Topic: Health

Circumcision has no clinical benefits - Dr Lance O'Sullivan

  • Northland

Dr Lance O’Sullivan says clinical benefits of circumcision should be separated from cultural and religious practices.

This comes after 29,000 doctors in Denmark have chosen to abandon the practice.

Dr O’Sullivan says he’s not a fan of imposing the western model of circumcision on different cultures or different ethnic groups.

However, 10% of New Zealand boys are still being circumcised because of religious or cultural beliefs.

Dr O’Sullivan says, “It’s great to see that we don’t routinely do these practices anymore. Whether we should be saying that includes people who come from certain groups of our society that have religious and cultural beliefs, I think there’s more thought required in that.”

Last week Dr O’Sullivan had to arrange a circumcision for a young boy because the boy had a very tight foreskin.

The rare disorder called phimosis makes it difficult to retract the foreskin causing pain and it can contribute to infections.

“The definitive treatment for that is circumcision and that’s really appropriate.”

He says, “If you look at female circumcision that occurs in Africa, that’s cultural but it’s really abhorrent.”

I’m not one who’d say ‘yep’ we should ban this altogether, in this case – in terms of male circumcision.