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Is Male Circumcision A Violation Of Human Rights?

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While flipping through the WestJet TV lineup on a recent cross-country flight, I reluctantly settled for a popular daytime talk-show (my other options included Days of Our Lives and re-runs of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo), which saw a panel of 4 diversely opinionated women duking it out to see who could make their co-host seem like the biggest idiot. Sigh.

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More interesting, however, was the subject they were debating about: male circumcision.

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Two of the female hosts in particular were taking the stage with polarizing views. One host saw the medical procedure as a hygienic practice that lowered the risk of disease while the other saw it as an archaic and highly irrelevant surgery.

In the end, the victor was left undecided. I, however, was left with an ignited curiosity about a medical procedure that I had never really taken time to question.

I was impressed by the research the anti-circumcision host had prepared for her debate, and it got me thinking intently about the ethics behind the globally rooted practice.

How Did Circumcision Come To Be Globally Recognized?

Ancient Medieval era circumcision Italy. Source: Wikimedia

Ancient Medieval era circumcision Italy.
Source: Wikimedia

While the true origins of circumcision are largely obscured, the procedure undoubtedly has ancient roots, as documented in findings from several ethnic groups, including ancient Egypt, Greece, and Sub-equatorial Africa.

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It has been proposed that the procedure began for a number of reasons, including serving as a rite of passage marking a boy’s entrance into adulthood or as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility. It could also have been started as a means of reducing sexual pleasure, marking those of higher social status, aiding hygiene where regular bathing was impractical, or even humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration.

By the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity.

Sadly, female circumcision is still practiced in certain areas of the world today, although efforts are being made to put a stop to it.

Female circumcision is still practiced in certain areas of the world today, although efforts are being made to put a stop to it.

Clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason, and were widely practiced in the US until 1925. This of course was until someone recognized the absurdity of such an invasive and irrelevant medical procedure.

Yet even still, male circumcision continued onwards unto further generations of men.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that globally one-third of males aged 15 years and over are circumcised, with almost 70% of those being Muslims.

To Cut Or Not To Cut

Circumcision is a massive industry, costing upwards to billions of dollars annually.

Surprisingly, even though circumcision is still performed by most surgeons today, many leading medical institutions show no favour towards the procedure.

Take the New England Journal of Medicine, for example:

Failure to provide adequate control of pain amounts to substandard and unethical medical practice.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on circumcision:

Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, this data is not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.  (AAP 1999)

The British Medical Association:

[P]arental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child. (BMA 2006)

Even the Canadian Paediatric Society has its reservations:

Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.  (CPS 1996)

Perhaps the reason most medical institutions show no favor towards circumcision has something to do with one of medicine’s first code of ethics, “First, do no harm.”

Removing a normal, healthy body part and causing unnecessary pain is in fact doing harm.

 “But the pain only lasts for a minute…”

We know that a baby has nerve endings in their genitals at birth, therefore surgically cutting a newborn’s penis undoubtedly causes extreme pain for the baby. Even if it were only for a ‘minute’ (which it’s not), such an argument also implies it is okay to inflict unnecessary pain on an infant, even if only temporarily.

Furthermore, circumcision without anesthesia is inconsistent with ethical guidelines that prohibit performing surgical procedures on live beings without anesthesia.

Money, Autonomy, and Misguided Parental Decisions

Circumcision is a massive industry, costing upwards to billions of dollars annually.

Circumcision is a massive industry, costing upwards to billions of dollars annually.

In her article, “Circumcision Ethics and Economics,” author Darcia Narvaez states that her anti-circumcision stance comes down to money, autonomy, and parental intentions.

For one, Narvaez explains how much money we actually waste on the procedure.

Medicaid spends $198 million each year on routine infant circumcision in the 33 states that still pay for it, a procedure its own guidelines consider to be medically unnecessary. Private insurance programs are reimbursing an additional $677 million, raising prices for us all (Craig 2006.)  In addition to the cost of circumcision itself, correcting its complications are said to double the cost, bringing the total bill to $1.75 billion each year. Is this what we should be spending money on during a recession and at a time when healthcare costs are skyrocketing?

Complications indeed, not to mention the average 117 neonatal circumcision-related deaths (9.01/100,000) which occur annually in the United States.

Secondly, Narvaez points out that everyone has a right to bodily autonomy and self-determination, and that the only person qualified to make the medical decision is “the owner of the penis, as he is the one going to have to live with the results, not his parents.”

Another valid point brought up by Narvaez comes down to the fact that parents’ “aesthetic preferences are not valid reasons for circumcision.”

While all of her points speak truth in some regard, there are arguments for circumcision that should also be looked at.

Risk of Disease?

The most common arguments for circumcision comes down to hygiene and risk of disease. Increased risk of spreading and contracting HPV, cervical cancer, and HIV are the big ones most commonly mentioned.

However, when one actually takes the time to look at the studies which suggest this correlation, it’s extremely easy to see how weak that correlation is (fortunately).

A 2002 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine studied men in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and found that circumcision was correlated with a decreased risk of penile HPV infection (this correlation is corroborated by a 2009 study in African men), but that there was not a significant correlation between circumcision and incidence of cervical cancer.

Does circumcision truly reduce the chances of HPV and HIV? Is there enough correlation to draw conclusions?

Does circumcision truly reduce the chances of contracting or spreading HPV and HIV? Is there enough correlation to draw conclusions?

When they restricted their dataset to women with only one sexual partner, there was an increased risk of cervical cancer in women whose partners were uncircumcised only if their partner was already considered at high risk for contracting HPV (as determined by age at first intercourse, number of sexual partners, and sex with prostitutes). So, in men who already engage in risky sexual behavior, circumcision does offer an advantage for protecting their partners from cervical cancer.

Yes, circumcision reduces the mucosal surface area, thereby potentially minimizing the interface for abrasion and transmission of viruses, but again, this is a weak reason for surgical intervention.

Women also have many crevices and folds in their genitals, yet we don’t automatically assume to surgically remove their labia for hygienic purposes.

It’s called showering.

Facing Reality

Routine infant circumcision is a 90-year aberration among hundreds of thousands of years of our time here as homo-sapiens.

Furthermore, manmade traditions have never been the basis for scientific principles, so why have we chosen to hold on to such an archaic way of thinking with regards to circumcision?

Thankfully, these traditions are on their way out soon, with only 30% of American boys circumcised in 2009. It seems that more and more parents are seeing through the silly traditions of our past while looking to create a more reasonable future for us all.

Perhaps one day we will look back at a list of all the strange things we once accepted as normal and laugh, with circumcision topping the list of these absurdities.

What are your thoughts on male circumcision? Share below!

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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New Study Questions The Safety of COVID Vaccinations & Urges Governments To Take Notice

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study published in the journal Vaccines has called into question the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are people hesitant to take the vaccine? Why are scientists and journalists who explain why hesitancy may exist censored?

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A new study published in the journal Vaccines by three scientists and medical professionals from Europe has raised concerns about the safety of COVID vaccines, and it’s not the first to do so. The study found that there is a “lack of clear benefit” of the vaccines and this study should be a catalyst for “governments to rethink their vaccination policy.”

The study calculated the number needed to vaccinate (NNTV) in order to prevent one death, and to do so they used a large Israeli Field study. Using the Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) database of the European Medicines Agency and of the Dutch National Register (lareb.nl), the researchers were able to assess the number of cases reporting severe side effects as well as the cases with fatal side effects as a result of a COVID vaccine.

They point out the following:

The NNTV is between 200-700 to prevent on case of COVID-19 for the mRNA vaccine marketed by Pfizer, while the NNTV to prevent one death is between 9000 and 50,000 (95 % confidence interval), with 16,000 as a point estimate. The number of cases experiencing adverse reactions has been reported to be 700 per 100,000 vaccinations. Currently, we see 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations, and the number of fatal side effects is at 4.11/100,000 vaccinations. For three deaths prevented by vaccination we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination. This lack of clear benefit should cause governments to rethink their vaccination policy.

The researchers estimates suggest that we have to exchange 4 fatal and 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations in order to save the lives of 2-11 individuals per 100,000 vaccinations. This puts the risk vs. benefit of COVID vaccination on the same order of magnitude.

We need to accept that around 16 cases will develop severe adverse reactions from COVID-19 vaccines per 100,000 vaccinations delivered, and approximately four people will die from the consequences of being vaccinated per 100,000 vaccinations delivered. Adopting the point estimate of NNTV = 16,000 (95% CI, 9000–50,000) to prevent one COVID-19-related death, for every six (95% CI, 2–11) deaths prevented by vaccination, we may incur four deaths as a consequence of or associated with the vaccination. Simply put: As we prevent three deaths by vaccinating, we incur two deaths.

The study does point out that COVID-19 vaccines are effective and can, according to the publication, prevent infections, morbidity and mortality associated with COVID, but the costs must be weighted. For example, many people have been asking themselves, what are the chances I will get severely ill and die from a COVID infection?

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine recently shared that the survival rate for people under 70 years of age is about 99.95 percent. He also said that COVID is less dangerous than the flu for children.  This comes based on approximately 50 studies that have been published, and information showing that more children in the U.S. have died from the flu than COVID. Here’s a meta analysis published by the WHO that gives this number. The number comes based on the idea that many more people than we have the capacity to test have most likely been infected.

How dangerous COVID is for healthy individuals has been a controversial discussion throughout this pandemic, with viewpoints differing.

Furthermore, as the study points out, one has to be mindful of a “positive” case determined by a PCR test. A PCR test cannot determine whether someone is infectious or not, and a recent study found that it’s highly likely that at least 50 percent of “positive” cases have been “false positives.”

This is the issue with testing asymptomatic healthy people, especially at a high cycle threshold. It’s the reason why many scientists and doctors have been urging government health authorities to determine cases and freedom from infections based on symptoms rather than a PCR test. You can read more in-depth about PCR testing and the issues with it here if you’re interested.

When it comes to the documented 4 deaths per 100,000 vaccinations and whether or not it’s a significant number, the researchers state,

This is difficult to say, and the answer is dependant on one’s view of how severe the pandemic is and whether the common assumption that there is hardly any innate immunological defense or cross-reactional immunity is true. Some argue that we can assume cross-reactivity of antibodies to conventional coronaviruses in 30–50% of the population [13,14,15,16]. This might explain why children and younger people are rarely afflicted by SARS-CoV2 [17,18,19].

Natural immunity is another interesting topic I’ve written in-depth about. There’s a possibility that more than a billion people have been infected, does this mean they have protection? What happens if previously infected individuals take the vaccine? What does this do to their natural immunity? The research suggesting natural immunity may last decades, or even a lifetime, is quite strong in my opinion.

There are also other health concerns that have been raised that go beyond deaths and adverse reactions as a result of the vaccine.

As the study points out,

A recent experimental study has shown that SARS-CoV2 spike protein is sufficient to produce endothelial damage. [23]. This provides a potential causal rationale for the most serious and most frequent side effects, namely, vascular problems such as thrombotic events. The vector-based COVID-19 vaccines can produce soluble spike proteins, which multiply the potential damage sites [24]. The spike protein also contains domains that may bind to cholinergic receptors, thereby compromising the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathways, enhancing inflammatory processes [25]. A recent review listed several other potential side effects of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines that may also emerge later than in the observation periods covered here [26]…Given this fact and the higher number of serious side effects already reported, the current political trend to vaccinate children who are at very low risk of suffering from COVID-19 in the first place must be reconsidered.

Concerns regarding the distribution of the spike protein our cells manufacture after injection have been recently raised by Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist from the University of Guelph who recently released a detailed in depth report regarding safety concerns about the COVID vaccines.

The report was released to act as a guide for parents when it comes to deciding whether or not their child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridle published the paper on behalf of one hundred other scientists and doctors who part of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, but who are afraid to ‘come out’ publicly and share their concerns. Byram, as many others, have received a lot of criticism and have been subjected to fact checking via Facebook third party fact-checkers.

A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

It’s also important to note that only a small fraction of side effects are even reported to adverse events databases. The authors cite multiple sources showing this, and that the median underreporting can be as high as 95 percent. This begs the question, how many deaths and adverse reactions from COVID vaccines have not been reported? Furthermore, if there are long term concerns, will deaths resulting from an adverse reaction, perhaps a year later, even be considered as connected to to the vaccine? Probably not.

This isn’t the only study to bring awareness to the lack of injuries most likely not reported. For example, an HHS pilot study conducted by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research found that 1 in every 39 vaccines in the United States caused some type of injury, which is a shocking comparison to the 1 in every million claim. It’s also unsettling that those who are injured by the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be eligible for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) while COVID is still an “emergency”, at least in the United States.

Below is the most recent data from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Keep in mind that VAERS is not without its criticism. One common criticism we’ve seen from Facebook fact-checkers, for example, is there is no proof that the vaccine was actually the cause of these events.

A few other papers have raised concerns, for example. A study published in October of 2020 in the International Journal of Clinical Practice states:

COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.

In a new research article published in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, veteran immunologist J. Bart Classen expresses similar concerns and writes that “RNA-based COVID vaccines have the potential to cause more disease than the epidemic of COVID-19.”

For decades, Classen has published papers exploring how vaccination can give rise to chronic conditions such as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes — not right away, but three or four years down the road. In this latest paper, Classen warns that the RNA-based vaccine technology could create “new potential mechanisms” of vaccine adverse events that may take years to come to light.

There are a plethora of reasons why COVID vaccine hesitancy has been quite high. I wrote an in-depth article about this in April if you’re interested in learning about the other reasons.

Conversations like this are incredibly important in today’s climate of mass censorship. Who is right or wrong is not important, what’s important is that discussion about the vaccine and all other topics remain open and transparent. The amount of experts in the field who have been censored for sharing their views on this topic has been unprecedented. For example, in March, Harvard epidemiologist and vaccine expert Dr. Martin Kulldorff was subjected to censorship by Twitter for sharing his opinion that not everybody needed to take the COVID vaccine.

It’s good to see this recent study point out that the benefits of the vaccine, for some people, may not outweigh the potential costs.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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