Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
Excerpt:
• Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
• Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

<< “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

<< His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

<< “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

“It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

Related column:

• Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

URL related G+ posts: 
plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

#ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
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    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
    Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
    By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
    theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
    Excerpt:
    • Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
    • Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

    << “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

    There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

    << His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

    The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

    << “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

    He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

    His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

    “It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

    When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

    Related column:

    • Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
    nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
    plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
    plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
    plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
    plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

    #ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
    ____________________ 
  • 83 plusses - 146 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • 10 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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    Reshared text:
    #scoobydoo
  • 25 plusses - 6 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-05 20:08:34
    RESHARE:
    Cynicism, ageism, racism, sexism, and socialism, all distilled in one sentence.

    Reshared text:
    #scoobydoo
  • 25 plusses - 6 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-05 20:08:34
    RESHARE:
    Cynicism, ageism, racism, sexism, and socialism, all distilled in one sentence.

    Reshared text:
    #scoobydoo
  • 25 plusses - 6 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-07-10 02:02:40
    Lawrence Krauss - Debate in Stockholm, 2013 (1 h 5 min)
    Attendees: Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson, Ulrika Engström. Published April 17, 2013
    youtu.be.com/PL84Yg2dNsg (1 h 5 min 18 s)

    Video blurb:
    << A discussion about the definition of nothing. And the relation of philosophy and theology to science. Attendees are Lawrence M Krauss, Bengt Gustafsson, Åsa Wikforss, Stefan Gustavsson and Ulrika Engström. Moderator: Christer Sturmark. >>

    Comment:
    This is an interesting and entertaining debate, of a good intellectual level, without being difficult to follow. The argumentative level and eloquence of all the attendees is more than worthy. Ignore the partisan comments posted on YouTube comment section, most commenters are tribal and revanchists, regardless of the topic and their knowledge on it.


    Related articles:

    • David Albert. On the Origin of Everything. The New York Times (March 23, 2012).
    nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html 

    • Ross Andersen. Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete? The Atlantic (April 23, 2012).
    theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-made-philosophy-and-religion-obsolete/256203 

    • Sean Carroll. A Universe from Nothing? Discover Magazine (April 28, 2012).
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/04/28/a-universe-from-nothing 

    • Adam Frank. Blackboard Rumble: Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy (and Philosophers)? NPR (May 1, 2012).
    npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/01/151752815/blackboard-rumble-why-are-physicists-hating-on-philosophy-and-philosophers 


    Further reading:

    • Susan Haack. Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism. Skeptical Enquirer vol. 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997)
    csicop.org/si/show/science_scientism_and_anti-science_in_the_age_of_preposterism 

    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism. 2009
    PDF freely available: 
    uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Haack,%20Six%20Signs%20of%20Scientism.pdf 

    Talk (video): 
    • Susan Haack. Six Signs of Scientism (talk). Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. January 7, 2011
    youtu.be/v0QmS783Kmw (1 h 36 min)

    • Leon Wieseltier. Washington Diarist: The Answers. New Republic (Dec 14, 2011)
    newrepublic.com/article/washington-diarist/magazine/98566/science-atheism-meaning-life 

    Comments (video):
    • Leon Wieseltier. On the Value of the Humanities. Aug 5, 2013
    youtu.be/GevfKLmmMr0 (3 min 27 s)


    • Philip Kitcher. The Trouble with Scientism. New Republic (May 4, 2012)
    newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103086/scientism-humanities-knowledge-theory-everything-arts-science 

    • Julian Friedland. Philosophy Is Not a Science. The New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science 

    • Dave Pruett. Science's Sacred Cows. The Huffington Post. Jan 2, 2013 - Apr 4, 2013
    Part 1.: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-1_b_2392381.html 
    Part 2. Absolute Space and Time: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/newtons-laws_b_2431074.html 
    Part 3. Determinism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-determinism_b_2490045.html
    Part 4. Dualism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part-4-dualism_b_2606489.html 
    Part 5. Locality: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_b_2663986.html 
    Part 6. Realism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/science-sacred-cows-part-6-realism_b_2796507.html 
    Part 7. Reductionism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/reductionism_b_2891392.html 
    Part 8. Materialism: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_1_b_2948321.html 
    Part 9. Conclusion: huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/sciences-sacred-cows-part_2_b_3008153.html 

    • Melanie Phillips. The New Intolerance. Standpoint (May 2012)
    standpointmag.co.uk/node/4411/full 

    • Thomas Burnett. What is Scientism? AAAS (Dec 19, 2013)
    aaas.org/page/what-scientism 

    Science Beyond Scientism. The Abraham Kuyper Center. 2014-2015
    abrahamkuypercenter.vu.nl/en/research/projects/index.asp 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CliffHarvey/posts/gTR6eg66kyd 
    plus.google.com/+BetsyMcCall/posts/6XGDod9HFXr 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5LJCJLyv3Fg 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/NnrmEg92BfZ 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/5iCEh3r1Cma 
    ____________________ 
  • 11 plusses - 0 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-11-12 05:58:58
    RESHARE:
    facebook.com/ILIWIWUITMABOIP - German Solar Power Plants Produced a World Record 22 GW of electricity
    By I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President. November 11, 2012
    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477159532318469 

    Quiz: Can you spot the basic MISTAKE in the text of this meme?

    <<German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour, equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity.
    Solar power in the United States has been demonized as a "Left Wing conspiracy".>> [ sic ]

    Shame on you, N. Allnoch, E. Kirschbaum and/or Reuters!

    uk.reuters.com - Germany sets new solar power record, institute says
    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN | Sat May 26, 2012
    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 

    (Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
    ________________________ 

    Excerpt from G+ post comments:

    Skane Canyon Nov 11, 2012 6:47 AM+5
    Germany is blowing everyone else away at solar power production. And they are even farther north than we are. We could be doing a lot better here in the U.S. if it weren't for all the years of suppression, but that said, we are not at the bottom of the list either. I feel as though we are reaching a turning point. I'm seeing more and more solar panels on houses where I live. Maybe a sort of grass roots movement is taking place that will tell politicians and big energy that we demand it.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:17 AM
    An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans. In other words they couldn't use the money loaned to them to build a panel better an cheaper than the Chinese.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 7:22 AM +3
    I'm curious why the thermal concentration style isn't more common for large scale installation instead of PV. It's quite a bit more efficient, and if I remember right there was one in Spain that had enough stored energy to keep juice flowing in the event that the sun failed to rise for a week. 
    Since it shares a lot of components it could be backed up by a more conventional natural gas generator or something (in case it's night time for more than a week...) 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:30 AM +1
    Because they raise the overall temperature in the area. Change weather patterns a promote desertification! I believe there are only three in the US, two in California an one in the Mid West. None produce enough electricity to power much.
    _________________ 

    Duncan Margetts Nov 11, 2012 7:34 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield Cant work out if you're serious or being satirical? How can a solar thermal concentration plant raise temperatures in the area they are located in? That would require a net ingress of energy to the area.. in fact, its clear that energy is being taken OUT of the area in which its being generated... please elaborate.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 8:21 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    Same thoughts as Duncan. I cannot figure out of your joking around or a total nut!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:24 AM +2
    It could be due to storage of molten salt? 
    I'm curious about the desertification. In North America that might be due to covering entire industrial properties in a thick layer of gravel. 
    I'm baffled by the local zoning for a couple PV parks here. They took farm land, covered it in gravel and solar panels. Which isn't great, but there is hundreds of acres of abandoned industrial land here that hasn't been touched in 40 years. 
    _________________ 

    Timothy Chase Nov 11, 2012 8:43 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield wrote, "An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans."

    Do you have a source for that?

    I understand that the default rate is actually quite low:

    "The default rate on the U.S. clean- energy loan program that funded Solyndra LLC is a fraction of what the government budgeted for losses.

    "The BGOV Barometer shows the default rate on the $16.1 billion Energy Department loan portfolio is less than 3.6 percent. The White House planned for defaults of as much as 12.85 percent for loans to solar, wind and bio-energy projects, according to the Office of Management and Budget."

    Solyndra Losses a Fraction of Default Budget: BGOV Barometer
    By Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM PT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/solyndra-losses-a-fraction-of-default-budget-bgov-barometer.html
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM (edited)
    In my opinion it can only be due to one of the two following processes (or a combination of the two):
    1. they cause a reduction in annual or seasonal precipitation;
    2. they indirectly increase plant evapotranspiration by rising local temperatures during the central hours of the day (solar plants contribute to decrease the albedo by absorbing radiant energy or converting it into heat). Also, higher temperatures would increase the direct evaporation from the terrain before it's absorbed from the soil by the vegetation.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:48 AM
    The oldest site of concentration reactor is in the California desert. The area around the reactor has had a heat index rise of a half a degree. Plants as well as animals no longer habitat the area surrounding the site. This reactor was built in the 70's an has been in operation since. It has killed the living Sonoran desert around it.

    About four years ago, several engineers got together to speculate on how to use solar energy to supply the entire planet. They designed a solar collection array over a 100 miles square in the Sahara. In fifty years time after completion of such a project. The Sahara would grow over 100 times faster. In other words it would cover greater that 7/10's of Africa at that point. This is because it raises the overall temperature of the area! In in simple terms it raise the ambient temperature of the area around it!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:49 AM +3
    Solyndra was doing something fairly different. Their failure doesn't have much to do with the technology they were working on or solar power in general 
    _________________ 

    Ivan Raszl Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM +2
    A typical nuclear plant produces 4GW, which means 22GW is only 5.5 plants. ;)

    Also, this was only a peak production record not a sustained or reliable amount of energy produced. Within hours the production went down to zero. :D

    Germany shuts down its own nuclear plants and buying electricity from the Czech Republic which is incidentally produced by nuclear. It's all politics and BS.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:58 AM
    It was my understanding because of the loan, there were not to compete directly with the Chinese on similar designs. I can't back the up, because it was considered hearsay rom disgruntled employees.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:00 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    You are a nut!!

    +Ivan Raszl 
    It is politics and panic. Even when you take out climate change, nuclear is still better overall than other energy sources. How many die every year from pollution and other problems from coal etc. power plants? 

    People expect nuclear to have a perfect safety record but let other types of plants generate all kinds of pollution etc. that affect our health.

    Still, for a long term solution, alternative energy sources are the way to go. They need time and investment to make them really work. A combination of sources is needed with both nuke and solar playing a part. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM (edited) +1
    +Ivan Raszl, that's the key point. Their peak production was achieved during the central hours of a quite unusual day that was sunny in all Germany, just some weeks before the summer solstitium. Their sustained production (the annual production) is way lower. Germany is an awful place to instal solar plants. I guess their intention is using their plants to convince other countries to instal solar plants and sell them the panels (or mirrors) that they produce, some sort of demonstration plants.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield solar one is in the Mojave, it was sited in an area where it would have minimal impact on wildlife. As far as I can determine there isn't anything suggesting mass destruction of flora and fauna. Including pretty pictures of wildlife amongst the array from the National Park Service. 
    I couldn't find any concentrator in the sonoran desert, I assume you mixed them up. 
    If a change of 0.5 degrees is enough to cause massive desertification global warming should be much more alarming. 
    I did see some reports of isreal considering solar concentration towers to combat desertification. I'm not sure where your information is coming from but it's not on the first few pages of google 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:08 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion Yes a very well informed an educated nut! Yet I see no rebuttal disputing what I've said from you. 
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:13 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield You just seem to out there for me to bother with and I am not even sure of your point. Besides, solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere. Looks like Eric Muller did a nice job of it though.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:19 AM
    I have a National Geo article about Solar One, I'll see if it's on line! It talked about heat in the atmosphere around the plant increasing enough to cause environmental impact.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM (edited)
    +Thoughts on Religion: "solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere"
    - What system? Have you ever heard of the albedo? You need first to define your system properly.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion it could create a localized hot spot, probably less than most industrial processes, but it's not out of the question. 
    Though it is capturing the heat and putting it elsewhere. 
    Usually they are located in arid areas with high insolation. Vegetation moderates the temperature quite a bit. On the other hand the array would create cool spots of shade over quite a wide area. 
    What he's saying isn't crazy enough that I didn't have to look it up. I can follow it. Based on a quick look though, it seems incorrect. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.[6][7] The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode.

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Professor Giovanni Francia (1911–1980) designed and built the first concentrated-solar plant. which entered into operation in Sant'Ilario, near Genoa, Italy in 1968. This plant had the architecture of today's concentrated-solar plants with a solar receiver in the center of a field of solar collectors. The plant was able to produce 1 MW with superheated steam at 100 bar and 500 degrees Celsius.[8] The 10 MW Solar One power tower was developed in Southern California in 1981, but the parabolic-trough technology of the nearby Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), begun in 1984, was more workable. The 354 MW SEGS is still the largest solar power plant in the world.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:29 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla No, I have not heard of it!
    What I want to say is this. If you are collecting energy with solar panels, then it is being used elsewhere. What is being absorbed by the solar panels is not available to heat the ground etc. So, I cannot see how it could be causing an area to heat up, unlike burning something which clearly is. 

    Anyway, my point is this. Something needs to be done about climate change etc. I favor a approach that uses solar, nuke etc. ANything to move away from fossil fuel!
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:30 AM (edited)
    Now can any of you truly say not all that reflective energy is not going just to were it's focused to? Part of that energy is reflected back into the atmosphere surrounding the site. What is part of that energy heat.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:35 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller, you do consider the fact that a significant part of the sunlight that hits the Earth surface is reflected back to upper layers of the atmosphere and the outer space, right? That is, unless you deflect that light with a mirror to heat something or you use that energy to generate electricity or to ionize molecules.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:33 AM
    The ones in Spain are the only sites that have plants around it. Most are being built in the Middle East desert or Western US desert.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:37 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield I'm not sure what you were trying to show with the wiki paste.
    The goal would be to have all the panels directing energy back to the collection point. Any leakage lowers the efficiency so it will be avoided. Even if there is some it would be significantly less than what was being captured and turned into steam, molten salt, or whatever. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:39 AM
    If you had all the mirrors just point off into the atmosphere and not at anything, it shouldn't heat the area any more than usual. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:44 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?
    +Curtis Edenfield yeah there is a few others, but as it turns out deserts have high insolation. They also have large open spaces.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:47 AM
    Yes I know this, they aim these mirror with a precision of + or - .00000003 of an inch. The majority of the energy is going to the collector, but there is always a factor of heat loss to the atmosphere, what the consider acceptable amounts. This energy increases the temp in the area creating something similar to heat island effect like in urban settings

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:50 AM
    Here's something simple look at the grass in the pic of the Spain site. Is the temp there the same as say a couple hundred yards of site? 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:55 AM
    +Eric Muller Have you ever been near a glass high rise i a city? Even in the winter time it creates a huge amount of reflective energy, changing temps through out the area of reflection.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?"

    - That solar plants contribue to decrease the albedo in a greater extent than the efficiency of the plant using sunlight to produce electricity. In the case of photovoltaic panels no more than 21%: 

    <<Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 21% in commercial products>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel#Efficiencies 

    As for the solar thermal collectors, I haven't yet found their net efficiency converting all the light that they collect into useful energy (at least not here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_collector), but I doubt it will be much greater but rather probably lower, the main advantage of these plants is their cost efficiency, not their energetic efficiency.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM +1
    http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-thermal-energy-power-towersparabolic-troughs/
    I found this, there might be something to the desertification if it uses water, particularly from a local source from an already arid area. It also hints at wildlife problems but isn't too specific. 
    Since it's an industrial process I imagine it heats the local area some. I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect. 
    Other industrial power generation would show a much more dramatic local temperature increase, plus contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (with the exception of nuclear) 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:25 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power#section_4
    Most large scale power generation uses super heated steam. It gets more efficient as temperatures rise, so using molten salt is expensive but the best way to go for efficiency. The salt is at around 700C so you then use that to generate steam with a heat exchanger. 

    That's why I was saying earlier, I wonder why you don't see more. They outperform PV easily. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 10:47 AM (edited)
    Ok here's something else pretty simple to chew on. All that sunlight hits the surface of the water on the planet, as well as the snow caps. Lets increase that by 1/10 now 8/10 or 4/5 of the earth is covered by a reflective surface. What do you think would happen to atmospheric conditions then? That energy won't go back into space. Look at what happened in history when the sun was block from reflecting. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 11:14 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect."

    - But they don't probably have a total greater reflectivity but a lower one even though the light is deflected by mirrors, since it isn't reflected back to the space but to a thermal collector. So the efficiency must be measured there rather than on the mirrors. How much of the light that hits the thermal collector is converted into electricity and what percentage it is dissipated as heat? Is this amount of electric energy greater than the light that would have been reflected back to space (or just high above the surface, away from the ground and the vegetation) in case the mirrors weren't there?

    Additionally, the mirrors absorb some light energy that will be later dissipated as heat.

    +Eric Muller: "photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient."

    - In any case, probably never more than 50% since the most efficient thermal power station can't attain efficiencies greater than 48%: 

    <<The energy efficiency of a conventional thermal power station, considered as salable energy as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%. This efficiency is limited as all heat engines are governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The rest of the energy must leave the plant in the form of heat. This waste heat can go through a condenser and be disposed of with cooling water or in cooling towers.>>

    <<The Carnot efficiency dictates that higher efficiencies can be attained by increasing the temperature of the steam. Sub-critical fossil fuel power plants can achieve 36–40% efficiency. Super critical designs have efficiencies in the low to mid 40% range, with new "ultra critical" designs using pressures of 4400 psi (30.3 MPa) and multiple stage reheat reaching about 48% efficiency. Above the critical point for water of 705 °F (374 °C) and 3212 psi (22.06 MPa), there is no phase transition from water to steam, but only a gradual decrease in density.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_power#Efficiency 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:55 AM
    It cools. Snow and clouds reflect a lot of solar energy back into space. That's another reason why the large scale polar ice melt is a concern.
    The use of black asphalt and black roofing contributes to the heat island effect (not the sole cause) it absorbs the Suns energy instead of reflecting it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:57 AM
    On the other hand if you aimed those reflective surfaces at something that would absorb the heat, then it wouldn't go into space. You would be able to do something with it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:04 AM
    http://www.zenithsolar.com/product.aspx?id=287 It's probably marketing, and it's combined concentrated PV and thermal but that's saying it gets 72 percent or better 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:16 AM
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility#section_5 
    That talks a bit more specifically about the impact on wildlife. It also talks about what's being done to reduce water consumption. _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 12, 2012 9:32 AM (edited)
    In the page about albedo there some examples of different surfaces (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo). The albedo of crops is between 25% and 15%, the albedo of meadows between 10 and 20% and forests roughly between 6% and 14%. Assuming a 15%, part of the remaining 85% is used in the photosynthesis: 

    <<Plants usually convert light into chemical energy with a photosynthetic efficiency of 3–6%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency 

    Say a 5% during the central hours. 
    However, there's still another energy output from the system. Part of the energy captured by the vegetation is used to pump water, driven by the change of phase that takes place in the stomata, when the water passes to water vapor by absorbing heat.

    So we need to know how much energy is required to transpire all the water that the vegetation is draining from the soil and the water that is directly evaporated from the ground (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evapotranspiration), since all that energy absorbed won't contribute to heat the surroundings.

    <<Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres (39 in).>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain#Global_climatology

    Assuming most of the rain water is evapotranspirated, say 500 L/m^2 per year,  which are 33,333 mol H2O/m^2. The standard enthalpy of vaporization at 298.15 K (25ºC) is 44 kJ/mol H2O. Thus the total energy required to vaporize 27,778 mol of H2O at 25ºC and 1 bar is 1,222 MJ per m^2 and year, that is 38.73 W/m^2
    (1 year = 31557600 seconds) 

    Annual Global Mean Energy Budget of Solar Radiation
    <<The energy budget of solar radiation can be derived by combining observations and modeling studies, which show the combined effects of atmospheric gases, aerosols, clouds, and surfaces. Under the annual global mean condition, the incident solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 342 W/m^2. Of this incident solar radiation, 67 W/m^2 is absorbed during passage through the atmosphere. A total of 107 W/m^2 is reflected back to space: 30W/m^2 from the surface and 77 W m^2 from clouds and aerosols and atmosphere. The remaining 168W/m^2 is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. It is noted that while the incoming and reflected solar irradiances at the top of the atmosphere are constrained by satellite observations, uncertainties may exist for the partitioning of the absorbed solar radiation between the atmosphere and the surface on the global scale.>>
    curry.eas.gatech.edu/Courses/6140/ency/Chapter3/Ency_Atmos/Radiation_Solar.pdf 

    Incident solar radiation at Earth surface: 
    30 W/m^2 + 168 W/m^2 = 198 W/m^2 
    15% of 198 W/m^2 is 30 W/m^2 (flux radiation reflected from surface back to space)
    5% of 168 W/m^2 is 8.4 W/m^2 spent in photosynthesis.

    Flux of energy dissipated as heat by terrain and vegetation: 
    168 W/m^2 - 38.73 W/m^2 - 8.4 W/m^2 = 121 W/m^2

    Thermal collector plant:

    <<Telescopes and other precision instruments use front silvered or first surface mirrors, where the reflecting surface is placed on the front (or first) surface of the glass (this eliminates reflection from glass surface ordinary back mirrors have). Some of them use silver, but most are aluminium, which is more reflective at short wavelengths than silver. All of these coatings are easily damaged and require special handling. They reflect 90% to 95% of the incident light when new.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror#Instruments 

    Absorbed by the mirrors: 10% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 19.5 W/m^2 (dissipated as heat from mirrors)

    Flux light incident on thermal collector: 90% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 178.2 W/m^2 

    <<Of all of these technologies the solar dish/Stirling engine has the highest energy efficiency. A single solar dish-Stirling engine installed at Sandia National Laboratories National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) produces as much as 25 kW of electricity, with a conversion efficiency of 31.25%. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy#Conversion_rates_from_solar_energy_to_electrical_energy 

    On the other hand, 

    <<The PS10 is located 20 km west of Seville (which receives at least nine hours of sunshine 320 days per year, with 15 hours per day in mid summer). The solar receiver at the top of the tower produces saturated steam at 275 °C. The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 

    Flux of electric energy (a great overestimation):
    31.25% of 198 W/m^2 is 61.875 W/m^2

    Flux energy dissipated from thermal collector and mirrors as heat: 136.125 W/m^2

    Flux of energy dissipated from thermal collector: 
    136.125 W/m^2 (thermal collector) - 19.5 W/m^2 (mirrors) = 116.625 W/m^2

    Efficiency thermal collector: 
    (178.2 W/m^2 - 116.625 W/m^2) / 178.2 W/m^2 = 34.55% 

    Conclusion:
    under conditions of significant evapotranspiration mainly driven by local vegetation (e.g., 500 L/m^2 per year), the average flux of heat dissipated by the vegetation and the terrain (121 W/m^2) is significantly lower than the average flux of heat dissipated by the thermal collector station (136 W/m^2).

    Note: the direct evaporation from the terrain under the thermal collector station hasn't been considered. THis value may vary greatly depending on the porosity and permeability of the terrain, but in any case, it'll be usually much less significant than in a terrain covered with vegetation, since plants are very efficient transpiration systems capable to pump large amounts of water from the soil, water that otherwise would percolate to the phreatic zone. 
    Also, I haven't taken into account the light reflected by the thermal collector or absorbed by the air (by gas molecules and aerosols) before it reaches the collector.
    _________________ 

    Further reading:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS20 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=38 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=39 

    scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=10-largest-renewable-energy-projects 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/111635150542674847021/posts/97mdARxzGRc 
    _________________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 6 plusses - 4 comments - 7 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-11-12 05:58:58
    RESHARE:
    facebook.com/ILIWIWUITMABOIP - German Solar Power Plants Produced a World Record 22 GW of electricity
    By I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President. November 11, 2012
    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477159532318469 

    Quiz: Can you spot the basic MISTAKE in the text of this meme?

    <<German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour, equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity.
    Solar power in the United States has been demonized as a "Left Wing conspiracy".>> [ sic ]

    Shame on you, N. Allnoch, E. Kirschbaum and/or Reuters!

    uk.reuters.com - Germany sets new solar power record, institute says
    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN | Sat May 26, 2012
    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 

    (Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
    ________________________ 

    Excerpt from G+ post comments:

    Skane Canyon Nov 11, 2012 6:47 AM+5
    Germany is blowing everyone else away at solar power production. And they are even farther north than we are. We could be doing a lot better here in the U.S. if it weren't for all the years of suppression, but that said, we are not at the bottom of the list either. I feel as though we are reaching a turning point. I'm seeing more and more solar panels on houses where I live. Maybe a sort of grass roots movement is taking place that will tell politicians and big energy that we demand it.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:17 AM
    An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans. In other words they couldn't use the money loaned to them to build a panel better an cheaper than the Chinese.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 7:22 AM +3
    I'm curious why the thermal concentration style isn't more common for large scale installation instead of PV. It's quite a bit more efficient, and if I remember right there was one in Spain that had enough stored energy to keep juice flowing in the event that the sun failed to rise for a week. 
    Since it shares a lot of components it could be backed up by a more conventional natural gas generator or something (in case it's night time for more than a week...) 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:30 AM +1
    Because they raise the overall temperature in the area. Change weather patterns a promote desertification! I believe there are only three in the US, two in California an one in the Mid West. None produce enough electricity to power much.
    _________________ 

    Duncan Margetts Nov 11, 2012 7:34 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield Cant work out if you're serious or being satirical? How can a solar thermal concentration plant raise temperatures in the area they are located in? That would require a net ingress of energy to the area.. in fact, its clear that energy is being taken OUT of the area in which its being generated... please elaborate.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 8:21 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    Same thoughts as Duncan. I cannot figure out of your joking around or a total nut!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:24 AM +2
    It could be due to storage of molten salt? 
    I'm curious about the desertification. In North America that might be due to covering entire industrial properties in a thick layer of gravel. 
    I'm baffled by the local zoning for a couple PV parks here. They took farm land, covered it in gravel and solar panels. Which isn't great, but there is hundreds of acres of abandoned industrial land here that hasn't been touched in 40 years. 
    _________________ 

    Timothy Chase Nov 11, 2012 8:43 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield wrote, "An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans."

    Do you have a source for that?

    I understand that the default rate is actually quite low:

    "The default rate on the U.S. clean- energy loan program that funded Solyndra LLC is a fraction of what the government budgeted for losses.

    "The BGOV Barometer shows the default rate on the $16.1 billion Energy Department loan portfolio is less than 3.6 percent. The White House planned for defaults of as much as 12.85 percent for loans to solar, wind and bio-energy projects, according to the Office of Management and Budget."

    Solyndra Losses a Fraction of Default Budget: BGOV Barometer
    By Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM PT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/solyndra-losses-a-fraction-of-default-budget-bgov-barometer.html
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM (edited)
    In my opinion it can only be due to one of the two following processes (or a combination of the two):
    1. they cause a reduction in annual or seasonal precipitation;
    2. they indirectly increase plant evapotranspiration by rising local temperatures during the central hours of the day (solar plants contribute to decrease the albedo by absorbing radiant energy or converting it into heat). Also, higher temperatures would increase the direct evaporation from the terrain before it's absorbed from the soil by the vegetation.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:48 AM
    The oldest site of concentration reactor is in the California desert. The area around the reactor has had a heat index rise of a half a degree. Plants as well as animals no longer habitat the area surrounding the site. This reactor was built in the 70's an has been in operation since. It has killed the living Sonoran desert around it.

    About four years ago, several engineers got together to speculate on how to use solar energy to supply the entire planet. They designed a solar collection array over a 100 miles square in the Sahara. In fifty years time after completion of such a project. The Sahara would grow over 100 times faster. In other words it would cover greater that 7/10's of Africa at that point. This is because it raises the overall temperature of the area! In in simple terms it raise the ambient temperature of the area around it!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:49 AM +3
    Solyndra was doing something fairly different. Their failure doesn't have much to do with the technology they were working on or solar power in general 
    _________________ 

    Ivan Raszl Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM +2
    A typical nuclear plant produces 4GW, which means 22GW is only 5.5 plants. ;)

    Also, this was only a peak production record not a sustained or reliable amount of energy produced. Within hours the production went down to zero. :D

    Germany shuts down its own nuclear plants and buying electricity from the Czech Republic which is incidentally produced by nuclear. It's all politics and BS.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:58 AM
    It was my understanding because of the loan, there were not to compete directly with the Chinese on similar designs. I can't back the up, because it was considered hearsay rom disgruntled employees.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:00 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    You are a nut!!

    +Ivan Raszl 
    It is politics and panic. Even when you take out climate change, nuclear is still better overall than other energy sources. How many die every year from pollution and other problems from coal etc. power plants? 

    People expect nuclear to have a perfect safety record but let other types of plants generate all kinds of pollution etc. that affect our health.

    Still, for a long term solution, alternative energy sources are the way to go. They need time and investment to make them really work. A combination of sources is needed with both nuke and solar playing a part. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM (edited) +1
    +Ivan Raszl, that's the key point. Their peak production was achieved during the central hours of a quite unusual day that was sunny in all Germany, just some weeks before the summer solstitium. Their sustained production (the annual production) is way lower. Germany is an awful place to instal solar plants. I guess their intention is using their plants to convince other countries to instal solar plants and sell them the panels (or mirrors) that they produce, some sort of demonstration plants.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield solar one is in the Mojave, it was sited in an area where it would have minimal impact on wildlife. As far as I can determine there isn't anything suggesting mass destruction of flora and fauna. Including pretty pictures of wildlife amongst the array from the National Park Service. 
    I couldn't find any concentrator in the sonoran desert, I assume you mixed them up. 
    If a change of 0.5 degrees is enough to cause massive desertification global warming should be much more alarming. 
    I did see some reports of isreal considering solar concentration towers to combat desertification. I'm not sure where your information is coming from but it's not on the first few pages of google 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:08 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion Yes a very well informed an educated nut! Yet I see no rebuttal disputing what I've said from you. 
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:13 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield You just seem to out there for me to bother with and I am not even sure of your point. Besides, solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere. Looks like Eric Muller did a nice job of it though.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:19 AM
    I have a National Geo article about Solar One, I'll see if it's on line! It talked about heat in the atmosphere around the plant increasing enough to cause environmental impact.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM (edited)
    +Thoughts on Religion: "solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere"
    - What system? Have you ever heard of the albedo? You need first to define your system properly.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion it could create a localized hot spot, probably less than most industrial processes, but it's not out of the question. 
    Though it is capturing the heat and putting it elsewhere. 
    Usually they are located in arid areas with high insolation. Vegetation moderates the temperature quite a bit. On the other hand the array would create cool spots of shade over quite a wide area. 
    What he's saying isn't crazy enough that I didn't have to look it up. I can follow it. Based on a quick look though, it seems incorrect. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.[6][7] The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode.

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Professor Giovanni Francia (1911–1980) designed and built the first concentrated-solar plant. which entered into operation in Sant'Ilario, near Genoa, Italy in 1968. This plant had the architecture of today's concentrated-solar plants with a solar receiver in the center of a field of solar collectors. The plant was able to produce 1 MW with superheated steam at 100 bar and 500 degrees Celsius.[8] The 10 MW Solar One power tower was developed in Southern California in 1981, but the parabolic-trough technology of the nearby Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), begun in 1984, was more workable. The 354 MW SEGS is still the largest solar power plant in the world.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:29 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla No, I have not heard of it!
    What I want to say is this. If you are collecting energy with solar panels, then it is being used elsewhere. What is being absorbed by the solar panels is not available to heat the ground etc. So, I cannot see how it could be causing an area to heat up, unlike burning something which clearly is. 

    Anyway, my point is this. Something needs to be done about climate change etc. I favor a approach that uses solar, nuke etc. ANything to move away from fossil fuel!
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:30 AM (edited)
    Now can any of you truly say not all that reflective energy is not going just to were it's focused to? Part of that energy is reflected back into the atmosphere surrounding the site. What is part of that energy heat.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:35 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller, you do consider the fact that a significant part of the sunlight that hits the Earth surface is reflected back to upper layers of the atmosphere and the outer space, right? That is, unless you deflect that light with a mirror to heat something or you use that energy to generate electricity or to ionize molecules.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:33 AM
    The ones in Spain are the only sites that have plants around it. Most are being built in the Middle East desert or Western US desert.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:37 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield I'm not sure what you were trying to show with the wiki paste.
    The goal would be to have all the panels directing energy back to the collection point. Any leakage lowers the efficiency so it will be avoided. Even if there is some it would be significantly less than what was being captured and turned into steam, molten salt, or whatever. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:39 AM
    If you had all the mirrors just point off into the atmosphere and not at anything, it shouldn't heat the area any more than usual. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:44 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?
    +Curtis Edenfield yeah there is a few others, but as it turns out deserts have high insolation. They also have large open spaces.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:47 AM
    Yes I know this, they aim these mirror with a precision of + or - .00000003 of an inch. The majority of the energy is going to the collector, but there is always a factor of heat loss to the atmosphere, what the consider acceptable amounts. This energy increases the temp in the area creating something similar to heat island effect like in urban settings

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:50 AM
    Here's something simple look at the grass in the pic of the Spain site. Is the temp there the same as say a couple hundred yards of site? 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:55 AM
    +Eric Muller Have you ever been near a glass high rise i a city? Even in the winter time it creates a huge amount of reflective energy, changing temps through out the area of reflection.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?"

    - That solar plants contribue to decrease the albedo in a greater extent than the efficiency of the plant using sunlight to produce electricity. In the case of photovoltaic panels no more than 21%: 

    <<Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 21% in commercial products>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel#Efficiencies 

    As for the solar thermal collectors, I haven't yet found their net efficiency converting all the light that they collect into useful energy (at least not here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_collector), but I doubt it will be much greater but rather probably lower, the main advantage of these plants is their cost efficiency, not their energetic efficiency.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM +1
    http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-thermal-energy-power-towersparabolic-troughs/
    I found this, there might be something to the desertification if it uses water, particularly from a local source from an already arid area. It also hints at wildlife problems but isn't too specific. 
    Since it's an industrial process I imagine it heats the local area some. I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect. 
    Other industrial power generation would show a much more dramatic local temperature increase, plus contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (with the exception of nuclear) 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:25 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power#section_4
    Most large scale power generation uses super heated steam. It gets more efficient as temperatures rise, so using molten salt is expensive but the best way to go for efficiency. The salt is at around 700C so you then use that to generate steam with a heat exchanger. 

    That's why I was saying earlier, I wonder why you don't see more. They outperform PV easily. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 10:47 AM (edited)
    Ok here's something else pretty simple to chew on. All that sunlight hits the surface of the water on the planet, as well as the snow caps. Lets increase that by 1/10 now 8/10 or 4/5 of the earth is covered by a reflective surface. What do you think would happen to atmospheric conditions then? That energy won't go back into space. Look at what happened in history when the sun was block from reflecting. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 11:14 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect."

    - But they don't probably have a total greater reflectivity but a lower one even though the light is deflected by mirrors, since it isn't reflected back to the space but to a thermal collector. So the efficiency must be measured there rather than on the mirrors. How much of the light that hits the thermal collector is converted into electricity and what percentage it is dissipated as heat? Is this amount of electric energy greater than the light that would have been reflected back to space (or just high above the surface, away from the ground and the vegetation) in case the mirrors weren't there?

    Additionally, the mirrors absorb some light energy that will be later dissipated as heat.

    +Eric Muller: "photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient."

    - In any case, probably never more than 50% since the most efficient thermal power station can't attain efficiencies greater than 48%: 

    <<The energy efficiency of a conventional thermal power station, considered as salable energy as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%. This efficiency is limited as all heat engines are governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The rest of the energy must leave the plant in the form of heat. This waste heat can go through a condenser and be disposed of with cooling water or in cooling towers.>>

    <<The Carnot efficiency dictates that higher efficiencies can be attained by increasing the temperature of the steam. Sub-critical fossil fuel power plants can achieve 36–40% efficiency. Super critical designs have efficiencies in the low to mid 40% range, with new "ultra critical" designs using pressures of 4400 psi (30.3 MPa) and multiple stage reheat reaching about 48% efficiency. Above the critical point for water of 705 °F (374 °C) and 3212 psi (22.06 MPa), there is no phase transition from water to steam, but only a gradual decrease in density.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_power#Efficiency 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:55 AM
    It cools. Snow and clouds reflect a lot of solar energy back into space. That's another reason why the large scale polar ice melt is a concern.
    The use of black asphalt and black roofing contributes to the heat island effect (not the sole cause) it absorbs the Suns energy instead of reflecting it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:57 AM
    On the other hand if you aimed those reflective surfaces at something that would absorb the heat, then it wouldn't go into space. You would be able to do something with it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:04 AM
    http://www.zenithsolar.com/product.aspx?id=287 It's probably marketing, and it's combined concentrated PV and thermal but that's saying it gets 72 percent or better 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:16 AM
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility#section_5 
    That talks a bit more specifically about the impact on wildlife. It also talks about what's being done to reduce water consumption. _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 12, 2012 9:32 AM (edited)
    In the page about albedo there some examples of different surfaces (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo). The albedo of crops is between 25% and 15%, the albedo of meadows between 10 and 20% and forests roughly between 6% and 14%. Assuming a 15%, part of the remaining 85% is used in the photosynthesis: 

    <<Plants usually convert light into chemical energy with a photosynthetic efficiency of 3–6%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency 

    Say a 5% during the central hours. 
    However, there's still another energy output from the system. Part of the energy captured by the vegetation is used to pump water, driven by the change of phase that takes place in the stomata, when the water passes to water vapor by absorbing heat.

    So we need to know how much energy is required to transpire all the water that the vegetation is draining from the soil and the water that is directly evaporated from the ground (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evapotranspiration), since all that energy absorbed won't contribute to heat the surroundings.

    <<Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres (39 in).>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain#Global_climatology

    Assuming most of the rain water is evapotranspirated, say 500 L/m^2 per year,  which are 33,333 mol H2O/m^2. The standard enthalpy of vaporization at 298.15 K (25ºC) is 44 kJ/mol H2O. Thus the total energy required to vaporize 27,778 mol of H2O at 25ºC and 1 bar is 1,222 MJ per m^2 and year, that is 38.73 W/m^2
    (1 year = 31557600 seconds) 

    Annual Global Mean Energy Budget of Solar Radiation
    <<The energy budget of solar radiation can be derived by combining observations and modeling studies, which show the combined effects of atmospheric gases, aerosols, clouds, and surfaces. Under the annual global mean condition, the incident solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 342 W/m^2. Of this incident solar radiation, 67 W/m^2 is absorbed during passage through the atmosphere. A total of 107 W/m^2 is reflected back to space: 30W/m^2 from the surface and 77 W m^2 from clouds and aerosols and atmosphere. The remaining 168W/m^2 is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. It is noted that while the incoming and reflected solar irradiances at the top of the atmosphere are constrained by satellite observations, uncertainties may exist for the partitioning of the absorbed solar radiation between the atmosphere and the surface on the global scale.>>
    curry.eas.gatech.edu/Courses/6140/ency/Chapter3/Ency_Atmos/Radiation_Solar.pdf 

    Incident solar radiation at Earth surface: 
    30 W/m^2 + 168 W/m^2 = 198 W/m^2 
    15% of 198 W/m^2 is 30 W/m^2 (flux radiation reflected from surface back to space)
    5% of 168 W/m^2 is 8.4 W/m^2 spent in photosynthesis.

    Flux of energy dissipated as heat by terrain and vegetation: 
    168 W/m^2 - 38.73 W/m^2 - 8.4 W/m^2 = 121 W/m^2

    Thermal collector plant:

    <<Telescopes and other precision instruments use front silvered or first surface mirrors, where the reflecting surface is placed on the front (or first) surface of the glass (this eliminates reflection from glass surface ordinary back mirrors have). Some of them use silver, but most are aluminium, which is more reflective at short wavelengths than silver. All of these coatings are easily damaged and require special handling. They reflect 90% to 95% of the incident light when new.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror#Instruments 

    Absorbed by the mirrors: 10% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 19.5 W/m^2 (dissipated as heat from mirrors)

    Flux light incident on thermal collector: 90% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 178.2 W/m^2 

    <<Of all of these technologies the solar dish/Stirling engine has the highest energy efficiency. A single solar dish-Stirling engine installed at Sandia National Laboratories National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) produces as much as 25 kW of electricity, with a conversion efficiency of 31.25%. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy#Conversion_rates_from_solar_energy_to_electrical_energy 

    On the other hand, 

    <<The PS10 is located 20 km west of Seville (which receives at least nine hours of sunshine 320 days per year, with 15 hours per day in mid summer). The solar receiver at the top of the tower produces saturated steam at 275 °C. The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 

    Flux of electric energy (a great overestimation):
    31.25% of 198 W/m^2 is 61.875 W/m^2

    Flux energy dissipated from thermal collector and mirrors as heat: 136.125 W/m^2

    Flux of energy dissipated from thermal collector: 
    136.125 W/m^2 (thermal collector) - 19.5 W/m^2 (mirrors) = 116.625 W/m^2

    Efficiency thermal collector: 
    (178.2 W/m^2 - 116.625 W/m^2) / 178.2 W/m^2 = 34.55% 

    Conclusion:
    under conditions of significant evapotranspiration mainly driven by local vegetation (e.g., 500 L/m^2 per year), the average flux of heat dissipated by the vegetation and the terrain (121 W/m^2) is significantly lower than the average flux of heat dissipated by the thermal collector station (136 W/m^2).

    Note: the direct evaporation from the terrain under the thermal collector station hasn't been considered. THis value may vary greatly depending on the porosity and permeability of the terrain, but in any case, it'll be usually much less significant than in a terrain covered with vegetation, since plants are very efficient transpiration systems capable to pump large amounts of water from the soil, water that otherwise would percolate to the phreatic zone. 
    Also, I haven't taken into account the light reflected by the thermal collector or absorbed by the air (by gas molecules and aerosols) before it reaches the collector.
    _________________ 

    Further reading:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS20 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=38 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=39 

    scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=10-largest-renewable-energy-projects 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/111635150542674847021/posts/97mdARxzGRc 
    _________________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 6 plusses - 4 comments - 7 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-11-12 05:58:58
    RESHARE:
    facebook.com/ILIWIWUITMABOIP - German Solar Power Plants Produced a World Record 22 GW of electricity
    By I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President. November 11, 2012
    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477159532318469 

    Quiz: Can you spot the basic MISTAKE in the text of this meme?

    <<German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour, equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity.
    Solar power in the United States has been demonized as a "Left Wing conspiracy".>> [ sic ]

    Shame on you, N. Allnoch, E. Kirschbaum and/or Reuters!

    uk.reuters.com - Germany sets new solar power record, institute says
    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN | Sat May 26, 2012
    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 

    (Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
    ________________________ 

    Excerpt from G+ post comments:

    Skane Canyon Nov 11, 2012 6:47 AM+5
    Germany is blowing everyone else away at solar power production. And they are even farther north than we are. We could be doing a lot better here in the U.S. if it weren't for all the years of suppression, but that said, we are not at the bottom of the list either. I feel as though we are reaching a turning point. I'm seeing more and more solar panels on houses where I live. Maybe a sort of grass roots movement is taking place that will tell politicians and big energy that we demand it.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:17 AM
    An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans. In other words they couldn't use the money loaned to them to build a panel better an cheaper than the Chinese.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 7:22 AM +3
    I'm curious why the thermal concentration style isn't more common for large scale installation instead of PV. It's quite a bit more efficient, and if I remember right there was one in Spain that had enough stored energy to keep juice flowing in the event that the sun failed to rise for a week. 
    Since it shares a lot of components it could be backed up by a more conventional natural gas generator or something (in case it's night time for more than a week...) 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:30 AM +1
    Because they raise the overall temperature in the area. Change weather patterns a promote desertification! I believe there are only three in the US, two in California an one in the Mid West. None produce enough electricity to power much.
    _________________ 

    Duncan Margetts Nov 11, 2012 7:34 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield Cant work out if you're serious or being satirical? How can a solar thermal concentration plant raise temperatures in the area they are located in? That would require a net ingress of energy to the area.. in fact, its clear that energy is being taken OUT of the area in which its being generated... please elaborate.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 8:21 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    Same thoughts as Duncan. I cannot figure out of your joking around or a total nut!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:24 AM +2
    It could be due to storage of molten salt? 
    I'm curious about the desertification. In North America that might be due to covering entire industrial properties in a thick layer of gravel. 
    I'm baffled by the local zoning for a couple PV parks here. They took farm land, covered it in gravel and solar panels. Which isn't great, but there is hundreds of acres of abandoned industrial land here that hasn't been touched in 40 years. 
    _________________ 

    Timothy Chase Nov 11, 2012 8:43 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield wrote, "An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans."

    Do you have a source for that?

    I understand that the default rate is actually quite low:

    "The default rate on the U.S. clean- energy loan program that funded Solyndra LLC is a fraction of what the government budgeted for losses.

    "The BGOV Barometer shows the default rate on the $16.1 billion Energy Department loan portfolio is less than 3.6 percent. The White House planned for defaults of as much as 12.85 percent for loans to solar, wind and bio-energy projects, according to the Office of Management and Budget."

    Solyndra Losses a Fraction of Default Budget: BGOV Barometer
    By Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM PT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/solyndra-losses-a-fraction-of-default-budget-bgov-barometer.html
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM (edited)
    In my opinion it can only be due to one of the two following processes (or a combination of the two):
    1. they cause a reduction in annual or seasonal precipitation;
    2. they indirectly increase plant evapotranspiration by rising local temperatures during the central hours of the day (solar plants contribute to decrease the albedo by absorbing radiant energy or converting it into heat). Also, higher temperatures would increase the direct evaporation from the terrain before it's absorbed from the soil by the vegetation.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:48 AM
    The oldest site of concentration reactor is in the California desert. The area around the reactor has had a heat index rise of a half a degree. Plants as well as animals no longer habitat the area surrounding the site. This reactor was built in the 70's an has been in operation since. It has killed the living Sonoran desert around it.

    About four years ago, several engineers got together to speculate on how to use solar energy to supply the entire planet. They designed a solar collection array over a 100 miles square in the Sahara. In fifty years time after completion of such a project. The Sahara would grow over 100 times faster. In other words it would cover greater that 7/10's of Africa at that point. This is because it raises the overall temperature of the area! In in simple terms it raise the ambient temperature of the area around it!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:49 AM +3
    Solyndra was doing something fairly different. Their failure doesn't have much to do with the technology they were working on or solar power in general 
    _________________ 

    Ivan Raszl Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM +2
    A typical nuclear plant produces 4GW, which means 22GW is only 5.5 plants. ;)

    Also, this was only a peak production record not a sustained or reliable amount of energy produced. Within hours the production went down to zero. :D

    Germany shuts down its own nuclear plants and buying electricity from the Czech Republic which is incidentally produced by nuclear. It's all politics and BS.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:58 AM
    It was my understanding because of the loan, there were not to compete directly with the Chinese on similar designs. I can't back the up, because it was considered hearsay rom disgruntled employees.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:00 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    You are a nut!!

    +Ivan Raszl 
    It is politics and panic. Even when you take out climate change, nuclear is still better overall than other energy sources. How many die every year from pollution and other problems from coal etc. power plants? 

    People expect nuclear to have a perfect safety record but let other types of plants generate all kinds of pollution etc. that affect our health.

    Still, for a long term solution, alternative energy sources are the way to go. They need time and investment to make them really work. A combination of sources is needed with both nuke and solar playing a part. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM (edited) +1
    +Ivan Raszl, that's the key point. Their peak production was achieved during the central hours of a quite unusual day that was sunny in all Germany, just some weeks before the summer solstitium. Their sustained production (the annual production) is way lower. Germany is an awful place to instal solar plants. I guess their intention is using their plants to convince other countries to instal solar plants and sell them the panels (or mirrors) that they produce, some sort of demonstration plants.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield solar one is in the Mojave, it was sited in an area where it would have minimal impact on wildlife. As far as I can determine there isn't anything suggesting mass destruction of flora and fauna. Including pretty pictures of wildlife amongst the array from the National Park Service. 
    I couldn't find any concentrator in the sonoran desert, I assume you mixed them up. 
    If a change of 0.5 degrees is enough to cause massive desertification global warming should be much more alarming. 
    I did see some reports of isreal considering solar concentration towers to combat desertification. I'm not sure where your information is coming from but it's not on the first few pages of google 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:08 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion Yes a very well informed an educated nut! Yet I see no rebuttal disputing what I've said from you. 
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:13 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield You just seem to out there for me to bother with and I am not even sure of your point. Besides, solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere. Looks like Eric Muller did a nice job of it though.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:19 AM
    I have a National Geo article about Solar One, I'll see if it's on line! It talked about heat in the atmosphere around the plant increasing enough to cause environmental impact.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM (edited)
    +Thoughts on Religion: "solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere"
    - What system? Have you ever heard of the albedo? You need first to define your system properly.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion it could create a localized hot spot, probably less than most industrial processes, but it's not out of the question. 
    Though it is capturing the heat and putting it elsewhere. 
    Usually they are located in arid areas with high insolation. Vegetation moderates the temperature quite a bit. On the other hand the array would create cool spots of shade over quite a wide area. 
    What he's saying isn't crazy enough that I didn't have to look it up. I can follow it. Based on a quick look though, it seems incorrect. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.[6][7] The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode.

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Professor Giovanni Francia (1911–1980) designed and built the first concentrated-solar plant. which entered into operation in Sant'Ilario, near Genoa, Italy in 1968. This plant had the architecture of today's concentrated-solar plants with a solar receiver in the center of a field of solar collectors. The plant was able to produce 1 MW with superheated steam at 100 bar and 500 degrees Celsius.[8] The 10 MW Solar One power tower was developed in Southern California in 1981, but the parabolic-trough technology of the nearby Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), begun in 1984, was more workable. The 354 MW SEGS is still the largest solar power plant in the world.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:29 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla No, I have not heard of it!
    What I want to say is this. If you are collecting energy with solar panels, then it is being used elsewhere. What is being absorbed by the solar panels is not available to heat the ground etc. So, I cannot see how it could be causing an area to heat up, unlike burning something which clearly is. 

    Anyway, my point is this. Something needs to be done about climate change etc. I favor a approach that uses solar, nuke etc. ANything to move away from fossil fuel!
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:30 AM (edited)
    Now can any of you truly say not all that reflective energy is not going just to were it's focused to? Part of that energy is reflected back into the atmosphere surrounding the site. What is part of that energy heat.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:35 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller, you do consider the fact that a significant part of the sunlight that hits the Earth surface is reflected back to upper layers of the atmosphere and the outer space, right? That is, unless you deflect that light with a mirror to heat something or you use that energy to generate electricity or to ionize molecules.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:33 AM
    The ones in Spain are the only sites that have plants around it. Most are being built in the Middle East desert or Western US desert.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:37 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield I'm not sure what you were trying to show with the wiki paste.
    The goal would be to have all the panels directing energy back to the collection point. Any leakage lowers the efficiency so it will be avoided. Even if there is some it would be significantly less than what was being captured and turned into steam, molten salt, or whatever. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:39 AM
    If you had all the mirrors just point off into the atmosphere and not at anything, it shouldn't heat the area any more than usual. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:44 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?
    +Curtis Edenfield yeah there is a few others, but as it turns out deserts have high insolation. They also have large open spaces.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:47 AM
    Yes I know this, they aim these mirror with a precision of + or - .00000003 of an inch. The majority of the energy is going to the collector, but there is always a factor of heat loss to the atmosphere, what the consider acceptable amounts. This energy increases the temp in the area creating something similar to heat island effect like in urban settings

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:50 AM
    Here's something simple look at the grass in the pic of the Spain site. Is the temp there the same as say a couple hundred yards of site? 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:55 AM
    +Eric Muller Have you ever been near a glass high rise i a city? Even in the winter time it creates a huge amount of reflective energy, changing temps through out the area of reflection.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?"

    - That solar plants contribue to decrease the albedo in a greater extent than the efficiency of the plant using sunlight to produce electricity. In the case of photovoltaic panels no more than 21%: 

    <<Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 21% in commercial products>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel#Efficiencies 

    As for the solar thermal collectors, I haven't yet found their net efficiency converting all the light that they collect into useful energy (at least not here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_collector), but I doubt it will be much greater but rather probably lower, the main advantage of these plants is their cost efficiency, not their energetic efficiency.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM +1
    http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-thermal-energy-power-towersparabolic-troughs/
    I found this, there might be something to the desertification if it uses water, particularly from a local source from an already arid area. It also hints at wildlife problems but isn't too specific. 
    Since it's an industrial process I imagine it heats the local area some. I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect. 
    Other industrial power generation would show a much more dramatic local temperature increase, plus contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (with the exception of nuclear) 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:25 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power#section_4
    Most large scale power generation uses super heated steam. It gets more efficient as temperatures rise, so using molten salt is expensive but the best way to go for efficiency. The salt is at around 700C so you then use that to generate steam with a heat exchanger. 

    That's why I was saying earlier, I wonder why you don't see more. They outperform PV easily. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 10:47 AM (edited)
    Ok here's something else pretty simple to chew on. All that sunlight hits the surface of the water on the planet, as well as the snow caps. Lets increase that by 1/10 now 8/10 or 4/5 of the earth is covered by a reflective surface. What do you think would happen to atmospheric conditions then? That energy won't go back into space. Look at what happened in history when the sun was block from reflecting. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 11:14 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect."

    - But they don't probably have a total greater reflectivity but a lower one even though the light is deflected by mirrors, since it isn't reflected back to the space but to a thermal collector. So the efficiency must be measured there rather than on the mirrors. How much of the light that hits the thermal collector is converted into electricity and what percentage it is dissipated as heat? Is this amount of electric energy greater than the light that would have been reflected back to space (or just high above the surface, away from the ground and the vegetation) in case the mirrors weren't there?

    Additionally, the mirrors absorb some light energy that will be later dissipated as heat.

    +Eric Muller: "photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient."

    - In any case, probably never more than 50% since the most efficient thermal power station can't attain efficiencies greater than 48%: 

    <<The energy efficiency of a conventional thermal power station, considered as salable energy as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%. This efficiency is limited as all heat engines are governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The rest of the energy must leave the plant in the form of heat. This waste heat can go through a condenser and be disposed of with cooling water or in cooling towers.>>

    <<The Carnot efficiency dictates that higher efficiencies can be attained by increasing the temperature of the steam. Sub-critical fossil fuel power plants can achieve 36–40% efficiency. Super critical designs have efficiencies in the low to mid 40% range, with new "ultra critical" designs using pressures of 4400 psi (30.3 MPa) and multiple stage reheat reaching about 48% efficiency. Above the critical point for water of 705 °F (374 °C) and 3212 psi (22.06 MPa), there is no phase transition from water to steam, but only a gradual decrease in density.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_power#Efficiency 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:55 AM
    It cools. Snow and clouds reflect a lot of solar energy back into space. That's another reason why the large scale polar ice melt is a concern.
    The use of black asphalt and black roofing contributes to the heat island effect (not the sole cause) it absorbs the Suns energy instead of reflecting it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:57 AM
    On the other hand if you aimed those reflective surfaces at something that would absorb the heat, then it wouldn't go into space. You would be able to do something with it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:04 AM
    http://www.zenithsolar.com/product.aspx?id=287 It's probably marketing, and it's combined concentrated PV and thermal but that's saying it gets 72 percent or better 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:16 AM
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility#section_5 
    That talks a bit more specifically about the impact on wildlife. It also talks about what's being done to reduce water consumption. _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 12, 2012 9:32 AM (edited)
    In the page about albedo there some examples of different surfaces (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo). The albedo of crops is between 25% and 15%, the albedo of meadows between 10 and 20% and forests roughly between 6% and 14%. Assuming a 15%, part of the remaining 85% is used in the photosynthesis: 

    <<Plants usually convert light into chemical energy with a photosynthetic efficiency of 3–6%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency 

    Say a 5% during the central hours. 
    However, there's still another energy output from the system. Part of the energy captured by the vegetation is used to pump water, driven by the change of phase that takes place in the stomata, when the water passes to water vapor by absorbing heat.

    So we need to know how much energy is required to transpire all the water that the vegetation is draining from the soil and the water that is directly evaporated from the ground (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evapotranspiration), since all that energy absorbed won't contribute to heat the surroundings.

    <<Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres (39 in).>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain#Global_climatology

    Assuming most of the rain water is evapotranspirated, say 500 L/m^2 per year,  which are 33,333 mol H2O/m^2. The standard enthalpy of vaporization at 298.15 K (25ºC) is 44 kJ/mol H2O. Thus the total energy required to vaporize 27,778 mol of H2O at 25ºC and 1 bar is 1,222 MJ per m^2 and year, that is 38.73 W/m^2
    (1 year = 31557600 seconds) 

    Annual Global Mean Energy Budget of Solar Radiation
    <<The energy budget of solar radiation can be derived by combining observations and modeling studies, which show the combined effects of atmospheric gases, aerosols, clouds, and surfaces. Under the annual global mean condition, the incident solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 342 W/m^2. Of this incident solar radiation, 67 W/m^2 is absorbed during passage through the atmosphere. A total of 107 W/m^2 is reflected back to space: 30W/m^2 from the surface and 77 W m^2 from clouds and aerosols and atmosphere. The remaining 168W/m^2 is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. It is noted that while the incoming and reflected solar irradiances at the top of the atmosphere are constrained by satellite observations, uncertainties may exist for the partitioning of the absorbed solar radiation between the atmosphere and the surface on the global scale.>>
    curry.eas.gatech.edu/Courses/6140/ency/Chapter3/Ency_Atmos/Radiation_Solar.pdf 

    Incident solar radiation at Earth surface: 
    30 W/m^2 + 168 W/m^2 = 198 W/m^2 
    15% of 198 W/m^2 is 30 W/m^2 (flux radiation reflected from surface back to space)
    5% of 168 W/m^2 is 8.4 W/m^2 spent in photosynthesis.

    Flux of energy dissipated as heat by terrain and vegetation: 
    168 W/m^2 - 38.73 W/m^2 - 8.4 W/m^2 = 121 W/m^2

    Thermal collector plant:

    <<Telescopes and other precision instruments use front silvered or first surface mirrors, where the reflecting surface is placed on the front (or first) surface of the glass (this eliminates reflection from glass surface ordinary back mirrors have). Some of them use silver, but most are aluminium, which is more reflective at short wavelengths than silver. All of these coatings are easily damaged and require special handling. They reflect 90% to 95% of the incident light when new.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror#Instruments 

    Absorbed by the mirrors: 10% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 19.5 W/m^2 (dissipated as heat from mirrors)

    Flux light incident on thermal collector: 90% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 178.2 W/m^2 

    <<Of all of these technologies the solar dish/Stirling engine has the highest energy efficiency. A single solar dish-Stirling engine installed at Sandia National Laboratories National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) produces as much as 25 kW of electricity, with a conversion efficiency of 31.25%. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy#Conversion_rates_from_solar_energy_to_electrical_energy 

    On the other hand, 

    <<The PS10 is located 20 km west of Seville (which receives at least nine hours of sunshine 320 days per year, with 15 hours per day in mid summer). The solar receiver at the top of the tower produces saturated steam at 275 °C. The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 

    Flux of electric energy (a great overestimation):
    31.25% of 198 W/m^2 is 61.875 W/m^2

    Flux energy dissipated from thermal collector and mirrors as heat: 136.125 W/m^2

    Flux of energy dissipated from thermal collector: 
    136.125 W/m^2 (thermal collector) - 19.5 W/m^2 (mirrors) = 116.625 W/m^2

    Efficiency thermal collector: 
    (178.2 W/m^2 - 116.625 W/m^2) / 178.2 W/m^2 = 34.55% 

    Conclusion:
    under conditions of significant evapotranspiration mainly driven by local vegetation (e.g., 500 L/m^2 per year), the average flux of heat dissipated by the vegetation and the terrain (121 W/m^2) is significantly lower than the average flux of heat dissipated by the thermal collector station (136 W/m^2).

    Note: the direct evaporation from the terrain under the thermal collector station hasn't been considered. THis value may vary greatly depending on the porosity and permeability of the terrain, but in any case, it'll be usually much less significant than in a terrain covered with vegetation, since plants are very efficient transpiration systems capable to pump large amounts of water from the soil, water that otherwise would percolate to the phreatic zone. 
    Also, I haven't taken into account the light reflected by the thermal collector or absorbed by the air (by gas molecules and aerosols) before it reaches the collector.
    _________________ 

    Further reading:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS20 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=38 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=39 

    scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=10-largest-renewable-energy-projects 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/111635150542674847021/posts/97mdARxzGRc 
    _________________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 6 plusses - 4 comments - 7 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-11-12 05:58:58
    RESHARE:
    facebook.com/ILIWIWUITMABOIP - German Solar Power Plants Produced a World Record 22 GW of electricity
    By I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President. November 11, 2012
    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477159532318469 

    Quiz: Can you spot the basic MISTAKE in the text of this meme?

    <<German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour, equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity.
    Solar power in the United States has been demonized as a "Left Wing conspiracy".>> [ sic ]

    Shame on you, N. Allnoch, E. Kirschbaum and/or Reuters!

    uk.reuters.com - Germany sets new solar power record, institute says
    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN | Sat May 26, 2012
    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 

    (Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
    ________________________ 

    Excerpt from G+ post comments:

    Skane Canyon Nov 11, 2012 6:47 AM+5
    Germany is blowing everyone else away at solar power production. And they are even farther north than we are. We could be doing a lot better here in the U.S. if it weren't for all the years of suppression, but that said, we are not at the bottom of the list either. I feel as though we are reaching a turning point. I'm seeing more and more solar panels on houses where I live. Maybe a sort of grass roots movement is taking place that will tell politicians and big energy that we demand it.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:17 AM
    An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans. In other words they couldn't use the money loaned to them to build a panel better an cheaper than the Chinese.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 7:22 AM +3
    I'm curious why the thermal concentration style isn't more common for large scale installation instead of PV. It's quite a bit more efficient, and if I remember right there was one in Spain that had enough stored energy to keep juice flowing in the event that the sun failed to rise for a week. 
    Since it shares a lot of components it could be backed up by a more conventional natural gas generator or something (in case it's night time for more than a week...) 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:30 AM +1
    Because they raise the overall temperature in the area. Change weather patterns a promote desertification! I believe there are only three in the US, two in California an one in the Mid West. None produce enough electricity to power much.
    _________________ 

    Duncan Margetts Nov 11, 2012 7:34 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield Cant work out if you're serious or being satirical? How can a solar thermal concentration plant raise temperatures in the area they are located in? That would require a net ingress of energy to the area.. in fact, its clear that energy is being taken OUT of the area in which its being generated... please elaborate.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 8:21 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    Same thoughts as Duncan. I cannot figure out of your joking around or a total nut!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:24 AM +2
    It could be due to storage of molten salt? 
    I'm curious about the desertification. In North America that might be due to covering entire industrial properties in a thick layer of gravel. 
    I'm baffled by the local zoning for a couple PV parks here. They took farm land, covered it in gravel and solar panels. Which isn't great, but there is hundreds of acres of abandoned industrial land here that hasn't been touched in 40 years. 
    _________________ 

    Timothy Chase Nov 11, 2012 8:43 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield wrote, "An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans."

    Do you have a source for that?

    I understand that the default rate is actually quite low:

    "The default rate on the U.S. clean- energy loan program that funded Solyndra LLC is a fraction of what the government budgeted for losses.

    "The BGOV Barometer shows the default rate on the $16.1 billion Energy Department loan portfolio is less than 3.6 percent. The White House planned for defaults of as much as 12.85 percent for loans to solar, wind and bio-energy projects, according to the Office of Management and Budget."

    Solyndra Losses a Fraction of Default Budget: BGOV Barometer
    By Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM PT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/solyndra-losses-a-fraction-of-default-budget-bgov-barometer.html
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM (edited)
    In my opinion it can only be due to one of the two following processes (or a combination of the two):
    1. they cause a reduction in annual or seasonal precipitation;
    2. they indirectly increase plant evapotranspiration by rising local temperatures during the central hours of the day (solar plants contribute to decrease the albedo by absorbing radiant energy or converting it into heat). Also, higher temperatures would increase the direct evaporation from the terrain before it's absorbed from the soil by the vegetation.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:48 AM
    The oldest site of concentration reactor is in the California desert. The area around the reactor has had a heat index rise of a half a degree. Plants as well as animals no longer habitat the area surrounding the site. This reactor was built in the 70's an has been in operation since. It has killed the living Sonoran desert around it.

    About four years ago, several engineers got together to speculate on how to use solar energy to supply the entire planet. They designed a solar collection array over a 100 miles square in the Sahara. In fifty years time after completion of such a project. The Sahara would grow over 100 times faster. In other words it would cover greater that 7/10's of Africa at that point. This is because it raises the overall temperature of the area! In in simple terms it raise the ambient temperature of the area around it!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:49 AM +3
    Solyndra was doing something fairly different. Their failure doesn't have much to do with the technology they were working on or solar power in general 
    _________________ 

    Ivan Raszl Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM +2
    A typical nuclear plant produces 4GW, which means 22GW is only 5.5 plants. ;)

    Also, this was only a peak production record not a sustained or reliable amount of energy produced. Within hours the production went down to zero. :D

    Germany shuts down its own nuclear plants and buying electricity from the Czech Republic which is incidentally produced by nuclear. It's all politics and BS.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:58 AM
    It was my understanding because of the loan, there were not to compete directly with the Chinese on similar designs. I can't back the up, because it was considered hearsay rom disgruntled employees.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:00 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    You are a nut!!

    +Ivan Raszl 
    It is politics and panic. Even when you take out climate change, nuclear is still better overall than other energy sources. How many die every year from pollution and other problems from coal etc. power plants? 

    People expect nuclear to have a perfect safety record but let other types of plants generate all kinds of pollution etc. that affect our health.

    Still, for a long term solution, alternative energy sources are the way to go. They need time and investment to make them really work. A combination of sources is needed with both nuke and solar playing a part. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM (edited) +1
    +Ivan Raszl, that's the key point. Their peak production was achieved during the central hours of a quite unusual day that was sunny in all Germany, just some weeks before the summer solstitium. Their sustained production (the annual production) is way lower. Germany is an awful place to instal solar plants. I guess their intention is using their plants to convince other countries to instal solar plants and sell them the panels (or mirrors) that they produce, some sort of demonstration plants.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield solar one is in the Mojave, it was sited in an area where it would have minimal impact on wildlife. As far as I can determine there isn't anything suggesting mass destruction of flora and fauna. Including pretty pictures of wildlife amongst the array from the National Park Service. 
    I couldn't find any concentrator in the sonoran desert, I assume you mixed them up. 
    If a change of 0.5 degrees is enough to cause massive desertification global warming should be much more alarming. 
    I did see some reports of isreal considering solar concentration towers to combat desertification. I'm not sure where your information is coming from but it's not on the first few pages of google 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:08 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion Yes a very well informed an educated nut! Yet I see no rebuttal disputing what I've said from you. 
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:13 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield You just seem to out there for me to bother with and I am not even sure of your point. Besides, solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere. Looks like Eric Muller did a nice job of it though.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:19 AM
    I have a National Geo article about Solar One, I'll see if it's on line! It talked about heat in the atmosphere around the plant increasing enough to cause environmental impact.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM (edited)
    +Thoughts on Religion: "solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere"
    - What system? Have you ever heard of the albedo? You need first to define your system properly.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion it could create a localized hot spot, probably less than most industrial processes, but it's not out of the question. 
    Though it is capturing the heat and putting it elsewhere. 
    Usually they are located in arid areas with high insolation. Vegetation moderates the temperature quite a bit. On the other hand the array would create cool spots of shade over quite a wide area. 
    What he's saying isn't crazy enough that I didn't have to look it up. I can follow it. Based on a quick look though, it seems incorrect. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.[6][7] The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode.

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Professor Giovanni Francia (1911–1980) designed and built the first concentrated-solar plant. which entered into operation in Sant'Ilario, near Genoa, Italy in 1968. This plant had the architecture of today's concentrated-solar plants with a solar receiver in the center of a field of solar collectors. The plant was able to produce 1 MW with superheated steam at 100 bar and 500 degrees Celsius.[8] The 10 MW Solar One power tower was developed in Southern California in 1981, but the parabolic-trough technology of the nearby Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), begun in 1984, was more workable. The 354 MW SEGS is still the largest solar power plant in the world.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:29 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla No, I have not heard of it!
    What I want to say is this. If you are collecting energy with solar panels, then it is being used elsewhere. What is being absorbed by the solar panels is not available to heat the ground etc. So, I cannot see how it could be causing an area to heat up, unlike burning something which clearly is. 

    Anyway, my point is this. Something needs to be done about climate change etc. I favor a approach that uses solar, nuke etc. ANything to move away from fossil fuel!
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:30 AM (edited)
    Now can any of you truly say not all that reflective energy is not going just to were it's focused to? Part of that energy is reflected back into the atmosphere surrounding the site. What is part of that energy heat.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:35 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller, you do consider the fact that a significant part of the sunlight that hits the Earth surface is reflected back to upper layers of the atmosphere and the outer space, right? That is, unless you deflect that light with a mirror to heat something or you use that energy to generate electricity or to ionize molecules.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:33 AM
    The ones in Spain are the only sites that have plants around it. Most are being built in the Middle East desert or Western US desert.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:37 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield I'm not sure what you were trying to show with the wiki paste.
    The goal would be to have all the panels directing energy back to the collection point. Any leakage lowers the efficiency so it will be avoided. Even if there is some it would be significantly less than what was being captured and turned into steam, molten salt, or whatever. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:39 AM
    If you had all the mirrors just point off into the atmosphere and not at anything, it shouldn't heat the area any more than usual. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:44 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?
    +Curtis Edenfield yeah there is a few others, but as it turns out deserts have high insolation. They also have large open spaces.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:47 AM
    Yes I know this, they aim these mirror with a precision of + or - .00000003 of an inch. The majority of the energy is going to the collector, but there is always a factor of heat loss to the atmosphere, what the consider acceptable amounts. This energy increases the temp in the area creating something similar to heat island effect like in urban settings

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:50 AM
    Here's something simple look at the grass in the pic of the Spain site. Is the temp there the same as say a couple hundred yards of site? 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:55 AM
    +Eric Muller Have you ever been near a glass high rise i a city? Even in the winter time it creates a huge amount of reflective energy, changing temps through out the area of reflection.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?"

    - That solar plants contribue to decrease the albedo in a greater extent than the efficiency of the plant using sunlight to produce electricity. In the case of photovoltaic panels no more than 21%: 

    <<Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 21% in commercial products>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel#Efficiencies 

    As for the solar thermal collectors, I haven't yet found their net efficiency converting all the light that they collect into useful energy (at least not here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_collector), but I doubt it will be much greater but rather probably lower, the main advantage of these plants is their cost efficiency, not their energetic efficiency.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM +1
    http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-thermal-energy-power-towersparabolic-troughs/
    I found this, there might be something to the desertification if it uses water, particularly from a local source from an already arid area. It also hints at wildlife problems but isn't too specific. 
    Since it's an industrial process I imagine it heats the local area some. I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect. 
    Other industrial power generation would show a much more dramatic local temperature increase, plus contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (with the exception of nuclear) 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:25 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power#section_4
    Most large scale power generation uses super heated steam. It gets more efficient as temperatures rise, so using molten salt is expensive but the best way to go for efficiency. The salt is at around 700C so you then use that to generate steam with a heat exchanger. 

    That's why I was saying earlier, I wonder why you don't see more. They outperform PV easily. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 10:47 AM (edited)
    Ok here's something else pretty simple to chew on. All that sunlight hits the surface of the water on the planet, as well as the snow caps. Lets increase that by 1/10 now 8/10 or 4/5 of the earth is covered by a reflective surface. What do you think would happen to atmospheric conditions then? That energy won't go back into space. Look at what happened in history when the sun was block from reflecting. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 11:14 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect."

    - But they don't probably have a total greater reflectivity but a lower one even though the light is deflected by mirrors, since it isn't reflected back to the space but to a thermal collector. So the efficiency must be measured there rather than on the mirrors. How much of the light that hits the thermal collector is converted into electricity and what percentage it is dissipated as heat? Is this amount of electric energy greater than the light that would have been reflected back to space (or just high above the surface, away from the ground and the vegetation) in case the mirrors weren't there?

    Additionally, the mirrors absorb some light energy that will be later dissipated as heat.

    +Eric Muller: "photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient."

    - In any case, probably never more than 50% since the most efficient thermal power station can't attain efficiencies greater than 48%: 

    <<The energy efficiency of a conventional thermal power station, considered as salable energy as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%. This efficiency is limited as all heat engines are governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The rest of the energy must leave the plant in the form of heat. This waste heat can go through a condenser and be disposed of with cooling water or in cooling towers.>>

    <<The Carnot efficiency dictates that higher efficiencies can be attained by increasing the temperature of the steam. Sub-critical fossil fuel power plants can achieve 36–40% efficiency. Super critical designs have efficiencies in the low to mid 40% range, with new "ultra critical" designs using pressures of 4400 psi (30.3 MPa) and multiple stage reheat reaching about 48% efficiency. Above the critical point for water of 705 °F (374 °C) and 3212 psi (22.06 MPa), there is no phase transition from water to steam, but only a gradual decrease in density.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_power#Efficiency 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:55 AM
    It cools. Snow and clouds reflect a lot of solar energy back into space. That's another reason why the large scale polar ice melt is a concern.
    The use of black asphalt and black roofing contributes to the heat island effect (not the sole cause) it absorbs the Suns energy instead of reflecting it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:57 AM
    On the other hand if you aimed those reflective surfaces at something that would absorb the heat, then it wouldn't go into space. You would be able to do something with it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:04 AM
    http://www.zenithsolar.com/product.aspx?id=287 It's probably marketing, and it's combined concentrated PV and thermal but that's saying it gets 72 percent or better 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:16 AM
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility#section_5 
    That talks a bit more specifically about the impact on wildlife. It also talks about what's being done to reduce water consumption. _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 12, 2012 9:32 AM (edited)
    In the page about albedo there some examples of different surfaces (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo). The albedo of crops is between 25% and 15%, the albedo of meadows between 10 and 20% and forests roughly between 6% and 14%. Assuming a 15%, part of the remaining 85% is used in the photosynthesis: 

    <<Plants usually convert light into chemical energy with a photosynthetic efficiency of 3–6%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency 

    Say a 5% during the central hours. 
    However, there's still another energy output from the system. Part of the energy captured by the vegetation is used to pump water, driven by the change of phase that takes place in the stomata, when the water passes to water vapor by absorbing heat.

    So we need to know how much energy is required to transpire all the water that the vegetation is draining from the soil and the water that is directly evaporated from the ground (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evapotranspiration), since all that energy absorbed won't contribute to heat the surroundings.

    <<Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres (39 in).>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain#Global_climatology

    Assuming most of the rain water is evapotranspirated, say 500 L/m^2 per year,  which are 33,333 mol H2O/m^2. The standard enthalpy of vaporization at 298.15 K (25ºC) is 44 kJ/mol H2O. Thus the total energy required to vaporize 27,778 mol of H2O at 25ºC and 1 bar is 1,222 MJ per m^2 and year, that is 38.73 W/m^2
    (1 year = 31557600 seconds) 

    Annual Global Mean Energy Budget of Solar Radiation
    <<The energy budget of solar radiation can be derived by combining observations and modeling studies, which show the combined effects of atmospheric gases, aerosols, clouds, and surfaces. Under the annual global mean condition, the incident solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 342 W/m^2. Of this incident solar radiation, 67 W/m^2 is absorbed during passage through the atmosphere. A total of 107 W/m^2 is reflected back to space: 30W/m^2 from the surface and 77 W m^2 from clouds and aerosols and atmosphere. The remaining 168W/m^2 is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. It is noted that while the incoming and reflected solar irradiances at the top of the atmosphere are constrained by satellite observations, uncertainties may exist for the partitioning of the absorbed solar radiation between the atmosphere and the surface on the global scale.>>
    curry.eas.gatech.edu/Courses/6140/ency/Chapter3/Ency_Atmos/Radiation_Solar.pdf 

    Incident solar radiation at Earth surface: 
    30 W/m^2 + 168 W/m^2 = 198 W/m^2 
    15% of 198 W/m^2 is 30 W/m^2 (flux radiation reflected from surface back to space)
    5% of 168 W/m^2 is 8.4 W/m^2 spent in photosynthesis.

    Flux of energy dissipated as heat by terrain and vegetation: 
    168 W/m^2 - 38.73 W/m^2 - 8.4 W/m^2 = 121 W/m^2

    Thermal collector plant:

    <<Telescopes and other precision instruments use front silvered or first surface mirrors, where the reflecting surface is placed on the front (or first) surface of the glass (this eliminates reflection from glass surface ordinary back mirrors have). Some of them use silver, but most are aluminium, which is more reflective at short wavelengths than silver. All of these coatings are easily damaged and require special handling. They reflect 90% to 95% of the incident light when new.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror#Instruments 

    Absorbed by the mirrors: 10% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 19.5 W/m^2 (dissipated as heat from mirrors)

    Flux light incident on thermal collector: 90% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 178.2 W/m^2 

    <<Of all of these technologies the solar dish/Stirling engine has the highest energy efficiency. A single solar dish-Stirling engine installed at Sandia National Laboratories National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) produces as much as 25 kW of electricity, with a conversion efficiency of 31.25%. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy#Conversion_rates_from_solar_energy_to_electrical_energy 

    On the other hand, 

    <<The PS10 is located 20 km west of Seville (which receives at least nine hours of sunshine 320 days per year, with 15 hours per day in mid summer). The solar receiver at the top of the tower produces saturated steam at 275 °C. The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 

    Flux of electric energy (a great overestimation):
    31.25% of 198 W/m^2 is 61.875 W/m^2

    Flux energy dissipated from thermal collector and mirrors as heat: 136.125 W/m^2

    Flux of energy dissipated from thermal collector: 
    136.125 W/m^2 (thermal collector) - 19.5 W/m^2 (mirrors) = 116.625 W/m^2

    Efficiency thermal collector: 
    (178.2 W/m^2 - 116.625 W/m^2) / 178.2 W/m^2 = 34.55% 

    Conclusion:
    under conditions of significant evapotranspiration mainly driven by local vegetation (e.g., 500 L/m^2 per year), the average flux of heat dissipated by the vegetation and the terrain (121 W/m^2) is significantly lower than the average flux of heat dissipated by the thermal collector station (136 W/m^2).

    Note: the direct evaporation from the terrain under the thermal collector station hasn't been considered. THis value may vary greatly depending on the porosity and permeability of the terrain, but in any case, it'll be usually much less significant than in a terrain covered with vegetation, since plants are very efficient transpiration systems capable to pump large amounts of water from the soil, water that otherwise would percolate to the phreatic zone. 
    Also, I haven't taken into account the light reflected by the thermal collector or absorbed by the air (by gas molecules and aerosols) before it reaches the collector.
    _________________ 

    Further reading:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS20 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=38 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=39 

    scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=10-largest-renewable-energy-projects 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/111635150542674847021/posts/97mdARxzGRc 
    _________________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 6 plusses - 4 comments - 7 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-11-12 05:58:58
    RESHARE:
    facebook.com/ILIWIWUITMABOIP - German Solar Power Plants Produced a World Record 22 GW of electricity
    By I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President. November 11, 2012
    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477159532318469 

    Quiz: Can you spot the basic MISTAKE in the text of this meme?

    <<German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour, equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity.
    Solar power in the United States has been demonized as a "Left Wing conspiracy".>> [ sic ]

    Shame on you, N. Allnoch, E. Kirschbaum and/or Reuters!

    uk.reuters.com - Germany sets new solar power record, institute says
    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN | Sat May 26, 2012
    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 

    (Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
    ________________________ 

    Excerpt from G+ post comments:

    Skane Canyon Nov 11, 2012 6:47 AM+5
    Germany is blowing everyone else away at solar power production. And they are even farther north than we are. We could be doing a lot better here in the U.S. if it weren't for all the years of suppression, but that said, we are not at the bottom of the list either. I feel as though we are reaching a turning point. I'm seeing more and more solar panels on houses where I live. Maybe a sort of grass roots movement is taking place that will tell politicians and big energy that we demand it.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:17 AM
    An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans. In other words they couldn't use the money loaned to them to build a panel better an cheaper than the Chinese.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 7:22 AM +3
    I'm curious why the thermal concentration style isn't more common for large scale installation instead of PV. It's quite a bit more efficient, and if I remember right there was one in Spain that had enough stored energy to keep juice flowing in the event that the sun failed to rise for a week. 
    Since it shares a lot of components it could be backed up by a more conventional natural gas generator or something (in case it's night time for more than a week...) 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:30 AM +1
    Because they raise the overall temperature in the area. Change weather patterns a promote desertification! I believe there are only three in the US, two in California an one in the Mid West. None produce enough electricity to power much.
    _________________ 

    Duncan Margetts Nov 11, 2012 7:34 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield Cant work out if you're serious or being satirical? How can a solar thermal concentration plant raise temperatures in the area they are located in? That would require a net ingress of energy to the area.. in fact, its clear that energy is being taken OUT of the area in which its being generated... please elaborate.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 8:21 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    Same thoughts as Duncan. I cannot figure out of your joking around or a total nut!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:24 AM +2
    It could be due to storage of molten salt? 
    I'm curious about the desertification. In North America that might be due to covering entire industrial properties in a thick layer of gravel. 
    I'm baffled by the local zoning for a couple PV parks here. They took farm land, covered it in gravel and solar panels. Which isn't great, but there is hundreds of acres of abandoned industrial land here that hasn't been touched in 40 years. 
    _________________ 

    Timothy Chase Nov 11, 2012 8:43 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield wrote, "An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans."

    Do you have a source for that?

    I understand that the default rate is actually quite low:

    "The default rate on the U.S. clean- energy loan program that funded Solyndra LLC is a fraction of what the government budgeted for losses.

    "The BGOV Barometer shows the default rate on the $16.1 billion Energy Department loan portfolio is less than 3.6 percent. The White House planned for defaults of as much as 12.85 percent for loans to solar, wind and bio-energy projects, according to the Office of Management and Budget."

    Solyndra Losses a Fraction of Default Budget: BGOV Barometer
    By Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM PT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/solyndra-losses-a-fraction-of-default-budget-bgov-barometer.html
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM (edited)
    In my opinion it can only be due to one of the two following processes (or a combination of the two):
    1. they cause a reduction in annual or seasonal precipitation;
    2. they indirectly increase plant evapotranspiration by rising local temperatures during the central hours of the day (solar plants contribute to decrease the albedo by absorbing radiant energy or converting it into heat). Also, higher temperatures would increase the direct evaporation from the terrain before it's absorbed from the soil by the vegetation.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:48 AM
    The oldest site of concentration reactor is in the California desert. The area around the reactor has had a heat index rise of a half a degree. Plants as well as animals no longer habitat the area surrounding the site. This reactor was built in the 70's an has been in operation since. It has killed the living Sonoran desert around it.

    About four years ago, several engineers got together to speculate on how to use solar energy to supply the entire planet. They designed a solar collection array over a 100 miles square in the Sahara. In fifty years time after completion of such a project. The Sahara would grow over 100 times faster. In other words it would cover greater that 7/10's of Africa at that point. This is because it raises the overall temperature of the area! In in simple terms it raise the ambient temperature of the area around it!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:49 AM +3
    Solyndra was doing something fairly different. Their failure doesn't have much to do with the technology they were working on or solar power in general 
    _________________ 

    Ivan Raszl Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM +2
    A typical nuclear plant produces 4GW, which means 22GW is only 5.5 plants. ;)

    Also, this was only a peak production record not a sustained or reliable amount of energy produced. Within hours the production went down to zero. :D

    Germany shuts down its own nuclear plants and buying electricity from the Czech Republic which is incidentally produced by nuclear. It's all politics and BS.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:58 AM
    It was my understanding because of the loan, there were not to compete directly with the Chinese on similar designs. I can't back the up, because it was considered hearsay rom disgruntled employees.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:00 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    You are a nut!!

    +Ivan Raszl 
    It is politics and panic. Even when you take out climate change, nuclear is still better overall than other energy sources. How many die every year from pollution and other problems from coal etc. power plants? 

    People expect nuclear to have a perfect safety record but let other types of plants generate all kinds of pollution etc. that affect our health.

    Still, for a long term solution, alternative energy sources are the way to go. They need time and investment to make them really work. A combination of sources is needed with both nuke and solar playing a part. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM (edited) +1
    +Ivan Raszl, that's the key point. Their peak production was achieved during the central hours of a quite unusual day that was sunny in all Germany, just some weeks before the summer solstitium. Their sustained production (the annual production) is way lower. Germany is an awful place to instal solar plants. I guess their intention is using their plants to convince other countries to instal solar plants and sell them the panels (or mirrors) that they produce, some sort of demonstration plants.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield solar one is in the Mojave, it was sited in an area where it would have minimal impact on wildlife. As far as I can determine there isn't anything suggesting mass destruction of flora and fauna. Including pretty pictures of wildlife amongst the array from the National Park Service. 
    I couldn't find any concentrator in the sonoran desert, I assume you mixed them up. 
    If a change of 0.5 degrees is enough to cause massive desertification global warming should be much more alarming. 
    I did see some reports of isreal considering solar concentration towers to combat desertification. I'm not sure where your information is coming from but it's not on the first few pages of google 
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    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:08 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion Yes a very well informed an educated nut! Yet I see no rebuttal disputing what I've said from you. 
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    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:13 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield You just seem to out there for me to bother with and I am not even sure of your point. Besides, solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere. Looks like Eric Muller did a nice job of it though.
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    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:19 AM
    I have a National Geo article about Solar One, I'll see if it's on line! It talked about heat in the atmosphere around the plant increasing enough to cause environmental impact.
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    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM (edited)
    +Thoughts on Religion: "solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere"
    - What system? Have you ever heard of the albedo? You need first to define your system properly.
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    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion it could create a localized hot spot, probably less than most industrial processes, but it's not out of the question. 
    Though it is capturing the heat and putting it elsewhere. 
    Usually they are located in arid areas with high insolation. Vegetation moderates the temperature quite a bit. On the other hand the array would create cool spots of shade over quite a wide area. 
    What he's saying isn't crazy enough that I didn't have to look it up. I can follow it. Based on a quick look though, it seems incorrect. 
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    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.[6][7] The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode.

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Professor Giovanni Francia (1911–1980) designed and built the first concentrated-solar plant. which entered into operation in Sant'Ilario, near Genoa, Italy in 1968. This plant had the architecture of today's concentrated-solar plants with a solar receiver in the center of a field of solar collectors. The plant was able to produce 1 MW with superheated steam at 100 bar and 500 degrees Celsius.[8] The 10 MW Solar One power tower was developed in Southern California in 1981, but the parabolic-trough technology of the nearby Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), begun in 1984, was more workable. The 354 MW SEGS is still the largest solar power plant in the world.
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    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:29 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla No, I have not heard of it!
    What I want to say is this. If you are collecting energy with solar panels, then it is being used elsewhere. What is being absorbed by the solar panels is not available to heat the ground etc. So, I cannot see how it could be causing an area to heat up, unlike burning something which clearly is. 

    Anyway, my point is this. Something needs to be done about climate change etc. I favor a approach that uses solar, nuke etc. ANything to move away from fossil fuel!
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    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:30 AM (edited)
    Now can any of you truly say not all that reflective energy is not going just to were it's focused to? Part of that energy is reflected back into the atmosphere surrounding the site. What is part of that energy heat.
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    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:35 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller, you do consider the fact that a significant part of the sunlight that hits the Earth surface is reflected back to upper layers of the atmosphere and the outer space, right? That is, unless you deflect that light with a mirror to heat something or you use that energy to generate electricity or to ionize molecules.
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    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:33 AM
    The ones in Spain are the only sites that have plants around it. Most are being built in the Middle East desert or Western US desert.
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    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:37 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield I'm not sure what you were trying to show with the wiki paste.
    The goal would be to have all the panels directing energy back to the collection point. Any leakage lowers the efficiency so it will be avoided. Even if there is some it would be significantly less than what was being captured and turned into steam, molten salt, or whatever. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:39 AM
    If you had all the mirrors just point off into the atmosphere and not at anything, it shouldn't heat the area any more than usual. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:44 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?
    +Curtis Edenfield yeah there is a few others, but as it turns out deserts have high insolation. They also have large open spaces.
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    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:47 AM
    Yes I know this, they aim these mirror with a precision of + or - .00000003 of an inch. The majority of the energy is going to the collector, but there is always a factor of heat loss to the atmosphere, what the consider acceptable amounts. This energy increases the temp in the area creating something similar to heat island effect like in urban settings

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:50 AM
    Here's something simple look at the grass in the pic of the Spain site. Is the temp there the same as say a couple hundred yards of site? 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:55 AM
    +Eric Muller Have you ever been near a glass high rise i a city? Even in the winter time it creates a huge amount of reflective energy, changing temps through out the area of reflection.
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    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?"

    - That solar plants contribue to decrease the albedo in a greater extent than the efficiency of the plant using sunlight to produce electricity. In the case of photovoltaic panels no more than 21%: 

    <<Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 21% in commercial products>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel#Efficiencies 

    As for the solar thermal collectors, I haven't yet found their net efficiency converting all the light that they collect into useful energy (at least not here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_collector), but I doubt it will be much greater but rather probably lower, the main advantage of these plants is their cost efficiency, not their energetic efficiency.
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    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM +1
    http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-thermal-energy-power-towersparabolic-troughs/
    I found this, there might be something to the desertification if it uses water, particularly from a local source from an already arid area. It also hints at wildlife problems but isn't too specific. 
    Since it's an industrial process I imagine it heats the local area some. I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect. 
    Other industrial power generation would show a much more dramatic local temperature increase, plus contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (with the exception of nuclear) 
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    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:25 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power#section_4
    Most large scale power generation uses super heated steam. It gets more efficient as temperatures rise, so using molten salt is expensive but the best way to go for efficiency. The salt is at around 700C so you then use that to generate steam with a heat exchanger. 

    That's why I was saying earlier, I wonder why you don't see more. They outperform PV easily. 
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    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 10:47 AM (edited)
    Ok here's something else pretty simple to chew on. All that sunlight hits the surface of the water on the planet, as well as the snow caps. Lets increase that by 1/10 now 8/10 or 4/5 of the earth is covered by a reflective surface. What do you think would happen to atmospheric conditions then? That energy won't go back into space. Look at what happened in history when the sun was block from reflecting. 
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    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 11:14 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect."

    - But they don't probably have a total greater reflectivity but a lower one even though the light is deflected by mirrors, since it isn't reflected back to the space but to a thermal collector. So the efficiency must be measured there rather than on the mirrors. How much of the light that hits the thermal collector is converted into electricity and what percentage it is dissipated as heat? Is this amount of electric energy greater than the light that would have been reflected back to space (or just high above the surface, away from the ground and the vegetation) in case the mirrors weren't there?

    Additionally, the mirrors absorb some light energy that will be later dissipated as heat.

    +Eric Muller: "photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient."

    - In any case, probably never more than 50% since the most efficient thermal power station can't attain efficiencies greater than 48%: 

    <<The energy efficiency of a conventional thermal power station, considered as salable energy as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%. This efficiency is limited as all heat engines are governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The rest of the energy must leave the plant in the form of heat. This waste heat can go through a condenser and be disposed of with cooling water or in cooling towers.>>

    <<The Carnot efficiency dictates that higher efficiencies can be attained by increasing the temperature of the steam. Sub-critical fossil fuel power plants can achieve 36–40% efficiency. Super critical designs have efficiencies in the low to mid 40% range, with new "ultra critical" designs using pressures of 4400 psi (30.3 MPa) and multiple stage reheat reaching about 48% efficiency. Above the critical point for water of 705 °F (374 °C) and 3212 psi (22.06 MPa), there is no phase transition from water to steam, but only a gradual decrease in density.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_power#Efficiency 
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    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:55 AM
    It cools. Snow and clouds reflect a lot of solar energy back into space. That's another reason why the large scale polar ice melt is a concern.
    The use of black asphalt and black roofing contributes to the heat island effect (not the sole cause) it absorbs the Suns energy instead of reflecting it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:57 AM
    On the other hand if you aimed those reflective surfaces at something that would absorb the heat, then it wouldn't go into space. You would be able to do something with it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:04 AM
    http://www.zenithsolar.com/product.aspx?id=287 It's probably marketing, and it's combined concentrated PV and thermal but that's saying it gets 72 percent or better 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:16 AM
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility#section_5 
    That talks a bit more specifically about the impact on wildlife. It also talks about what's being done to reduce water consumption. _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 12, 2012 9:32 AM (edited)
    In the page about albedo there some examples of different surfaces (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo). The albedo of crops is between 25% and 15%, the albedo of meadows between 10 and 20% and forests roughly between 6% and 14%. Assuming a 15%, part of the remaining 85% is used in the photosynthesis: 

    <<Plants usually convert light into chemical energy with a photosynthetic efficiency of 3–6%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency 

    Say a 5% during the central hours. 
    However, there's still another energy output from the system. Part of the energy captured by the vegetation is used to pump water, driven by the change of phase that takes place in the stomata, when the water passes to water vapor by absorbing heat.

    So we need to know how much energy is required to transpire all the water that the vegetation is draining from the soil and the water that is directly evaporated from the ground (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evapotranspiration), since all that energy absorbed won't contribute to heat the surroundings.

    <<Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres (39 in).>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain#Global_climatology

    Assuming most of the rain water is evapotranspirated, say 500 L/m^2 per year,  which are 33,333 mol H2O/m^2. The standard enthalpy of vaporization at 298.15 K (25ºC) is 44 kJ/mol H2O. Thus the total energy required to vaporize 27,778 mol of H2O at 25ºC and 1 bar is 1,222 MJ per m^2 and year, that is 38.73 W/m^2
    (1 year = 31557600 seconds) 

    Annual Global Mean Energy Budget of Solar Radiation
    <<The energy budget of solar radiation can be derived by combining observations and modeling studies, which show the combined effects of atmospheric gases, aerosols, clouds, and surfaces. Under the annual global mean condition, the incident solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 342 W/m^2. Of this incident solar radiation, 67 W/m^2 is absorbed during passage through the atmosphere. A total of 107 W/m^2 is reflected back to space: 30W/m^2 from the surface and 77 W m^2 from clouds and aerosols and atmosphere. The remaining 168W/m^2 is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. It is noted that while the incoming and reflected solar irradiances at the top of the atmosphere are constrained by satellite observations, uncertainties may exist for the partitioning of the absorbed solar radiation between the atmosphere and the surface on the global scale.>>
    curry.eas.gatech.edu/Courses/6140/ency/Chapter3/Ency_Atmos/Radiation_Solar.pdf 

    Incident solar radiation at Earth surface: 
    30 W/m^2 + 168 W/m^2 = 198 W/m^2 
    15% of 198 W/m^2 is 30 W/m^2 (flux radiation reflected from surface back to space)
    5% of 168 W/m^2 is 8.4 W/m^2 spent in photosynthesis.

    Flux of energy dissipated as heat by terrain and vegetation: 
    168 W/m^2 - 38.73 W/m^2 - 8.4 W/m^2 = 121 W/m^2

    Thermal collector plant:

    <<Telescopes and other precision instruments use front silvered or first surface mirrors, where the reflecting surface is placed on the front (or first) surface of the glass (this eliminates reflection from glass surface ordinary back mirrors have). Some of them use silver, but most are aluminium, which is more reflective at short wavelengths than silver. All of these coatings are easily damaged and require special handling. They reflect 90% to 95% of the incident light when new.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror#Instruments 

    Absorbed by the mirrors: 10% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 19.5 W/m^2 (dissipated as heat from mirrors)

    Flux light incident on thermal collector: 90% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 178.2 W/m^2 

    <<Of all of these technologies the solar dish/Stirling engine has the highest energy efficiency. A single solar dish-Stirling engine installed at Sandia National Laboratories National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) produces as much as 25 kW of electricity, with a conversion efficiency of 31.25%. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy#Conversion_rates_from_solar_energy_to_electrical_energy 

    On the other hand, 

    <<The PS10 is located 20 km west of Seville (which receives at least nine hours of sunshine 320 days per year, with 15 hours per day in mid summer). The solar receiver at the top of the tower produces saturated steam at 275 °C. The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 

    Flux of electric energy (a great overestimation):
    31.25% of 198 W/m^2 is 61.875 W/m^2

    Flux energy dissipated from thermal collector and mirrors as heat: 136.125 W/m^2

    Flux of energy dissipated from thermal collector: 
    136.125 W/m^2 (thermal collector) - 19.5 W/m^2 (mirrors) = 116.625 W/m^2

    Efficiency thermal collector: 
    (178.2 W/m^2 - 116.625 W/m^2) / 178.2 W/m^2 = 34.55% 

    Conclusion:
    under conditions of significant evapotranspiration mainly driven by local vegetation (e.g., 500 L/m^2 per year), the average flux of heat dissipated by the vegetation and the terrain (121 W/m^2) is significantly lower than the average flux of heat dissipated by the thermal collector station (136 W/m^2).

    Note: the direct evaporation from the terrain under the thermal collector station hasn't been considered. THis value may vary greatly depending on the porosity and permeability of the terrain, but in any case, it'll be usually much less significant than in a terrain covered with vegetation, since plants are very efficient transpiration systems capable to pump large amounts of water from the soil, water that otherwise would percolate to the phreatic zone. 
    Also, I haven't taken into account the light reflected by the thermal collector or absorbed by the air (by gas molecules and aerosols) before it reaches the collector.
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    Further reading:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS20