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Australian Medical Association Warns Parents Not To Circumcise Their Boys Unless Absolutely Necessary


Australian Medical Association Warns Parents Not To Circumcise Their Boys Unless Absolutely Necessary

The Australian Medical Association has warned parents against circumcising their baby boys unless it's 'absolutely necessary'.

There was a horrifying incident earlier this month that saw a toddler die and his younger brother rushed to hospital following a botched circumcision.

The WA Australian Medical Association president Mark Duncan-Smith said there's only a handful of medical reasons why someone would need to have their foreskin removed.

"It's a very, very good conversation to have with your trusted GP," he said. "Your GP can advise you the proper indications for circumcision, the dangers, how it's done.


"And that has to be part of the evaluation of whether or not it's appropriate for a child to have a circumcision.

"But certainly from a routine point of view, circumcision is not undertaken in Australia and in children and should only be undertaken for medical reasons."

It was fairly common for fellas to get the snip in Australia in the 20th century and apart from it being a religious thing, it also grew into a cultural thing.

Around 80 per cent of men in the country had the procedure done to them when they were a newborn in the 1950s.


However, the tide has been slowly turning against that over the past few decades and now Australia's circumcision rate is pretty low.

According to Better Health, fewer than 20 per cent of Aussie males are circumcised.

Dr Duncan-Smith says people have been slowly realising that there's no need to get the procedure done.

"The reason for the change is really in Australian society, there wasn't many medical reasons for circumcision to be undertaken," he said.


"As opposed to countries developing countries such as in Africa, where there are specific disease reasons such as a higher incidence of HIV and also HPV virus infections with patient people who are uncircumcised.

"As with any medical procedure, proper consultation with the patient, parents and the child should be undertaken beforehand.

"And also, clearly a history of bleeding in the family would be a red flag for for example.

"Needless to say that certainly we believe that if a child is to have a circumcision for medical reasons, that it should be done by an appropriate specialist and must be done with anaesthesia, appropriate anaesthesia."


He also questioned why it's allowed when female genital mutilation is outlawed in Australia.

The WA AMA President said it's a tough 'ethical dilemma' and one that probably won't be concluded for a while.

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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