Denmark’s Doctors Declare Circumcision “Ethically Problematic”

Men and Circumcision

Health experts in Denmark are calling a battle cry against circumcision.

Circumcision has always been a hotly polarizing topic. The practice of cutting off the foreskin from newborn babies’ penises is an age-old custom. About 37% to 39% of the world’s male population is circumcised, according to one study. While circumcision is most common in the Muslim world, but it is also frequently seen in Israel, South Korea, the United States, and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa.

But to those who don’t practice the procedure religiously, curcumin is a barbaric procedure. It doesn’t help that societal pressure prevented many from questioning the procedure for decades. In as recently as in the 1990s, it was believed that babies were immune to pain because they eventually stopped crying during the circumcision process. But researchers later discovered that’s because babies eventually shut down from the immense pain.

Of course, modern medicine has learned from that mistake and about other factors of circumcision. Many now take the stance of making circumcision an optional practice that one can choose to do at an older age. In addition, some health experts assure that there are minor health benefits such as slightly lowering HIV transmission risk and risk of contracting penile cancer.  But according to the Huffington Post and doctors in Denmark, that is not enough.

Denmark And Circumcision

According to a nationally representative poll from 2016, 87 percent of Danes would prefer a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of minors. Many doctors in Denmark and other Nordic countries agree that circumcision of healthy boys is ethically problematic. In fact, the Danish Medical Association, made up of 29,185 members, has revised its policy on circumcision to condemn the practice.

As the Huffington Post translates from the policy revision:

“Circumcision of boys without a medical indication is ethically unacceptable when the procedure is carried out without informed consent from the person undergoing the surgery. Therefore, circumcision should not be performed before the boy is 18 years old and able to decide whether this is an operation he wants.”

As the years have gone by, there has been a growing resentment and opposition to circumcision in the Western world. From discussions about the harms of the practice to a recent viral video of a young boy crying about the procedure. In addition, there’s growing health reports saying that the benefits are not nearly worth the emotional and physical scarring. A recent study found that male circumcision can come with a series of complications like hemorrhaging, infection, glandular injury, and iatrogenic hypospadias.

So it appears that the Danes are not the only ones who have a bone to pick with the circumcision practice. But will more turn to agree with them or will things stay primarily the same? Only time will tell.

h/t: The Huffington Post

About Devin Jackson Randall 566 Articles
Geek by chance, and an artist by birth. Devin is a journalist and blogger who's always glad to share insights and developments on men's issues. Aside from news stories, he often writes about the roles placed upon men by society, and how both affect the relationships around us. Click on the hyperlinked text to follow him on --> Twitter. Email him at --> [email protected]


  1. It isn’t just Denmark. Three national medical organizations (Iceland, Sweden and Germany) have called for elective infant male circumcision to be *banned*, and the national medical organization in the Netherlands has said they’d support a ban if they didn’t think it would drive the practice underground.

    “Routine” circumcision *is* banned in public hospitals in Australia (almost all the men responsible for this policy will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%).

    If it weren’t a religious thing, elective circumcision of boys would have been banned in lots of countries decades ago, same as it was for girls.

  2. People just do not realize that homo sapiens has practiced circumcision from an early time.
    Some boys are born without a foreskin, about 4% – see table 2
    And, ancient man noticed the health and reproductive benefits of these foreskinless males, leading to circumcising males in their societies.
    An observant Hebrew God noticed this, and ordained circumcision for all Jewish males with foreskins on day 8, remarkably similar to modern medical recommendations. Ancient man knew nothing about Vitamin K’s influence on clotting or clotting ability maximized on day 8 which modern research has discovered. Ancient man’s “wisdom of the commons” was equal to modern medical research.
    Modern research shows the health benefits of circumcision.
    Decrease in disease and death for circumcised males and their partner. No research that shows an advantage for remaining uncircumcised.
    The UN in its Convention on the Rights of the Child stated
    “Article 18
    1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child.
    The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.”
    This was signed by all nations, incorporated into statute, supported by court decision, and incorporated into medical society bylaws.
    Better health is definitely in the best interests of the child, so morally and ethically the parent should consider giving their child these advantages.
    So, history, the UN, treaty ratification and statute implementation have provided the basis for the current status quo. As opposed to vaccination, no one is forced to circumcise their son or to get circumcised. It is just in their best interests. But, by the same token, retrograde opinions against circumcision cannot be allowed to compromise the health decisions of everybody.

  3. All members of the UN voted to ban any cut on a girl’s genitals. Boys and girls are equal, so boys deserve the same protection.

    • Actually, the UN treats boys and girls equally.

      “The best interests of the child will be their [parents] basic concern.”

      No non-therapeutic genital surgery on girls has recognized health benefits. The UN, WHO, and other agencies thus rightly ban this.

      By the same token, infant circumcision has been shown to have numerous health benefits. The UN, WHO, and numerous other agencies thus support circumcision. We see this especially now in Africa where circumcision is being promoted as a first line defense against the proliferation of HIV, to be supplemented with other interventions as the nation can supply.

      Do not attempt to conflate circumcision with FGM.

  4. As an additional note, the majority of claims anti-circumcision proponents make are erroneous:

    Sensation/nerve endings:

    Anatomical function:

    Origin of circumcision in America:

    Often times, anti-circumcision activists, who consistently use the above fallacies in their arguments, will accuse anyone who is pro or even neutral towards circumcision, namely when they are from the US, of having cultural bias. However, this is a feeble argument. The same could be said of anyone from any culture which doesn’t routinely or culturally practice circumcision – like of Denmark and other Nordic countries, who are particularly estranged to that custom, in fact.

    To be frank, the doctors in Denmark aren’t to be taken that seriously, in my opinion, if they are so remiss as to overlook the blatant errors in the propaganda used by anti-circumcision, as well the factor of their own biases, and fail to put their view into perspective.

  5. The Mayo clinic says circumcised is healthier than uncircumcised 100 to 1. You can’t just wash away Bacteria. WHICH is why uncircumcised has millions more bacteria on its microbiome than circumcised.

    • That is pure horse pucky. The entire body has bacteria. You need some basic in physiology and common sense. MAYO is hopelessly pro-circumcision and allow a perverted non-doctor Brian Morris and a now-dead Jewish fanatic Edgar Schoen to edit their pages

      • Ad hominem. Show where these men published false data, not that you do not like them.

        Brian Morris developed the PCR HPV test which is driving a decrease in cervical cancer, arguably one of the most important advances.

        Edgar Schoen is a highly regarded doctor who started his career as an anti-circumcision proponent, but had his mind changed when he saw the results of research, becoming a proponent of MIC.

  6. Thomas posted links from a website named “Circumcision Choice”. The people who run and associate with the site have posted comments on Facebook that celebrate the death of an intactivist and wish for the death of more intactivists.

    Brett claims Mayo Clinic says circumcision is better, 100 to 1. This is a lie. The 100:1 figure comes from Brian Morris, a pro-circumcision researcher who opposes parental choice and had revised his figure down from 200:1 in prior years. If his figure can fluctuate by 100 in a year, who’s to say it won’t drop to 0?

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