If you are staunchly anti-circ would you surgically remove an extra digit? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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I would remove the nonfunctional birth defect. Foreskin is not a birth defect and has a function. The decision is simple for me.
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#62 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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Probably yes. A sixth finger is considered a birth defect and could potentially (depending on where it is) affect the development of a child's motor skills. A foreskin is not a birth defect.
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#63 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fruitful womb View Post
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Mee Too!!!

Personally, I wouldn't have removed it. Not long ago a baby was born will extra limbs. Born with 4 arms and 4 legs. The parents had them removed. If that were me I would have thought wow what a blessing! We're always joking about wishing we had extra hands for help.
You did watch the video you linked, right? CAuse that child, with the parasitic twin still attached, would have been seriously handicapped. I don't think she had an extra set of usable hands at all. I completely agree with her parents decision for surgery, for a chance at a normal life.
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#64 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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What is so great about a normal life?

ETA: I certainly understand surgery if the parts are causing pain, infections, injuries, etc. But just to have a normal life? I do not understand that, and the concept frightens me.
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#65 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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Normally functioning, as in being able to walk, use the bathroom independently, dress independently, and be mobile. Why is that concept so frightening?
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#66 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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I know a woman online who's three year old daughter has a facial cleft, a cleft palet and a cleft lip. To those of you who don't know, it's kinda like a cleft lip, or a cleft palet, but it goes all the way up her face, a big line, a big opening. Up the middle of her mouth, up the side of her nose, through her eye, which, did not develope, by the way, so it's just an empty socket, and up the side of her forhead. The cleft lip and palet was fixed shortly after birth- she needed it to eat. Technically, she can function normally with her cleft face, and she does have one eye, so she's not blind, but the psychological damage of having an gaping line up her face and an empty eye socet, well, I wouldn't wish that on anyone, especially not a child. Her parents have opted for several reconstruction surgeries for her over the past several years. The line up her face has been fixed together, skin has been stretched, her eye socket had a small "eye" put in it, with a larger one periodically, to enarge it. Her most recent surgery was to reconsturct her eye socket and put in a prosthetic eye. She will never look fully "normal", but she will no longer look "scary", either. (No, I'm not saying that to be mean, I'm saying it because, no child that young should be upset because other children are afraid of how her face looks.) Her parents had a very important decision to make, one most parents can't even imagine having to make. Put her through the pain of reconstructive surgeries or put her through the pain of lifelong (or at least until they considered her "old enough" to decide, which might be schoolage, teen years or older) emotional pain of being considered an outcast because of how she looks. I can't imagine the pain the parents went through having to make a decision like that- no one wants their child to suffer in any way, emotional, physical, any way. I think whatever the birth defect is, it should be thought over very carefully what and how much to "fix" it, but "fixing" it should not be ruled out just because it's "not your body". Know what I mean?

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#67 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
You did watch the video you linked, right? CAuse that child, with the parasitic twin still attached, would have been seriously handicapped. I don't think she had an extra set of usable hands at all. I completely agree with her parents decision for surgery, for a chance at a normal life.
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Originally Posted by SeekingSerenity View Post
Yes, but these were not functional limbs. The child could have never had a normal life. She'd have never walked, never had children of her own, never had any possibility of a normal existence.

"Lakshmi was born joined at the pelvis to a "parasitic twin" that stopped developing in her mother's womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped twin."

They were fused at the base of the spine, completely opposite one another. It's like she had another body, without a head or shoulders, hanging from the bottom of her own body. In a case like this, I believe it was completely appropriate to have that removed.

I agree that it is completely INappropriate to cut a normal, functioning, healthy part of a baby boy's anatomy off, for no other reason than cultural or societal influences. My boys are intact, and should I have another, he too will be intact. There is simply no other way.

If one of my children had an extra digit, extra limb or any kind of growth on their bodies that would impede their ability to grow and function normally, I believe it's my responsibility as a loving parent to remove that. If it's not going to harm them in any way, such as having a fully functional extra finger, then it would stay.

But if my child was born with an extra arm? Functional or not, I would not allow them to become a societal outcast, or be viewed as a "freak of nature" just to preserve their structural integrity. Removing such an appendage falls into the category of preserving their mental and emotional integrity, which is just as important. Children should be left as they are... if they can be a healthy individual that way.
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Okay, I hope you're just being funny. That little girl couldn't walk and had absolutely no chance of a normal life with the limbs of her parasitic twin fused to her.


To answer your question, I didn't watch that video. I'm really embarrassed about posting what I did without getting the entire story straight. I saw her picture in my local news paper. The picture I saw did not look like her extra limbs would hinder her growth but rather usable. My opinion has changed since watching the video. In her case surgery was needed.
And no, I wouldn't be funny about someone's misfortune. It was a misunderstanding on my part. Sorry.
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#68 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 07:26 PM
 
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Personally I really like being able to walk. But that's just me.

ETA - I think my two year old really likes it, too.

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#69 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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I probably would. A foreskin is not an abnormality.

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#70 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
Normally functioning, as in being able to walk, use the bathroom independently, dress independently, and be mobile. Why is that concept so frightening?
An extra digit doesn't usually inhibit that; if it does, that is a medical issue. If there is a medical issue where the extra part is causing pain, limited mobility, infections, injuries... then yes, surgery should be an option. But just to be "normal"? What is so great about being "normal"? What is so wrong with an abnormality (that isn't causing medical problems) that it necessitates surgery on a nonconsenting minor?

I do think the social emphasis on "normalcy" even to the point of surgery has frightening implications for all of the people who won't be able to fit into that "normal" box.
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#71 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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The statement about being able to walk normally was pertaining to the young girl with two extra legs and arms whom we were discussing when the "normal life" comment to which you responded was made, not to a situation where the defect was only an extra digit.

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#72 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 08:52 PM
 
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This discussion prompted me to look up this subject further. There was such a huge range of different sixth digits. The most common kind that just hangs off the side of the pinky it seemed like a very good idea to remove. Then there was the less common functional kind with bone and everything.

There was a page by a group of plastic surgeons who were experts at "correcting" the less common kind with bones and ligaments. They described how sometimes the surgery basically rejoined two only partially functional fingers to make a single functional finger, this seems most common on the thumb side. To me this seemed like a good idea for some cases and I would consider doing it.

However, then they started to talk about the removal of a basically functional sixth finger. The biggest argument they had for doing this complex painful surgery that can result in a less functional but typical appearing hand before 1 year of age was that older patient were more likely to be unhappy with the results.

This really made me think of the do the circ when he's a baby so he won't remember it arguement.

In some cases removing the extradigit is not at all like choosing circ. It is a legitamit medical treatment that improves the childs well being. In these cases it would be more like agreeing to use the foreskin flap to repair a hypospadia that was sever enough that the child had problems with function. However, it seems that some parent do choose to remove fully functional sixth digits in a painful proceedure that results in a loss of function for purely cosmetic reasons, in these cases it would seem very similar to RIC.

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#73 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
The statement about being able to walk normally was pertaining to the young girl with two extra legs and arms whom we were discussing when the "normal life" comment to which you responded was made, not to a situation where the defect was only an extra digit.
Well, I was really responding to all of the posts about surgery to be "normal"... and that the difference between that and circ was that a foreskin was "normal" while an extra digit was not. If the extra part is seriously impeding functioning, or causing pain, or causing any kind of medical problem--that is very different than doing it because it's a "defect" or an "abnormality." So again, what is so great about being normal? Or so wrong with being abnormal, provided the abnormality isn't causing serious medical problems? What message does it send to our children when we surgically alter them to make them "normal"?
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#74 of 81 Old 12-23-2007, 11:33 PM
 
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Foreskins and defects are not comparable. Nature intends males to have foreskins. It does not intend for us to have extra digits.

I understand your logic--that you wouldn't consent to surgery for the sake of making your child normal. Likewise I would not remove a foreskin for the sake of normalcy.

I would, however, remove an extra digit for the sake of normalcy. There is a big difference between keeping something attached that has a purpose and function and is part of the human design for the sake of normalcy--and removing an extra digit, that has no function or purpose and is not part of the human design, for that sake.

I was taunted as a child, and it didn't make me a stronger person. It made me a very lonely and unhappy little girl. I can only imagine the taunting that a child with an extra digit might get, particularly early on from children who don't understand and are afraid. It's not worth it to me to risk my child possibly being lonely and unhappy for the sake of an extra digit, to uphold some principal about "being yourself."

I want my children to know not to change who they are for the sake of normalcy. An extra digit is not part of who they are. Normalcy is a real thing that has a real effect on life. When you are outside of the norm there are consequences. The question is: are those consequences worth it? Here are the messages I want to send: be who you are, don't try to be normal but don't try not to be, and consider the consequences of your actions.

The message I want to send to my children is that I care about their feelings more than I care about principals relating to normalcy. I doubt they would long for an extra digit that was removed more than they would long to be accepted by their peers. Some may feel acceptance is unimportant, but many people do want acceptance--and there's nothing wrong with that.

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#75 of 81 Old 12-24-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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Foreskins and defects are not comparable. Nature intends males to have foreskins. It does not intend for us to have extra digits.

I understand your logic--that you wouldn't consent to surgery for the sake of making your child normal. Likewise I would not remove a foreskin for the sake of normalcy.

I would, however, remove an extra digit for the sake of normalcy. There is a big difference between keeping something attached that has a purpose and function and is part of the human design for the sake of normalcy--and removing an extra digit, that has no function or purpose and is not part of the human design, for that sake.

I was taunted as a child, and it didn't make me a stronger person. It made me a very lonely and unhappy little girl. I can only imagine the taunting that a child with an extra digit might get, particularly early on from children who don't understand and are afraid. It's not worth it to me to risk my child possibly being lonely and unhappy for the sake of an extra digit, to uphold some principal about "being yourself."

I want my children to know not to change who they are for the sake of normalcy. An extra digit is not part of who they are. Normalcy is a real thing that has a real effect on life. When you are outside of the norm there are consequences. The question is: are those consequences worth it? Here are the messages I want to send: be who you are, don't try to be normal but don't try not to be, and consider the consequences of your actions.

The message I want to send to my children is that I care about their feelings more than I care about principals relating to normalcy. I doubt they would long for an extra digit that was removed more than they would long to be accepted by their peers. Some may feel acceptance is unimportant, but many people do want acceptance--and there's nothing wrong with that.
How is an extra digit not part of them, if they are born with an extra digit?

There are many different kinds of acceptance... when I was a kid I didn't really care whether my peers accepted me, but I did crave the acceptance of the adults in my life. And although I was not born with any extra body parts, I still wasn't normal... and every time they tried to fix me, tried to normalize me--all for the noble purpose of protecting me from peer ridicule--I received the clear message that I was not acceptable as I was. That I needed to change myself in order to be protected from cruelty. I don't think that is a healthy message for any child. To say "we have to cut off your extra finger to keep others from persecuting you," is blaming the victim. Even if the extra finger is non-functional, defective, unsightly and the child hates it. It's not about the finger. It's about telling a child "the reason you are persecuted is because of something wrong with you. The kids who bully you are right--you are intrinsically unacceptable as you are. The problem is solved by fixing you, not them." I believe that is the message of performing cosmetic surgery on children. I have never had a child with an extra digit, but I do have children who are "different," and when people are unkind to them because of their differences, I try to make my kids understand that those people are wrong. That they (my kids) are perfectly worthy of acceptance exactly as they are. And if I had one with an extra digit which was not causing physical problems, I would do the same thing. The same if I had one with birthmarks, acne, whatever. There is nothing wrong with wanting acceptance, but I do think there is something wrong with giving a child the message that he has to have permanent alteration of his body in order to be worthy of acceptance.
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#76 of 81 Old 12-24-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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There is nothing wrong with wanting acceptance, but I do think there is something wrong with giving a child the message that he has to have permanent alteration of his body in order to be worthy of acceptance.
It just needed to be repeated.

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#77 of 81 Old 12-24-2007, 03:15 AM
 
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Acceptance isn't about "worthiness." It's about society's willingness to be accepting.

When you have two paths, you must consider which is best. When you have two priorities that collide, you must decide which is higher on your list. Which is more important: the extra digit--or being normal? We can say also, what is more important: being yourself, or being normal? Obviously being yourself is being normal, but your body is not who you are.

Your body is not who you are, and I will never, ever let my children believe otherwise. I won't try to pretend that people's perceptions of us are not at all based on our bodies, though, because that would be wrong. If I dyed my hair pink, it wouldn't be part of who I am in the very least, but ignorant, close-minded folk would still judge me for it. I would still get the odd looks, possibly be treated differently, and knowing how wrong it is wouldn't make it any less frustrating. I'd have to chose, is my hair being the color I want it worth those consequences?

My children will be taught that it is wrong to be unkind for being different, but I assure you that knowing that doesn't make it any more painful to be cast out. I can also assure you that it won't make a three year old feel any better to know that it's wrong for other children not to play with her because there is something "unusual" about her. And you know what else? Knowing that it's rude and wrong to stare doesn't make an adult feel any better about having people stare at them, or try to avoid staring at them, because of some minor defect. Your body isn't who you are, but it affects how you're perceived and received.

You can do what you will if you ever have a child with an extra digit. I will not judge you for your choice. I would make a different one and say good day to you as we head down seperate paths. I would especially do so if my child hated it and wanted it removed, being that it is his body. I don't believe doing so is saying "Something is wrong with you." It's saying "You don't need that, it has no function, and it isn't worth the cruelty you might face to keep it."

ETA

If it were a functioning digit though, I would probably leave it intact, because hands are very useful--and to me, it's not worth having a less functional hand, impeding our ability to do manual things such as feed ourselves with a spoon, to be accepted.

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#78 of 81 Old 12-24-2007, 07:12 AM
 
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You can do what you will if you ever have a child with an extra digit. I will not judge you for your choice. I would make a different one and say good day to you as we head down seperate paths. I would especially do so if my child hated it and wanted it removed, being that it is his body. I don't believe doing so is saying "Something is wrong with you." It's saying "You don't need that, it has no function, and it isn't worth the cruelty you might face to keep it."
I totally agree with this.

I also agree with the person that said this comparison is like apples and oranges.

Correcting an easily correctable birth defect is not at all comparable to removing a normal, healthy functional part of a person's genitals.

There is just no comparison at all, in my book. The two issues aren't even on the same page.

Especially when you consider that an extra finger would be something everyone would see every day, while - seriously - how often does anyone see someone else's penis?
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#79 of 81 Old 12-25-2007, 06:00 AM
 
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The penis is designed with a foreskin. It is not a defect. So to compare it to a situation where someone is born with extra digits is not valid. The human body was designed to have five digits on each hand.

To remove the extra digits or not? I honestly don't know what I would do as a parent since I have not been in that situation. Not as a newborn, certainly. I think I would have them removed but only after the age of proper anesthesia and after care pain management.

But I guess that brings up the moral dilemma if the choice should be the person who owns the body. For instance, my older son had a raised and very prominent strawberry mark on his left eye lid. I had strangers coming up to me in the street, horrified, saying "what happened to his eye???"

It went away on its own. If it hadn't, I'd have left it up to him whether or not he wanted to discuss removal or not. Okay, now that I think about it, I'd be that way with anything other than a defect that could have negative consequences on the child's health and well being.

Tissue that the human body was designed to have....how to compare to varieties? Can't.
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#80 of 81 Old 12-25-2007, 07:42 AM
 
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not unless my child asked me to, and we talked about it.
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#81 of 81 Old 12-26-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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An intact penis is normal and functional.

Six fingers is abnormal. May or may not be functional. Would removal of the sixth finger DECREASE functionality of the hand or increase it? Probably the latter, since we were designed to use five digits on each hand.

I would remove it.

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Correcting an easily correctable birth defect is not at all comparable to removing a normal, healthy functional part of a person's genitals.
I guess that's it in a nutshell.
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