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NYT News Service Sep 2, 2012,

The American Academy of Pediatrics has shifted its stance on infant male circumcision , announcing this week that new research, including studies in suggesting that the procedure may protect heterosexual men against HIV, indicated that the benefits outweighed the risks. But it stopped short of recommending routine for all baby boys, saying the decision remains a family matter.

The long-delayed policy update comes as sentiment against circumcision is gaining strength in the United States and parts of Europe . Circumcision rates in the declined to 54.5% in 2009 from 62.7% in 1999, according to one federal estimate.

In Europe, a government ethics committee in last week overruled a court decision that removing a child’s foreskin was “grievous bodily harm” and therefore illegal. The country’s Professional Association of Pediatricians called the ethics committee ruling “a scandal.”

A provincial official in Austria has told state-run hospitals in the region to stop performing circumcisions , and the Danish authorities have commissioned a report to investigate whether medical doctors are present during religious circumcision rituals as required.

“We’re not pushing everybody to circumcise their babies,” Dr Douglas S. Diekema, a member of the academy’s task force on circumcision , said in an interview. “This is not really pro-circumcision . It falls in the middle. It’s pro-choice , for lack of a better word. Really, what we’re saying is, ‘This ought to be a choice that’s available to parents.”

But opponents of circumcision say no one has the right to make the decision to remove a healthy body part from another person .”The bottom line is it’s unethical ,” said Georganne Chapin, director of Intact America, a group that advocates against circumcision . “A normal foreskin on a normal baby boy is no more threatening than the hymen or labia on your daughter.”

 

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Comments (2)

  1. Unfortunately, circumcision falls into the category of The Big Lie, so preposterous and grandiose in its claims that Joe Public puts aside his normal skepticism. It’s disgusting to realize that the pro-circ industry has twisted the AAP in bureaucratic knots with this convoluted statement, which implies support of RIC without actually stating it. The youtube video “snip-snip” (2005) @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KPmGS3sRok includes a graphic video of the gruesome procedure. It should be required viewing for any parent before they subject their beautiful boy to this barbaric torture from another time.

    It will be up to merciful mothers to spare their sons this humiliation. With a few exceptions, most circumcised men are so defensive they’ll never own up to their loss.
    ~Dick-Scalper

  2. The policy is seriously flawed. It should be withdrawn.
    It fails to consider the structure or functions of the foreskin, a normal healthy body part, only the cutting of it off. The erogenous value of the foreskin has been known for millennia, even to its enemies. Recent denial of that value is confined to those who have no experience of it.
    It claims benefits of circumcising outweigh the risks without ever numerically comparing them.
    It exaggerates benefits and minimizes risks and harm.
    It ignores major complications and death from circumcision.
    It discusses the Mogen circumcision clamp without mentioning that the clamp has caused too much of several boys’ penises to be cut off; lawsuits have driven the company out of business.
    It repeats the common claim that it is safer to circumcise babies than adults, but offers no evidence for that claim.
    Its discussion of ethics assigns no value to his autonomy or his human right to bodily integrity.
    Its ethical consultant (Dr Diekema) has said that circumcision is not necessary and has a risk of harm, and (quoting the AAP’s Bioethics Committee) that a parental wish is not sufficient to justify doing any surgery, and it ignores that.
    These flaws are documented at tinyurl.com/aapanno
    The AAP should withdraw its circumcision policy the way it withdrew its female genital cutting policy after a storm of outrage two years ago, when it recommended a token ritual nick to baby girls, much LESS extensive than neonatal male genital cutting. If that was unacceptable, how can this be acceptable?
    Bottom line: HIS body, HIS choice, when he is old enough to make one. The AAP admits that he will almost always choose to keep it all.

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