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“First do no harm”: Revoke Certifications of Doctor who support advocate for clitoridectomies (FGM)

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The first and absolute law of the medical profession is Primum non nocere, Latin for "First, do no harm." It is one of the principal precepts of medical ethics that all medical students are taught in medical school.

Cutting the clitoris of a woman is an Islamic precept that removes the ability to experience sexual pleasure (thereby making a woman less apt to cheat, or enjoy life, for that matter). There is absolutely no health benefit. It is a misogyny.

The Mayo Clinic rightly removed Dr. Hatem Elhagaly ("Hatem Al Haj") who called FGM an "honor for women" after Atlas reader/activist CGW started an action petition to get this mutilation supporter removed. But that is not enough. Sign this petition as well.

Petition to the Board of American Pediatrics

Revoke the Certifications of Hatem Elhagaly

Currently, Elhagaly is attempting to frame this movement in terms of his religion. This petition is solely focused on a doctor whose medical ethics are extremely questionable, and if ever put in practice, felonious–a doctor who should have no certifications in my state. I do not allege that Dr. Elhagaly has committed a felony. I point solely to the text on Elhagaly's website itself, which outlines his views on FGM and do not contradict the statements of this petition.

Elhagaly attempts to justify his medical ethics by pointing to his religion and branding the signers of this petition Islamophobes. It should be clear by the content of this petition that our focus is the genital mutilation of children, not the doctor's religion. Don't be fooled: FGM is not something to be defended. It is a strange, barbaric, and often punitive act inflicted on young girls for the purposes of subjugation and control. Elhagaly, as stated openly on his website, is in favor of female circumcision. No matter how slight the cut, it is considered FGM, and is felony child abuse.

I don't care what any doctor believes. I care what medicine he practices and promotes. And FGM isn't medicine at all.

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UPDATE

From the Mayo:

Dr. Elhagaly is no longer employed or caring for patients at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. We are working with his patients to transition their care to another physician. Because this is a personnel issue, we cannot comment further on Dr. Elhagaly's employment status.

Female circumcision in children, referred to as female genital mutilation in U.S. legal statutes, is a felony-level child abuse crime. Mayo Clinic strongly opposes the procedure and it has never been performed at any Mayo Clinic facility.

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Hatem Elhagaly (AKA "Hatem Al Haj") worked as a doctor in Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Albert Lea, MN. His special interests are in child development.

He is also a proponent of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

In an Arabic-language paper entitled "Circumcision of Girls: Jurisprudence and Medicine" (original here and here), Elhagaly (AKA "Al Haj") repeatedly points to the idea that FGM is "an honor" for women, ignoring FGM's extremely detrimental effects on women's health and the barbarity of the practice. He attempts to justify his ideas by referencing scholars from several schools of Islamic thought and also the words of Muhammad, including the idea that FGM is desirable "because it is more beautiful to behold and better for her husband." 

Hatem Elhagaly was taking care of young girls in Albert Lea, MN. 

Learn more about him at his website.

 

Hatem Elhagaly is already gone from his job at the Mayo Clinic. I now demand that the various medical boards that support him revoke his certifications.

Join with me in voicing your outrage. Together, we can insist that his board certifications in this country be revoked. 

Remember: It doesn't matter how "little" you cut a little girl's vulva. It's still felony child abuse.

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