ceremonial pinprick on girls from Muslim culture

June 15, 2010

In a policy shift that smacks of appeasement, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that American doctors should be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick on girls from Muslim culture in order to keep their families from imposing full “circumcision” clitorectomies.

The academy’s committee on bioethics justified this stance by noting federal law “makes criminal any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals” of a girl in the United States, thereby driving some families to take their daughters overseas to undergo mutilation. Presumably the ritual “nick” is a compromise to avoid greater harm.
Whatever the intention, however, this policy shift vouchsafes legitimacy to a practice that should not be permitted. How much bloodletting will satisfy parents? And at what point do compromises end?
If Muslim countries allow wife beating and slavery, do we allow a little of these practices in the United States in order to avoid more extreme examples? Perhaps a punch or two would be acceptable?
The counter-argument states that to declare clitorectomies wrong, unacceptable and barbaric indicates “insensitivity” to another culture. But there are humane considerations that transcend cultural practice, and that should be honored everywhere.

Unacceptable. the doctors should lose their license.