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Independents' Day

My 10 commandments

Pulse has shown real wisdom and courage in opening up the seemingly taboo subject of circumcision for dabate.

It is not true, as claimed by one correspondent, that there is any link in my mind between male and female circumcision. One is rightly illegal and abhorrent. My support for male circumcision, based on a wide research of the subject, is mainly that there are many medical benefits to being circumcised.

More research is needed but there is strong evidence of protection for males and females from HIV and cervical cancer.

We should be making this information as available to the public as we do the case for vaccinations (which have far more side-effects than sterile and pain-free circumcision).

Already the Circumcision Agency tells us (February 19) that parents and adults are crying out for more facilities, yet the Government has no plans to make it more widely available.

While consent given by teenagers or adults may seem the ideal, in reality infant circumcision has more sense in that it protects infants from (uncommon) urinary infection as well as childhood phimosis and balanitis, and is far cheaper. Parents would again have to make informed choices.

Let us get this information available in a dispassionate way. It is amazing how emotive this topic can be.

Dr David Hawker



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