by circumcision may be partly to blame</font></span><span style="font-size: 17px;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 17px;">This may in turn affect how the brain develops and reacts to stress</font></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 17px;"></span><span style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 17px;">Study looked at 340,000 boys born in Denmark between 1994 and 2003&nbsp;</font></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 17px;"></span><span style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 17px;">But experts have urged caution over the 'extremely speculative findings'</font></span></li> </ul> <ul class="mol-bullets-with-font"> </ul> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">by Anna Hodgekiss</span>&nbsp;</font> <p>Circumcision before the age of five can double a boy's risk of developing autism, controversial research suggests. <br> Scientists believe the finding may be linked to stress caused by the pain of the procedure. <a href="../Docs/frisch-autism.pdf">The study of more than 340,000 boys in Denmark</a> found that circumcision raised the overall chances of an autism spectrum disorder before the age of 10 by 46 per cent. But if circumcision took place before the age of five it doubled the risk. <br> Circumcision also appeared to increase the likelihood of boys from non-Muslim families developing hyperactivity disorder. Regardless of cultural background, circumcised boys may run a greater risk of developing autism and ADHD, a study has claimed. The research, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, examined more than 340,000 boys born in Denmark between 1994 and 2003. At the age of nine, their health was tracked - and almost&nbsp;5,000 cases of ASD were diagnosed. Professor Morten Frisch of the Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, who led the research, said: 'Our investigation was prompted by the combination of recent animal findings linking a single painful injury to lifelong deficits in stress response...and a study showing a strong, positive correlation between a country's neonatal male circumcision rate and its prevalence of ASD in boys. <br> He added: 'Today it is considered unacceptable practice to circumcise boys without proper pain relief. <br> 'But none of the most common interventions used to reduce circumcision pain completely eliminates it and some boys will endure strongly painful circumcisions.' <br> The study goes on to discuss how painful experiences in babies have been shown - both in animal and human studies - to have a long-term effect on pain perception. <br> This is a characteristic often encountered among children with autism, they add. <br> Professor Frisch said:&nbsp;'Given the widespread practice of circumcision in infancy and childhood around the world, our findings should prompt other researchers to examine the possibility that circumcision trauma in infancy or early childhood might carry an increased risk of serious neurodevelopmental and psychological consequences.<br> <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">The paper goes on to spend &nbsp;more space on critique and rebuttal than the detail of the study. This never happens with pro-circumcision studies, which are reported uncritically, with benefits often exaggerated and caveats ignored.</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">}</span> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">However experts have urged caution over the findings.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">Professor Jeremy Turk, Consultant Child &amp; Adolescent Psychiatrist at Southwark Child &amp; Adolescent Mental Health Neurodevelopmental Service, said:&nbsp;'The findings of this research, while interesting, need to be considered carefully - one cannot draw very strong conclusions from the data.&nbsp;</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'This is not a causal study, but instead compares data sets and looks for correlations.&nbsp;</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'While this is a valid way of doing a study, it means that we must be careful about any implications.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'For example, many cases of autism are missed until children are older and as there are relatively few cases of autism this could easily skew the data.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'Furthermore, there are many potentially confounding variables which could explain raised ASD rates, which the authors do not explore or account for.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'Finally, I have some issues with the premise in that their speculations regarding early pain as a cause of autism are, to say the least, highly speculative.&nbsp;</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">And&nbsp;Dr Rosa Hoekstra, lecturer in psychology at the Open University, said:&nbsp;'I think this is an extremely speculative study.&nbsp;</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'The study is purely based on register data and takes a registered autism diagnosis at face value, without considering cultural or social factors affecting the likelihood of an (early) autism diagnosis.&nbsp;</font></font> </p><div class="artSplitter mol-img-group intact"><a href="../Docs/frisch-autism.pdf"><small><small><small><small><small><small><small><small><small><font style="font-size: 17px;">The researchers suggest the pain caused by circumcision may be partly to blame, in turn affecting how the brain develops and reacts to stress</font> </small></small></small></small></small></small></small></small></small></a></div> <a href="../Docs/frisch-autism.pdf"><small class="intact"><small><small><small><small><small><small><small><small><font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'Even in a high income country like Denmark not all children with autism are detected and given a suitable autism diagnosis at an early age (the age under study in this paper).&nbsp;</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">She added: 'An entirely different but in my view much more plausible explanation is as follows: Boys with symptoms of autism who undergo circumcision by a medical professional may have their symptoms recognised as autism more often, and at an earlier age, than boys who are not circumcised and who may therefore fly under the radar of medical professionals.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'In other words: the detection rate of autism (rather than the risk of autism per se) may be higher in boys seeing a medical professional for circumcision.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">Professor David Katz, from University College London, who chairs Milah UK, a body that speaks for the Jewish community on issues related to circumcision, said: 'This report is far from convincing: correlation does not equal causation.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'There is a long history of attempts to link autistic spectrum disorders to unrelated practices, such as the measles/mumps/rubella association, which proved to be fraudulent.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">He added: 'There is general agreement that in people suffering from an ASD there are abnormalities that can be identified in brain structure and/or function.&nbsp;</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'There is a strong genetic component, which may be a factor within the faith communities studied here, and which does not appear to have been explored amongst them.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'Some contemporary research does indicate that factors besides the genetic component are contributing to the increasing occurrence of ASD.</font></font> <br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">'For example, a variety of environmental toxins have been invoked to explain why these conditions are more prevalent today than they may have been in the past - but again proof of causation is lacking, and these factors are only likely to be relevant in those who are already vulnerable to them.'</font></font><br> <font style="font-size: 17px;"><font style="font-size: 1.2em;">Applied statistician Professor Kevin McConway, from the Open University, said: 'This study raises an interesting question, but one that cannot be fully answered with these data.'</font></font></small></small></small></small></small></small></small></small></small> </a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="metzitzah50"></a><br> <div style="text-align: left;"> <table style="background-color: white; width: 70%; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/01/8559702/de-blasio-act-soon-circumcision-ritual">Capital New York</a><br> January 7, 2015<br> <h3>De Blasio to act  soon on circumcision ritual</h3> <p><i>by Dan Goldberg</i></p> <p>The de Blasio administration says action is coming soon on the mayor's long-stalled vow to address the controversial circumcision practice known as metzitzah b'peh, promising a policy that will protect children while respecting religious rights.</p> <p>The religious ritual as practiced by some Orthodox Jewish sects involves a mohel a person who performs circumcisions of 8-day-old boys suctioning blood directly from a wounded penis with his mouth.</p> <p>Health department officials believe the practice can spread herpes simplex virus-1, which is common in adults but can be especially dangerous for infants. The communities that practice metzitzah b'peh have fiercely resisted city attempts, going back before the de Blasio administration, to regulate it.</p> <p>The city's health department currently requires parents to sign a consent form acknowledging that the health department recommends against performing the practice, a Bloomberg-era policy that was challenged in court.&nbsp;Attorneys representing the Orthodox sects said the city's health department was overestimating the dangers, and that there is insufficient evidence to prove metzitzah b'peh is dangerous enough to warrant a public health intervention.</p> <p>Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to revisit the consent-form rule on his ... in 2014 health department reported four cases of neonatal herpes it believed were linked to the practice<br> <a href="news66.html#mezitzah49">Earlier story</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> <a name="nor-paid"></a><br> </div> <table style="text-align: left; width: 70%;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="background-color: white;"> <div style="text-align: left;" id="newsheader"><a href="http://www.tnp.no/norway/economy/4762-these-are-new-rules-in-norway-by-2015" target="_blank">The Nordic Page (Norway)</a><br> January 1, 2015<br> <h3>These are New Rules in Norway by 2015</h3> <p>Female conscription, cheaper online shopping from overseas, more flexible alcohol sale, legalized poker and changes in abortion laws are among the most controversial changes that have been in force by 2015. ...<br> <br> New rules on circumcision: Public hospitals can implement ritual circumcision of male children with state reimbursement. <span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">[</span><span style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">Almost all the boys will be Muslim and hence old enough to remember it, not newborn. How do Norwegian taxpayers feel about paying for this?</span><span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">]</span></p> </div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> </center> <p>&nbsp;To <a href="news66.html" target="_blank">earlier news</a> ( <a href="news-cont2.html" target="_blank">headlines</a>)</p> <p>Back to the Intactivism <a href="../index.html#news">index page</a>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </body></html>