Male circumcision: ritual, science and responsibility



Introduction and objectives. In Italy, four minors have died in the last year as a result
of male circumcision (MC) procedures performed for cultural and religious reasons by
unqualified persons in unhygienic conditions.
Results and discussion. After illustrating the historical and ethical outlines of the moral
admissibility of MC within a comparative perspective, we examine the features of the
Italian healthcare system with particular regard both to the heterogeneity of services
available in the various Regions and to the risks engendered by excluding MC from the
public health setting.
Conclusion. In order to adequately safeguard public health, particularly that of minors,
there is a pressing need for thorough discussion of whether the National Health Service
should perform MC on minors free of charge or, at least, for a reduced fee. The implementation
of targeted campaigns may raise awareness of the importance of proper safety
measures in MC.

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Francesco Ventura

Fiorella Caputo

Marta Licata

Alessandro Bonsignore - University of Genova, Italy Department of Legal and Forensic Medicine

Rosagemma Ciliberti

How to Cite
Ventura, F., Caputo, F., Licata, M., Bonsignore, A., & Ciliberti, R. (2020). Male circumcision: ritual, science and responsibility. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 56(3), 351-358. Retrieved from
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