Yesterday it emerged that doctors are up in arms over new contentious guidelines that permit the ritual circumcisions to be completed using only local anaesthetics … and therefore not in hospitals.
Now some statistics have emerged explaining why.
Figures from the health authority show that since 2015 there have been around 200 cases of boys being hospitalised with serious complications following the procedure.
“Just today we had a complication due to a circumcision. Last Friday there was another case. I estimate that we have two serious complications following circumcisions here every month,” Torsten Lauritsen, a leading doctor at the city hospital Rigshospitalet, told TV2 News.
Amputation and missing skin
The stats showed that over the past five years a total of 212 hospitalisations involving “complications after circumcision” have been registered.
In 32 of the cases, a diagnosis was behind the hospitalisation, but in the remaining 180 cases a circumcision was performed despite no diagnosis being made.
That’s about 30 cases every year.
Lauritsen said that the primary problem is that the circumcisions don’t take place in safe conditions – often too much skin is cut off or the penis head has been severed.
“These aren’t just cosmetic problems. They are serious complications,” said Lauritsen.
“It’s hopeless to see these small boys show up with a penis that has part of it amputated or skin missing. It’s heart wrenching and pointless.”
Up for debate tomorrow
According to the state, about 2,000 boys are ritually circumcised every year in Denmark.
The circumcision of girls has been banned in Denmark since the early 2000s and there is zero tolerance for it.
It is also punishable for Danes to travel abroad to have their girls circumcised – even if it is performed in a country where it is legal.
However, the government revealed in September that it would not ban the ritual circumcision of boys in Denmark, despite much support for doing so from medical and political spheres.
However, the issue will surface in Parliament again tomorrow, when a citizen proposal regarding setting a minimum age limit of 18 years for all circumcisions that are not necessary due to health-related reasons.