Monday, May 10, 2010

American Academy of Pediatrics Endorses Female Genital Cutting

I'd say this is beyond belief, but in a country where it is legal to murder the child in the womb, what's left? How our medical profession has lost its way!

From the New York Times:

"In a controversial change to a longstanding policy concerning the practice of female circumcision in some African and Asian cultures, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting that American doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or “nick” on girls from these cultures if it would keep their families from sending them overseas for the full circumcision.

The academy’s committee on bioethics, in a policy statement last week, said some pediatricians had suggested that current federal law, which “makes criminal any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals” of a girl in the United States, has had the unintended consequence of driving some families to take their daughters to other countries to undergo mutilation...

A member of the academy’s bioethics committee, Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, said the panel’s intent was to issue a “statement on safety in a culturally sensitive context...."

“If we just told parents, ‘No, this is wrong,’ our concern is they may take their daughters back to their home countries, where the procedure may be more extensive cutting and may even be done without anesthesia, with unsterilized knives or even glass,” she said. “A just-say-no policy may end up alienating these families, who are going to then find an alternative that will do more harm than good.”

MORE HARM THAN GOOD? What possible good can she be referring to? What possible good can come from female genital mutilation?

The American Academy of Pediatrics was not so concerned about "cultural sensitivity" when it comes to abortion, though. Here their position on parental notification laws:

"Legislation mandating parental involvement does not achieve the intended benefit of promoting family communication, but it does increase the risk of harm to the adolescent by delaying access to appropriate medical care...[M]inors should not be compelled or required to involve their parents in their decisions to obtain abortions, although they should be encouraged to discuss their pregnancies with their parents and other responsible adults." -The Adolescent's Right to Confidential Care When Considering Abortion," Pediatrics, Vol. 97, # 5 (1996-MAY), Page 746.


Anonymous said...

The AAP states: "The AAP opposes ALL forms of female genital cutting that pose a risk of physical or psychological harm, and encourages its members not to perform such procedures. In addition, the AAP urges pediatricians and pediatric surgical specialists to actively dissuade parents from carrying out ritual FGC and provide families with education about the lifelong physical harms and psychological suffering associated with the procedure. Many parents who request FGC do so out of tradition, and also out of concern for daughters’ marriage ability within their culture, so physicians need to remain sensitive while informing them of the harmful and potentially life-threatening consequences."

Gibbons in SF said...

Are there forms of female genital cutting that DON'T "pose a risk of of physical or psychological harm"?

Anonymous said...

In light of this are you willing also to oppose and be vocal about male genital mutilation? (also known as routine circumcision) Thousands of baby boys regardless of race or cultures in the US are subjected to this horror every year... and your insurance company will gladly pay for it! When will THIS insane practice stop?