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pogi

Circumcision

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44 minutes ago, pogi said:

Do you really think it is ethical to cut up a person's genitals because they may not be responsible when they get older?  Also, evidence suggests that male to male sex does not increase risk in uncircumcised people.  So, not only are you betting that your child will be irresponsible, but you are betting that they will be straight. How is that ethical and fair to all the responsible children and gay children who do use condoms or who only have sex with men?  In their cases, there is absolutely no indicated medical reason for circumcision.

Is it ethical to remove healthy organs as a prophylaxis for potential future cancer or infection?  Do we routinely remove woman's breasts because they may get breast cancer in the future (WAY higher risk than penile cancer I might add)?  What about infection?  Do we routinely remove the appendix (a relatively simple procedure) as prophylaxis against appendicitis (a much more serious infection than UTI)? Nope.  Removing healthy genital tissue as a prophylaxis from potential irresponsible promiscuity and heterosexuality is not justifiable. 

The fact is, if someone is sleeping around and not using condoms then being circumcised probably isn't enough to protect them from HIV/HPV, etc anyway.  It is highly invasive and not very  effective measure of prophylaxis at all.  Not to mention there is an extremely effective vaccine for HPV now, so we shouldn't need to cut someones genitals as a prophylactic measure for that one anymore. 

To go all the way to reductio ad absurdam on this point, we don’t remove a person’s teeth as a prophylactic against tooth decay. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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How many here have seen an actual circumcision?

I attended a circumcision performed by a rabbi on a very young child, 8 days old. I was an upstairs neighbour, a friend of the parents. It was a grand party, in their apartment, a gathering of relatives, lots of things to eat, a lot of alcohol involved. The rabbi imbibed freely and was unstable on his feet by the time of the circumcision came around.

The baby was held by the father, all the relatives squeezed around to get a good view. I was a row back and didn’t see the whole procedure. The rabbi pinched up the foreskin, a quick swish with his unsteady knife, a loud Oooooh from all the relatives, a painful scream from the child and a lot of blood. With the baby screaming at the top of his lungs, he was held up for all to see.

I felt queezy and it was impossible to see from all the blood, if the procedure had left the baby boy with a whole penis or just a stump.

The parents and relatives were extremely pleased. If I remember correctly, the parents kept the foreskin.

A barbaric rite that completely convinced me to not have the procedure performed on my sons.  

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15 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

To go all the way to reductio ad absurdam on this point, we don’t remove a person’s teeth as a prophylactic against tooth decay. 

That is absurd that we don't!

Because as Amulek pointed out, "if doctors [dentists] could ensure that young men and women always used prophylactics [by brushing their teeth], well...that would solve a whole host of problems. Last I checked, that isn't happening though".  

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It seems that circumcision is not medically indicated or contraindicated.  So from a medical perspective, the studies are neutral and not useful in supporting any argument, pro or con.

If that's true then it seems the only other argument is one of ethics.  From my perspective, it is no unethical for a parent to choose to have their sons circumcised.  I recognize that other's disagree but to be frank, their opinions are irrelevant to me and my family.  I believe there is strong scriptural evidence that God does not see having a baby circumcised as an unethical decision, and His opinion is really the only one I care about on the matter.

I'm not sure what else there is to say about it.  

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3 minutes ago, bcuzbcuz said:

How many here have seen an actual circumcision?

I attended a circumcision performed by a rabbi on a very young child, 8 days old. I was an upstairs neighbour, a friend of the parents. It was a grand party, in their apartment, a gathering of relatives, lots of things to eat, a lot of alcohol involved. The rabbi imbibed freely and was unstable on his feet by the time of the circumcision came around.

The baby was held by the father, all the relatives squeezed around to get a good view. I was a row back and didn’t see the whole procedure. The rabbi pinched up the foreskin, a quick swish with his unsteady knife, a loud Oooooh from all the relatives, a painful scream from the child and a lot of blood. With the baby screaming at the top of his lungs, he was held up for all to see.

I felt queezy and it was impossible to see from all the blood, if the procedure had left the baby boy with a whole penis or just a stump.

The parents and relatives were extremely pleased. If I remember correctly, the parents kept the foreskin.

A barbaric rite that completely convinced me to not have the procedure performed on my sons.  

This video of a circumcision was posted by hamba earlier.  I recommend all watch it.  Please pay special attention to that feeling in your stomach. 

 

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12 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It seems that circumcision is not medically indicated or contraindicated.  So from a medical perspective, the studies are neutral and not useful in supporting any argument, pro or con.

If that's true then it seems the only other argument is one of ethics.  From my perspective, it is no unethical for a parent to choose to have their sons circumcised.  I recognize that other's disagree but to be frank, their opinions are irrelevant to me and my family.  I believe there is strong scriptural evidence that God does not see having a baby circumcised as an unethical decision, and His opinion is really the only one I care about on the matter.

I'm not sure what else there is to say about it.  

There is a lot more to say about it.

It is medically contraindicated (partly because the data is inadequate) in most developed nations.  I would not call the studies "neutral", I would say they are entirely inadequate. 

Quote

A guiding principle of medicine, however, suggests that a procedure should not be recommended until its complications, losses, and harms are fully understood.

https://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/for-professionals/medical-organization-statements/

So, until better data is available, it is a medically unethical practice that all developed nations seem to understand, other than the US.

First, circumcision, as has already been pointed out as indicated by God is not even close to the same procedure that is happening today.  Secondly, simply because God condoned a practice historically does not make it ethical today.  For example, most of the Israelite practices of genocide in the old-testament would be viewed as unethical today.  Polygamy and polyandry are viewed as unethical.  Nephi killing Laban would be viewed as unethical.  Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth is viewed as unethical.  I could go on and on...  Christ fulfilled the law of circumcision and because there is no further religious indication for the practice, it has no ethical foundation or justification by God.

 

Edited by pogi
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1 minute ago, pogi said:

This video of a circumcision was posted by hamba earlier.  I recommend all watch it.  Please pay special attention to that feeling in your stomach. 

I don't know many people who could watch any surgical procedure on an infant and have a great feeling in their stomach.  Does that mean anything? 

I cried watching them try to do a PKU test on my newborn because they had to squeeze my baby's heel for 10 minutes to get enough blood to come out and it hurt a lot and she was screaming at the very top of her lungs the entire time.   But I wasn't under the impression that the uncomfortable feeling in my stomach meant that I was behaving unethically.  If I never did anything for or to my kids that left me feeling uncomfortable I would be a horrible parent.

This kind of shock tactic reminds me too much of PETA (and most animal lovers who do want animals to be treated ethically hate PETA).  

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7 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I don't know many people who could watch any surgical procedure on an infant and have a great feeling in their stomach.  Does that mean anything? 

I cried watching them try to do a PKU test on my newborn because they had to squeeze my baby's heel for 10 minutes to get enough blood to come out and it hurt a lot and she was screaming at the very top of her lungs the entire time.   But I wasn't under the impression that the uncomfortable feeling in my stomach meant that I was behaving unethically.  If I never did anything for or to my kids that left me feeling uncomfortable I would be a horrible parent.

This kind of shock tactic reminds me too much of PETA (and most animal lovers who do want animals to be treated ethically hate PETA).  

I would say that feeling does mean something when you consider that there is no medical justification for it.  If you are only doing for cultural reasons, then by dang-it, you better understand EXACTLY what you are subjecting your child to before you subscribe to that cultural practice.  If an adult male would not be willing to subject himself to the same infliction, then why should we adhere to a culture that inflicts such pain on infants who have no voice in the matter?

I agree it is a shock tactic.  I have been advised by other's here to employ more of those techniques as they found them to be more effective.  

Edited by pogi
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1 minute ago, pogi said:

There is a lot more to say about it.

It is medically contraindicated (partly because the data is inadequate) in most developed nations.  I would not call the studies "neutral", I would say they are entirely inadequate. 

 

I realize that's how you feel.  It's just, how you feel doesn't matter for anyone but you.

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So, until better data is available, it is a medically unethical practice that all developed nations seem to understand, other than the US.

Yes, you believe this. But, what you believe about it is irrelevant to everyone but you.

Quote

First, circumcision, as has already been pointed out as indicated by God is not even close to the same procedure that is happening today.  Secondly, simply because God condoned a practice historically does not make it ethical today.  For example, most of the Israelite practices of genocide in the old-testament would be viewed as unethical today.  Polygamy and polyandry are viewed as unethical.  Nephi killing Laban would be viewed as unethical.  Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth is viewed as unethical.  I could go on and on...  Christ fulfilled the law of circumcision and because there is no further religious indication for the practice, it has no ethical foundation or justification by God.

For each of those examples you give above, we have scriptural support that those things are not ethical today, right?  God has clarified, with other revelations or commandments, when something is an exception and when it is the rule.  There is no doubt that the things listed above are sins in our day.

Where has God clarified with circumcision?  If circumcision is a sin (which you are saying it is), it's odd that God has not thought it necessary to call anyone to repentance yet for it.  If a member of the church does any of the bolded things above today, they will get excommunicated for them.  They would be required to repent to be in full fellowship.  That's not true for circumcision though, is it.   

If circumcision is a sin, why doesn't God care that so many of His followers have and are embracing sin?  

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5 minutes ago, pogi said:

I would say that feeling does mean something when you consider that there is no medical justification for it.  If you are only doing for cultural reasons, then by dang-it, you better understand EXACTLY what you are subjecting your child to before you subscribe to that cultural practice.  If an adult male would not be willing to subject himself to the same infliction, then why should we adhere to a culture that inflicts such pain on infants who have no voice in the matter?

 

Once again pogi, your forceful demands of what parents must do to be good parents just aren't valid to anyone but you.  You do you.  You do it EXACTLY how you believe is best.  I fully support that.  But how you do you means absolutely nothing to me.  

Quote

I agree it is a shock tactic.  I have been advised by other's here to employ more of those techniques as they found them to be more effective. 

Good luck.  It certainly doesn't work for PETA (which most animals loves despise, and their shock campaigns are one of the top ten reasons that they do), but maybe you'll have more success.  :lol:

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1 hour ago, bcuzbcuz said:

How many here have seen an actual circumcision?

I was present when my son was circumcised.

They gave him a shot to numb the pain, performed the procedure, applied some antibiotic ointment, dipped his pacifier in sugar water and called it a day.

We were back in the room with my wife just a few minutes later. It was no big deal.

The sky didn't fall. Cthulhu didn't rise. And - most shocking of all - I was able to sleep just fine that night, and every night since. 

 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I realize that's how you feel.  It's just, how you feel doesn't matter for anyone but you.

Yes, you believe this. But, what you believe about it is irrelevant to everyone but you.

No, the inadequate evidence is not based on a feeling.  Even the AAP fully admits that it is inadequate.

I don't understand why you think that standard medical ethic is only relevant for me. 

1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Where has God clarified with circumcision?  If circumcision is a sin (which you are saying it is), it's odd that God has not thought it necessary to call anyone to repentance yet for it.  If a member of the church does any of the bolded things above today, they will get excommunicated for them.  They would be required to repent to be in full fellowship.  That's not true for circumcision though, is it.   

If circumcision is a sin, why doesn't God care that so many of His followers have and are embracing sin?  

I never said it was a sin.  I don't think I sinned in circumcising my son.  Sin requires knowledge of right and wrong on the matter.  If I were to have another son and circumcise him, then I would be sinning.  I don't intend to judge you or anyone else on the matter of sin in this regard - that is beyond my ability.  The fact that God has not specifically forbidden the practice does not mean that God does not care.   He does not command in all things. I would also note that never in scripture has circumcision as practiced today been indicated by God.  

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3 hours ago, bluebell said:

Once again pogi, your forceful demands of what parents must do to be good parents just aren't valid to anyone but you.  You do you.  You do it EXACTLY how you believe is best.  I fully support that.  But how you do you means absolutely nothing to me.  

I don't see myself as making forceful demands.  I am suggesting what is only fair for the child.  I just don't buy this "you do you, and I'll do me" argument as if we shouldn't care how other parents treat their children.  If ethics only applied to me, I would agree. 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Once again pogi, your forceful demands of what parents must do to be good parents just aren't valid to anyone but you.  You do you.  You do it EXACTLY how you believe is best.  I fully support that.  But how you do you means absolutely nothing to me. 

both people and government frequently make demands on what parents must do and surely causing harm is one area where society can interfere.   I presume you wouldn't suggest that a parent be allowed to abuse their child?   It seems to me to a valid discussion as to whether the harm in circumcision outweighs the benefit or vice versa and whether or not it's an area where there should be interference.

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12 minutes ago, sheilauk said:

both people and government frequently make demands on what parents must do and surely causing harm is one area where society can interfere.   I presume you wouldn't suggest that a parent be allowed to abuse their child?   It seems to me to a valid discussion as to whether the harm in circumcision outweighs the benefit or vice versa and whether or not it's an area where there should be interference.

Certainly, discuss away.  Are there any countries that have outlawed circumcision because it’s unethical?

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

It seems that circumcision is not medically indicated or contraindicated.  So from a medical perspective, the studies are neutral and not useful in supporting any argument, pro or con.

If that's true then it seems the only other argument is one of ethics.  From my perspective, it is no unethical for a parent to choose to have their sons circumcised.  I recognize that other's disagree but to be frank, their opinions are irrelevant to me and my family.  I believe there is strong scriptural evidence that God does not see having a baby circumcised as an unethical decision, and His opinion is really the only one I care about on the matter.

I'm not sure what else there is to say about it.  

If invasive surgery is not medically indicated, that seems reason enough all by itself not to do it. 

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47 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Certainly, discuss away.  Are there any countries that have outlawed circumcision because it’s unethical?

Norway appears to have a partial ban and it seems that a growing number of countries are considering bans or greater controls at least, mostly it seems because of the ethics.  Seems like there's a growing movement against non thereupeutic circumcision. 

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51 minutes ago, sheilauk said:

Norway appears to have a partial ban and it seems that a growing number of countries are considering bans or greater controls at least, mostly it seems because of the ethics.  Seems like there's a growing movement against non thereupeutic circumcision. 

Yep.  Sometimes it takes time for governments to catch up with ethics and human rights issues.  FGM had its day, and now MGM is making its rounds.  It is only a matter of time before MGM will be generally recognized as a human rights violation. 

Iceland, as far as I understand, also currently has bill for banning circumcision based on ethical grounds in progress as we speak.  

South Africa has banned all circumcision for children under 16 except for religious or medical reasons, and requires consent for boys over 16 (This is by far the best ethical practice in my opinion).   

Circumcision is banned in Australia in all public hospitals, though it is still legal in private hospitals. 

Many countries have at least banned circumcision without anesthesia - absolutely mind-blowing that it is still practiced in the states without any anesthesia  - where is the ethics there?   

Several countries have stated on record that they would ban it if they didn't fear that the practice would simply be pushed underground and become even more dangerous.   

But, beyond national legal bans - which can be a difficult task considering religious rights, many, many medical and pediatric organizations in developed countries have called the practice "unethical" and do not recommend it, whether it is legal or not.   

Edited by pogi
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7 hours ago, bcuzbcuz said:

How many here have seen an actual circumcision?

I have. In Indonesia. Thirteen-year-old boy.

Most Muslim boys in Indonesia are circumcised in clinics that hold heavily subisdised mass events, but this family was upper middle class and so held the happy event at their home, complete with decorations, a live band, fancy clothes, and stacks of food.

It's dangerous to give infants enough anaesthesia to completely prevent the pain of surgical amputation, but that's not an issue with adolescent boys, so the worst pain this young man felt during the procedure was the multiple injections of anaesthesia into and around his penis. Then, in front of the excited onlookers -- family, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours, the musicians, the caterers and me -- the practitioner proceeded to use a very lovely and carefully disinfected knife to remove half the flesh of this boy's penis ... and most of his erogenous tissue. It was definitely bloody, but there were no screams of pain, just shouts of joy from the family as the unrolled flag of severed flesh was held up for everyone to admire. And as bluebell has correctly pointed out, all surgical procedures are bloody, even necessary ones.

But it was definitely barbaric in a primitive blood-offering kind of way. I suspect that medicalising the procedure in some nations has not only been an attempt to justify the practice as some kind of health measure but to obscure the rite's known genealogy as an anti-sex measure and, before that, as admission into a fraternity of men hardened enough to shed the blood of both themselves and others. The current practice of administering anaesthesia in most ritual circumcisions masks this latter purpose at the moment the cut is actually made, but months later this young man was still walking carefully and holding the front of his sarong away from his male anatomy, something he would need to do for many more months, possibly years, until the developing callouses would finally bring him to a point where he was past feeling. Because, as we all know, real men don't feel things, including the gentle pleasure of their own complete genitals.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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14 hours ago, sheilauk said:

Norway appears to have a partial ban and it seems that a growing number of countries are considering bans or greater controls at least, mostly it seems because of the ethics.  Seems like there's a growing movement against non thereupeutic circumcision. 

 

13 hours ago, pogi said:

Yep.  Sometimes it takes time for governments to catch up with ethics and human rights issues.  FGM had its day, and now MGM is making its rounds.  It is only a matter of time before MGM will be generally recognized as a human rights violation. 

Iceland, as far as I understand, also currently has bill for banning circumcision based on ethical grounds in progress as we speak.  

South Africa has banned all circumcision for children under 16 except for religious or medical reasons, and requires consent for boys over 16 (This is by far the best ethical practice in my opinion).   

Circumcision is banned in Australia in all public hospitals, though it is still legal in private hospitals. 

Many countries have at least banned circumcision without anesthesia - absolutely mind-blowing that it is still practiced in the states without any anesthesia  - where is the ethics there?   

Several countries have stated on record that they would ban it if they didn't fear that the practice would simply be pushed underground and become even more dangerous.   

But, beyond national legal bans - which can be a difficult task considering religious rights, many, many medical and pediatric organizations in developed countries have called the practice "unethical" and do not recommend it, whether it is legal or not.   

Maybe I have libertarian leanings in this respect, but I’m disinclined to call for governmental edict banning the practice. I prefer robust discussion, education, helping the public arrive at a fact-based understanding of the issues. 

That said, it still seems that whenever the subject is raised, one is apt to get a lot of testy reaction intended to shut down debate, along the lines of “it’s nobody’s business what I do with my kids” or “you do you and let me do me.”

This subject is still very uncomfortable for a lot of people. My hunch is that the main reason routine neo-natal circumcision remains as common as it is in the United States (though far less so than two or three decades ago) is unquestioned cultural entrenchment. That is, a lack of inclination on the part of many to think through or examine what has been widely and uncritically accepted for so long. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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15 hours ago, sheilauk said:

Norway appears to have a partial ban and it seems that a growing number of countries are considering bans or greater controls at least, mostly it seems because of the ethics.  Seems like there's a growing movement against non thereupeutic circumcision. 

I haven't been able to find anywhere that says that Norway has a partial ban, but I haven't looked that hard.  Do you have a link?  I saw that a couple of years ago one of their parties tried to make it illegal for males under the age of 16 to be circumcised but it was an unpopular position and did not pass, especially because it was being introduced by the anti-immigration party and immigrant Muslims and Jews were the most likely to be affected by it.

I agree that there are people who believe that it is unethical, but so far, it seems that no countries have banned it for that reason.  While some believe it to be unethical, others do not so there is no consensus.

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16 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

If invasive surgery is not medically indicated, that seems reason enough all by itself not to do it. 

Some parents disagree with you.  

And infant circumcision isn't invasive.  No surgical instruments enter any body cavity.  In most hospitals it isn't even listed as a surgery but as a procedure.  That all changes of course when it's done later in life, when it's much more risky, requires general anesthesia, and is much harder to recover from.  

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17 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't see myself as making forceful demands.  I am suggesting what is only fair for the child.  I just don't buy this "you do you, and I'll do me" argument as if we shouldn't care how other parents treat their children.  If ethics only applied to me, I would agree. 

You keep offering up your opinion as fact and then proclaiming that parents need to do what you say.  Your opinion isn't fact though, there are many medical professionals who disagree with it actually, so it seems silly to keep asking parents to treat it it like it is.

And obviously when I said "you do you" i did not mean "because no one should care about other people's kids."  We are having a discussion about infant circumcision and my statements are on that topic.  We are allowed to care about how other people treat their kids up to a point.  Circumcision isn't that ponit. 

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17 hours ago, pogi said:

No, the inadequate evidence is not based on a feeling.  Even the AAP fully admits that it is inadequate.

I don't understand why you think that standard medical ethic is only relevant for me. 

Because there are many medical professionals who disagree with you.  That's why I don't believe your personal definition of standard medical ethics applies to anyone but you.

Quote

I never said it was a sin.  I don't think I sinned in circumcising my son.  Sin requires knowledge of right and wrong on the matter.  If I were to have another son and circumcise him, then I would be sinning.  I don't intend to judge you or anyone else on the matter of sin in this regard - that is beyond my ability.  The fact that God has not specifically forbidden the practice does not mean that God does not care.   He does not command in all things. I would also note that never in scripture has circumcision as practiced today been indicated by God.  

The definition of unethical is immoral, wrong, wicked, and evil.  There is no way for something to be unethical and not be a sin.  People aren't held accountable for sinning in ignorance, it's true, but the act is still sinful, it's just covered by the Atonement automatically rather than requiring repentance.  So yes, when you say that circumcising is unethical you are saying that it is a sin.  I'm sure you don't want to go on record as judging that parents who circumcise are sinning, because that's a pretty precarious place to put yourself, but that is what you are doing when you proclaim that it is unethical for parents to circumcise their infants.

And can you give any examples where God, to His church led by His prophet, has not intervened when His people were supporting sinful behavior?  I don't agree that God would not intervene if His followers were choosing to harm their children.  God may not command in all things but has that ever applied to immoral behavior?

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26 minutes ago, bluebell said:

 And infant circumcision isn't invasive. 

Yes, it is. 

Perhaps you are not clear on what "invasive" means in medical terminology. 

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