Non-therapeutic infant male circumcision. Evidence, ethics, and international law perspectives


OBJECTIVES: To review the evidence of the benefits and harms of infant male circumcision, and the legal and ethical perspectives of infant male circumcision. METHODS: We conducted a systematic search of the literature using PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library up to June 2015. We searched the medical law literature using the Westlaw and Lexis Library law literature resources up to June 2015. RESULTS: Male circumcision significantly reduced the risk of urinary tract infections by 87%. It also significantly reduced transmission of human immunodeficiency virus among circumcised men by 70%. Childhood and adolescent circumcision is associated with a 66% reduction in the risk of penile cancer. Circumcision was associated with 43% reduction of human papilloma virus infection, and 58% reduction in the risk of cervical cancer among women with circumcised partners compared with women with uncircumcised partners. Male infant circumcision reduced the risk of foreskin inflammation by 68%. CONCLUSION: Infant male circumcision should continue to be allowed all over the world, as long as it is approved by both parents, and performed in facilities that can provide appropriate sterilization, wound care, and anesthesia. Under these conditions, the benefits of infant male circumcision outweigh the rare and generally minor potential harms of the procedure


Alkhenizan A, Elabd K




  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV- population
  • Health Systems
    • Governance arrangements


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