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To be pretty uncomfortable with home circumcision

(579 Posts)
EastofEast Sun 20-Oct-13 20:31:51

We get on very well with our neighbours and are pretty close but I was a bit shocked today, one of those moments where you find you really have opposing views on something quite fundamental.

Neighbour has a (gorgeous) two week old boy. She knocked on the door earlier to return my car keys (went to get a new battery for hers in my car) and I mentioned her new ds was unsettled for the first time ever; joking maybe he wasn't the perfect baby after all. My baby is demanding much more vocal about her needs. She said it was because he was circumcised today. I must have looked a little put off, I don't agree with it at all, as she then said 'oh he's doing really well. We were lucky the doctor came to house to do this one, all the others had to go to a clinic'. I was stunned, I'm amazed you're allowed to do such a thing at home in such an unregulated way. Frankly I wouldn't allow any deliberate harm to come to a child that wasn't medically necessary, but considering some people do do it I thought the rules would be tighter. We're both from (different) backgrounds which circumcise, although I refused to change my son, and I knew she'd do it after a related chat about whether fgm was that bad over a coffee one day but it's still upset me a bit the way it's done. The poor little thing is grumpy with loads of adults around to celebrate the event passing him round and round at 8.30pm.

I know the circumcision vs no circumcision has been done already, and not everyone shares my strong views, but at home? Should this be ok? I can't think of other similar procedures happening in a similar environment.

foreverondiet Sun 20-Oct-13 20:36:08

It's a minor procedure - and no need to be done in hospital provided doctor is suitably qualified. Certainly lower risk than giving birth at home for example. Why do you care?

Tailz Sun 20-Oct-13 20:37:43

This springs to mind

OvaryAction Sun 20-Oct-13 20:39:58

I suppose if someone is going to mutilate their son's genitals, they might as well do it at home if it is 'safe' to do so. I would think that the idea is that it's less stressful for the baby to be in it's home environment.

Still think it's vile and barbaric wherever it's done but I'm sure plenty of people will be along to say it's completely fine to slice bits of your defenseless baby for no genuine medical reason and who are you to judge hmm

foreverondiet Sun 20-Oct-13 20:42:07

But in that link the person performing the procedure wasn't properly qualified. I am sure someone else knows the law - is it legal to circumcise a boy without a suitable qualification? However don't see why home circumcision with qualified person is different to doctor surgery circumcision with qualified person?

EastofEast Sun 20-Oct-13 20:43:18

Well I care I guess because the little boy was born perfect and just right, had a bit chopped off unnecessarily which hurt and possibly was done by just about anyone as it's seemingly unregulated. Could I set myself up tomorrow with nail clippers, tcp and some tongs to snip bits off babies? Now I'm listening to a sore baby through the wall so it's on my mind.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 20-Oct-13 20:43:25

I think it should be done in a GP surgery or hospital by someone medically trained to do it.

Home birth are totally different as birth is a natural process and normally there are 2 MW and if the mother needs to go to hospital then she can be blue lighted to hospital.

EastofEast Sun 20-Oct-13 20:45:27

But foreveronadiet, that's what worries me. How one earth to you keep proper checks on this when you do it in a home. Midwives are under a hospital and the NHS ensures standards or the appropriate medical body, the check seem quite tight. Plus a consenting adult is agreeing to any additional risks after being fully informed.

Tailz Sun 20-Oct-13 20:45:57

Re the link, I agree, she wasn't qualified but I suppose I'd question how many people would check to see if someone was properly qualified to practice in their home?

How would you check that they held the correct up to date qualification, do people use word of mouth and go with a recommendation? If the procedure is carried out in a GPs surgery/hospital, the checks are already in place.

Thants Sun 20-Oct-13 20:48:28

I don't agree with circumcision at all, it is cruel and pointless.
It doesn't sound sanitary to do it at home. But I don't know the risk of infection etc. was it a doctor that performed it? Are there laws that regulate this?

TrueStory Sun 20-Oct-13 20:49:59

Sorry to hear you had to hear this OP. I would be upset too. Even if they think its normal, they must surely be aware, others don't?!! Probably not ... that's what neighbours are for surely - i.e. being insensitive idiots

I think circumcision is a really weird thing to do. I have never heard a valid reason for it. I once had a Jewish boyfriend who had nightmares about the whole thing. It lowers male sexual sensitivity as I recall. Why would anyone do that?

And why is it still legal, exactly, I would be curious to know?

Writerwannabe83 Sun 20-Oct-13 20:51:08

I remember once at work we had a very young baby bought in who suffered major complications as a result of a home circumcision. He was extremely unwell and had to go straight to theatre for various repairs. He was in our HDU for weeks. It was very upsetting and I think even the parents were taken aback by it all. I have had various parents, in a professional capacity, ask me about having their new baby circumcised but the surgeons have always said that unless it is for medical reasons the NHS won't do it. It is difficult really because then it does put families in the position of using 'doctors at home' to carry it out, potentially putting babies at risk and then the NHS ultimately coming to the rescue anyway.

TrueStory Sun 20-Oct-13 20:55:31

Well that is very sad, Writer. I am glad NHS won't do it, but wonder why people think therefore its OK to do at home sad. What are they thinking?

Writerwannabe83 Sun 20-Oct-13 21:00:04

I'd guess almost 100% of the cases are based on religion. I know some Eastern religions believe all boys should be circumcised and to not have it done is considered dirty or something? All babies I have seen who've had it done for non-medical reasons (or parents that have approached me about the procedure) have all been from Asian backgrounds.

I imagine if their beliefs are so strong that it must be done then they won't overlook it just because the NHS won't do it.

appletarts Sun 20-Oct-13 21:01:06

It is Jewish tradition to do it at home and have a brit 'do' after. I think you'll find this is called diversity.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 20-Oct-13 21:02:53

What is a 'Brit Do'?

EastofEast Sun 20-Oct-13 21:05:40

Writer-Our neighbours are not Asian, it's very common with African Christians from certain countries and not just a Jewish/ Muslim thing at all. It's possibly why they think we understand, as we're all Catholic. I guess they would view it as cultural, rather than religion based, however I'm not 100% on that. It's awful to hear of that baby in HDU.

I don't know who did it exactly or their qualifications. My neighbours are educated and intelligent so I'm sure they had the sense to do through checks, however I bet others purely go on word of mouth.

appletarts Sun 20-Oct-13 21:09:41

brit milah. The mohel (surgeon) is always qualified and probably does this as his full-time job, it's not a case of some bloke coming round the house.

EastofEast Sun 20-Oct-13 21:12:15

but appletarts, do you know if there is anything in place to ensure it's not 'some bloke coming round the house'?

HarderToKidnap Sun 20-Oct-13 21:12:34

Medically speaking, male circumcision is akin to a piercing or removing a skin tag or releasing a tongue tie. It's doesn't need to be done at a hospital at all! I would hazard a guess that a majority of non-medical circumcisions are carried out in the home. Our local guy is a gynaecologist in the NHS but does circumcision privately at the client's home.

HarderToKidnap Sun 20-Oct-13 21:16:00

Your GP would normally refer you to the local private practitioner. If you need a mohel and don't already know the local one,they are registered with the Beth din so you'd go through them. Do you think parents are just grabbing the nearest person with a pair or scissors?

fluffandnonsense Sun 20-Oct-13 21:16:28

Babies die from circumcision even when done by a doctor. It's unnecessary and barbaric. YANBU at all in the least!

Writerwannabe83 Sun 20-Oct-13 21:16:53

I think you are right East - it probably is more culturally based than religiously based. I knew something didn't 'sit right' when I was typing it out but couldn't put my finger on it [ smile] I imagine it is a lot more widespread then people realise and spreads across a whole host of religions, countries and ethnicities.

I do wonder though why it is legally allowed when FGM isn't. After all, if circumcision isn't necessary then surely performing it could be considered as being mutilation of the males genitals?

clarinsgirl Sun 20-Oct-13 21:18:24

Qualified, Not qualified, who cares. Child mutilation should be illegal. YANBU.

Viviennemary Sun 20-Oct-13 21:18:42

If a qualifed doctor did it then I assume according to the law it's fine. Whether or not you think circumcision should be allowed at all is a different matter altogether.

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