Ethical aspects of medically unnecessary child genital cutting Cover Image

Etyczne aspekty "obrzezania"
Ethical aspects of medically unnecessary child genital cutting

Author(s): Karolina Wiśniowska
Subject(s): Philosophy, Ethics / Practical Philosophy
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego
Keywords: female genital cutting; circumcision; genital alteration; ethics; bioethics; Seattle compromise; surrogate decision making; harm principle; best interest standard

Summary/Abstract: Female genital cutting includes procedures which remove or cause injury to some or all women’s external genital organs. There are a lot of medical risks involved with many of its forms – nevertheless, in some societies it is mainstream practice, carried out mostly on girls younger than fifteen years of age. There are some similarities between female genital cutting and male circumcision: young age of people who are being subjected to those procedures, and – to some extend – symbolic meaning and risk of harm. Female genital cutting is strictly banned in Western countries, while male circumcision is accepted. It indicates on how biased the Western view is when it comes to evaluating the practice of male circumcision. In this paper, it is considered if it would be acceptable to make compromise in the case of female genital cutting in the form of so-called Seattle compromise. There are convincing arguments to stop those practices altogether, no matter what sex children are, but it needs to be taken into consideration that change will not happen overnight. This is why the situation calls for a compromise solution. When we consider medically unnecessary genital cutting, same standards should be applied to minor cases of FGC as well as to male circumcision. At the same time it needs to be assured that all procedures which result in negative medical consequences or in a serious risk of such are completely banned.

  • Issue Year: 2020
  • Issue No: 51
  • Page Range: 45-64
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish