A report published on March 25th 2022 tells of a 13yo who died in Lucena, Quezon, The Philippines following his circumcision.
According to another report "24 Oras," the boy bled to death after bleeding would not stop after being circumcised at a "free circumcision event" organized by the Scout Royale Brotherhood.
Circumcision is a custom in the Philippine Islands, thought to be a holdover from their Islamic past. While Filipinos are mostly Catholic now, and the Bible prohibits circumcision for gentiles (Galatians 5), circumcision continues to be ingrained in Filipino culture.
Boys being circumcised at a "circumcision party" in Marikina, The Philippines
Unlike the United States where male infant circumcision is performed on newborns, in the Philippines it is a rite of passage, often performed on older boys. In the Philippines, circumcision can happen at a hospital, or a doctor's office, but it often happens at mass circumcision events, where boys are gathered and circumcised by organizations dedicated to circumcising boys.
Because it is stigmatized to remain intact, or "supot" as they say in the Philippines, most boys are geared toward getting circumcised from a young age, in the summer before going back to school.
While most circumcisions are performed "successfully," where the destruction of the glanular hood is intentional, there are risks that attend the procedure.
Various kinds of infection, including MRSA and galloping gangrene can occur, part or full ablation of the penis can happen, and hemorrhage or sepsis can occur. The most common complication of circumcision is uncontrollable bleeding.
Not to mention that even a circumcision considered "successful" will not always be an aesthetically pleasing result, often resulting in too much or too little skin removed, skin tags, uneven scarring and other misshaping.
And yes, death is a risk of male circumcision.
These risks attend male circumcision at any age.
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued their policy statement on male infant circumcision, where they state that "the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks," but at the same time, in the same policy statement, they say "the true incidence of complications after newborn circumcision is unknown." The statement concluded that "the benefits are not enough to recommend the procedure," while at the same time, that parents should be the ones to weight the risks and benefits for themselves, the risks of which are, by the AAP's own admission, unknown. In effect, the AAP absolves doctors who perform circumcisions on healthy minors of any responsibility, placing the onus on parents instead.
Because this is cosmetic, non-medical surgery, whether or not these risks are conscionable ought to be considered when performing it on healthy, non-consenting minors.
It is my view that, unless absolutely indicated, the decision of whether or not to circumcise should be left up to the individual in question, when he is of age, and after he has considered all the benefits and risks for himself.
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