Routine circumcision in male infants is a potentially dangerous and unnecessary procedure, according to a Dublin surgeon, who has dismissed the rationale for the procedure as unproven and without medical justification.
Dublin consultant plastic surgeon Mr Matt McHugh – who has been speaking out against the practice for more than 30 years - said circumcision was a form of genital mutilation that exposed patients to a number of health risks according to www.irishhealth.com.
Writing in the latest issue of Modern Medicine, the Irish journal of clinical medicine, Mr McHugh is reported to have said: "There is no rationale for carrying out this extremely painful, traumatic and potentially dangerous procedure on male infants
"While female genital mutilation (FGM) is banned in Ireland and regarded as a serious assault, circumcision, which is a form of male genital mutilation, is not illegal, with the procedure still undertaken by some doctors."
"Circumcision, like any other operation, is subject to the risk of haemorrhage and sepsis. Infection is also fairly common. Occasionally, infection may lead to more serious complications such as partial necrosis of the penis, or it may be a source of septicaemia."
Mr McHugh said the reasons put forward for circumcision are "unproven and have no scientific basis of fact".
M McHugh has also spoken out against the practice of circumcision for medical conditions like “phimosis” stating that a "simple dorsal slit" in the foreskin is sufficient to cure the problem.
Most significantly he states that "circumcision is a procedure that should never be performed...It involves a general anaesthetic. It's disfiguring and basically you're removing something that shouldn't be removed".