Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"I have assisted with about 200 [circumcisions] and I have seen sleeping babies not wake up as I gently strapped them to the table. One even slept through the betadine and that is cold stuff. So it is not the restriction that is the problem.

"They take a metal probe-- similar to the one the dental hygienist scales teeth with-- and separate the foreskin from the glans. Babies scream so hard that they end up with their faces red and mouths wide open with no sound coming out. I had to hold their heads to the side because some vomit from the pain. I always had to get close to their faces and stroke their cheeks because they would stop breathing.

"The doc puts a bell over the foreskin and slides a sterile safety pin through a hole and then through the skin. He cuts with a blade for what seems like an eternity for this baby and deposits the skin on the sterile tray. The penis is RAW-- I often through [thought] it must feel like a 3rd degree burn with alcohol being poured over it. Consoling is impossible. They shake and their eyes are wide open with panic.

"Yes, I felt horrible every time. I never got used to it. Each procedure looked as barbaric as the next. [With] many, too much skin was taken off or too little (not worth that torture). I have seen infections, too: the risk of any invasive procedure-- even with sterile fields."




"Routine Infant Circumcision" is the most appalling euphamism of our times.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Ronin said...

Dear god... :S

I can't even imagine the pain these kids go through. They don't even use local anesthesia?

"Civilized society" my ass...

4:49 AM  
Blogger Revamp said...

"I can't even imagine the pain these kids go through. They don't even use local anesthesia?"

They do in some cases with some doctors but this presents problems of its own: for one thing (as you can imagine) shoving a needle full of drugs into an infant's immature penis is going to hurt it anyway, even if not nearly enough as the procedure would without such chemical numbing.

And then there is the fact that anaesthetics are hard enough to administer safely to adults and with the neo-natal physiology using that kind of drug (especially generally) is a risk-filled process and one packed full of potential complications.

Babies have died from overdoses.

So many just do it without, despite studies showing that infants can even feel more pain that adults. What was described there happens millions of times each year without any medical neccessity.

The amount of pain they are forced to endure with no consent, no awareness, no say whatsoever in the matter is also beyond my imagination.

""Civilized society" my ass..."

I do find it quite hard to believe that a modern society that values its respect for human rights and basic dignities performs such a radical operation on such a vast scale with such poor excuses.

Nigh on impossible to believe at times.

Without having read such descriptions as the one I posted I would probably view some level of absurdist humour in the whole atrocious affair.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Ronin said...

"And then there is the fact that anaesthetics are hard enough to administer safely to adults"

Hmm... I don't think that's a problem these days. :) It's only a needle and a syringe. How hard can it be? :) Few people are alergic to those kinds of things... even if they are, I'm sure there are ways to counteract the effects of such drugs.

"and with the neo-natal physiology using that kind of drug (especially generally) is a risk-filled process and one packed full of potential complications."

True. THAT didn't cross my mind. But what about such extreme pain? I highly doubt that a child will ever fully forget it. It'll be burried somewhere in its sub-conscience or whereever... I consider the risk justifiable.

"I do find it quite hard to believe that a modern society that values its respect for human rights and basic dignities performs such a radical operation on such a vast scale with such poor excuses."

Well, at this point, the entire world is hypocritical beyond anything. We set rules, and yet we brake them at the same time... so no surprises there. :)

6:23 AM  
Blogger Revamp said...

"Hmm... I don't think that's a problem these days. :) It's only a needle and a syringe. How hard can it be? :) Few people are alergic to those kinds of things... even if they are, I'm sure there are ways to counteract the effects of such drugs."

The problem is neither the needle, nor the syringe or even allergies (which are highly rare) but more how much is required compared to their body mass.

Too low it doesen't work, fair enough you try again.

Too high though, causes some bigger problems. People can go to sleep and not wake up if you get too high...


"True. THAT didn't cross my mind. But what about such extreme pain? I highly doubt that a child will ever fully forget it. It'll be burried somewhere in its sub-conscience or whereever... I consider the risk justifiable."


Justifiable? Well, hardly.

There is a risk that you are going to kill a new-born child with no say over anything that is occuring to them at any stage for...What exactly? Something that has been conclusively shown to be of no medical benefits and might cause them a vast array of problems from insensitivity to a need for artificial replacement for natural lubricant in later life to penile infections in the massive gaping wound around their head and disrupted breast feeding patterns immediately afterwards even assuming that it all goes RIGHT.

Best just to leave be really...

(Oh but you might well be right about the whole subconsious thing. That soon after birth their is no capacity for consious memory whatsoever, meaning they can not actually recall events.

However it has been theorised that if they experience very traumatic events the recollection fills other parts of the brain and creates a subconsious impact rather than an actual recollection.

It is usually speculated with regards to disgust and parental shame and such but I reckon something this traumatic could have its impact.


"Well, at this point, the entire world is hypocritical beyond anything. We set rules, and yet we brake them at the same time... so no surprises there. :)"

Sadly you are precisely right. We torture our prisoners plenty so why not our young while we're at it?

To be honest though the kind of mindset which sees a new-born baby boy, fresh from the womb and thinks "Hmm...He might look alright if we sliced that bit up a bit..." is utterly beyond me.

6:44 AM  
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7:08 AM  

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