Jun 07

Circumcision and the wisdom of NORM

“In a society that puts so much belief on freedom of choice and individual liberty, should not boys be left to make their own decision when they are old enough to understand the full implications of what a circumcision involves?”


Jun 07

Ethical Questions for the AAP Committee on Bioethics

“Dear Dr. Moseley:

According to the literature, you served on the AAP Committee on Bioethics, which issued a 1995 statement “Informed Consent, Parental Permission, and Assent in Pediatric Practice.” (1) This Committee approved the 1999 Circumcision Policy Statement.(2)  There appear to be conflicts between these documents, and I request your assistance in clarifying some ethical concerns. Given the importance of the circumcision issue to many people, clarification of these points would help us to accurately educate others about the AAP recommendations.

Citing the Bioethics Policy, the Circumcision Policy states that parents must make choices about health care for infants and young children because infants and young children are not capable of making their own decisions.(3)  However, these decisions are related to diagnosis and treatment for an ailment.(4)  Non-therapeutic circumcision is genital surgery performed on a child with no ailment, and circumcision is not treatment.”


Jun 07

The deepest cut

“[L]ately, more parents than ever are deciding to keep their newborn sons intact—especially on the West Coast. The reasons range from changing recommendations by medical authorities to the growing trend of parents not wanting to blindly follow social norms.”


Jun 05

Circumcision in boys: Time for doctors to reconsider

“The Convention on the Rights of the Child from 1989 states in Article 19 that States “shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violation, injury or abuse…” Article 24.3 urges all States “to take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudical to the health of children”. Article 37 states that “no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment…”.

In the UNICEF Implementation Handbook for the Convention (1998) it is stated in relation to Article 24.3 that a review is to be undertaken regarding “all forms of genital mutilation and circumcision”. Other traditional practices which are to be reviewed include “binding, scarring, burning, branding, forced holding under water…” and similar cruel treatment of children. No doubt it is time to act!

Apparently no such action has been taken and the Convention is not applied in any country as regards circumcision of boys – let alone regarding mutilation of girls ( which is done by the hundreds of thousands every year).”


Jun 05

What’s Wrong With Circumcision?

From the link:

We Didn’t Want It

We Didn’t Need It

We Don’t Like It

It Should Have Been Our Choice


Jun 04

I’m a Doctor, a Jew, a Father & Grandfather: My position on Circumcision

“I am a 72 year old retired physician, a Jew who is an active member of a Conservative synagogue, and a grandfather.

When I was in Medical School in the 1950s, almost all newborn males were circumcised. Despite the fact that prophylactic surgery was not generally performed, we were taught that circumcision was the correct and healthy thing to do. It was thought to control masturbation, decrease cancer risk, and help curtail sexually transmitted diseases. We learned nothing of foreskin anatomy and function. Infant nervous systems were thought to be undeveloped and their pain was so trivialized that it was almost ignored. As a young physician, I participated in many circumcisions. Over the years I’ve witnessed brit milah in the homes of friends and family. I was mildly uncomfortable with the practice, but like most physicians, and like most Jews, I said and did nothing to question circumcision.”


Jun 04

Why circumcision should be abhorred

“A couple from the US state of Georgia was recently arrested for tattooing six of their seven children with crosses. The mother bemusedly commented:

I’m their mother. Shouldn’t I be able to decide if they get one?

No, madam, you shouldn’t. Children are not possessions; parents do not own them. They are human beings with inalienable human rights. To permanently and unnecessarily scar a child without their express and informed consent (and when they are not old enough to comprehend the consequences) is a violation of those rights.”


Jun 04

Circumcision Complications

An extensive list of the various complications (including death) resulting from the amputation of healthy genital tissue:


Jun 04

20 Reasons I Did Not Circumcise My Son « Sagacious Mama

Blogger Sagacious Mama gives several reasons why she did not circumcise her son. Below is an excerpt from her post. The remaining content can be read at the link that follows.

When an American physician says that circumcision prevents UTI or cancer of the penis, he is sincere. But, it is like a medieval Chinese physician saying that foot binding prevents flat feet. If someone asks me, “What rate of preventable UTI would justify male circumcision?” I respond by asking, “What rate of preventable UTI would justify female circumcision?” The second question is patently absurd unless one’s cultural bias allows a sympathetic view of female circumcision. Therefore, the first question can be only slightly less absurd.

~ Martin S. Altschul MD

Source: http://sagaciousmama.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/20-reasons-i-did-not-circumcise-my-son/

Jun 04

Modern Circumcision: A Ritual of Ignorance, Abuse and Greed

“Circumcision in the United States is a cultural phenomenon that has been subject to a lot of recent controversy. There are many facets to the issue; proponents of the procedure use statistical evidence showing some potential benefits of the procedure, however extremists have been known to take advantage of myths and other misinformation that many Americans harbor about the intact foreskin, in order to divert attention from evidence that does not support their theories. Some even use scare tactics to cause people to think emotionally (rather than rationally) and buy into the propaganda which promotes their (often hidden) agenda.

A growing number of people, including parents faced with the decision of whether to circumcise their son, believe that that the routine removal of healthy, sexual responsive tissue for primarily cosmetic reasons (e.g. “I want him to look like his dad”) is a violation of the baby’s human rights. Not long ago, many Americans were so outraged by the practice of ritual mutilation of a girl’s genitals (observed in some African tribes and some other “primitive” societies) that we passed the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996. The reasons given for the custom’s presence in Africa include honoring customs and traditions, that it is more hygienic, and aesthetics. Ironically, these are some of the same reasons that Americans cite to justify the “necessity” of circumcision.”