Female Genital Mutilation : When A Cultural Practice Develops Clinical And Ethical Dilemmas

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Gibeau, Anne M. 1998. "Female Genital Mutilation: When a Cultural Practice Generates Clinical and Ethical Dilemmas." Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 27 (1): 85-91.
Female genital mutilation may be currently reaching a changing point in its history. It is a cultural practice that is considered to have long standing importance but female genital mutilation presents to most developed nations a need for education and a need to clarify ethical dilemmas regarding it. In most cases, the push for female genital mutilation to be eradicated comes from within individual cultures and communities but internationally there is also support for eradication of this problem. The main dilemma is that most groups that actively practice female genital mutilation see it as a necessary or even obligatory ritual that defines them as a culture and gives their culture or religion autonomy. It is (at the time that this paper was written) illegal to perform female genital mutilation on a child in the United Sates but not on an adult woman, which includes anyone who is who is older than 18 years old. However, ultimately, female genital mutilation is unethical regardless of who it is performed upon, so the United States’ health care providers and the laws governing them need to step beyond their traditionally followed roles on this issue. In fact, health care providers ought to join the ongoing worldwide efforts to completely eradicate female genital mutilation. Health care providers

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