The whole conversation concerning a baby’s foreskin typically goes straight to “health benefits”. Thing is, though, we don’t treat any other normal, living, healthy, otherwise permanent part of the human body like this.
Think about it.
Apart from the foreskin, what other normal, living, healthy, otherwise permanent part of the human body do we perform a risk-benefit analysis of removing and then claim that parents should have a right to elect such a removal to be performed on their child based on the outcome of that analysis?
Answer: none. Who knows? Maybe cutting off female genital folds or pinky toes or earlobes at birth will reduce UTI, fungal infection, or skin cancer rates! But we’d never know because we don’t treat the rest of the human body the same way we treat the foreskin.
The prepuce, and curiously enough only in males who have less genital folds and are actually less prone to genital infection than females, is a bizarre exception to the general rule of respect afforded the human body in its complete state.
This flies in the face of standard medical practice, in which preservation of tissue is a priority–not the highest priority–but a priority nonetheless. The removal of even diseased tissue is in general viewed as something of a last resort and typically undertaken only after less invasive treatment measures have been exhausted and/or are believed to have a small probability of success.
If this is the case with diseased tissue, then it is surely contrary to the standard practice of medicine to propose the prophylactic removal of normal, living, healthy, permanent tissue as a health measure, is it not?
That the foreskin should be the exception to the general proclivity of medical practice and scientific research to preserve the human body as a complete whole and therefore its removal subjected to such a risk-benefit analysis must be addressed as a preliminary to any further discourse on health benefits or parental choice.