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One Man's Struggle Against Circumcision
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Circumcision Exposed
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1999 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force Committee Statement on Circumcision

Suggested Guidelines for
Evaluation and Critical Reporting

NOTE: Links with a right-facing blue arrow will take you off this site.

The 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force Statement on Circumcision is noteworthy for what it does say, but also for what it does not say.  Here are some critical questions to verify, as well as potential biases to look for in the statement.  Links access relevant support documentation.

View Blue_ArrowD096.gif (140 bytes)1999 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Circumcision Policy.

View NOHARMM's official response.        Read NOHARMM's Critical Analysis of the 1999 AAP Statement

Does the 1999 AAP statement acknowledge...?
Alternatives to Circumcision Anatomy/Function Ethical Issues Health Concerns
Human Rights/Legal Concerns Long-Term Outcomes Opposing Opinions/Policies Pain


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Anatomy, Function, Development and Care:

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Ethical Issues:

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Health Concerns:

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Human Rights and Legal Concerns:

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Long-Term Outcomes:

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Opposing Opinions & Policies

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Look for hidden bias, undisclosed information, or disinformation (20 questions)

The AAP's candor about the injury that circumcision inflicts will likely be limited by its need to protect from legal liability its members who still perform circumcisions or who have performed them in the past.

Does the statement...?

  1. express concern that imposing a non-therapeutic genital alteration on a child exploits the child's vulnerability?
  2. provide a valid explanation for why circumcision cannot be delayed until the child is of an age to determine for himself whether or not to be circumcised?
  3. expand upon which parts of a normal, healthy infant's anatomy can be removed with parental consent? (Example: If parents are counseled about the risks and benefits, can healthy tonsils be removed with parental consent? Can healthy breast tissue be removed from male infants, since twice as many U.S. men die from breast cancer (400 annually) as from penile cancer (220 annually?)
  4. recognize that the primary motivation for infant circumcision in the U.S. is not medical, but social and cultural, and if so, does the AAP propose a public education program to acquaint parents and others with the value of intact genitals and the rights of the child? Why or why not?
  5. explain how hospital solicitation for elective, non-therapeutic infant circumcision is permissible, when solicitation for other elective, non-therapeutic surgeries violates medical ethics and may constitute medical fraud/malpractice?
  6. minimize the dangers of circumcision by terming it a "simple" or "the most common"  procedure?
  7. obscure the prognosis that the overwhelming majority of intact babies will become, as they do in the rest of the world, happy functional intact men?
  8. dismiss as "anecdotal," information that could only be obtained anecdotally, such as male dissatisfaction with an incomplete penis?
  9. suggest negative psychological ramifications of remaining intact, without recognizing similar psychological consequences from amputating part of the primary male sexual organ?
  10. adequately warn doctors and parents of the significant resentment rate among non-intact (circumcised) males?
  11. ignore the loss of functional erogenous tissue, which would otherwise be unacceptable in a female, and presume that damage from male circumcision must be extreme before recognizing it as "harmful"?
  12. demonstrate "selective quantification," using unbalanced statistical arguments for circumcision? (Example: Is a ten-fold increase in urinary tract infections [UTI] alleged among intact male newborns, without clarifying that less than 1% of intact male newborns will ever get a UTI, and that infection rates are higher in female newborns?). See Blue_ArrowD096.gif (140 bytes)Urinary Tract Infection and Circumcision. Excellent analysis by a doctor, with easy-to-read graphs.
  13. urge application of equal standards for medical care? (Example: Female children, who get urinary tract infections at a higher rate than males, receive no preventive intervention, while males are subjected to surgery.  When females get a UTI, they are treated with antibiotics, to which circumcised and intact males would respond equally well, but more often than not, intact males are treated surgically with circumcision.)
  14. evidence gender and cultural bias by discounting comparisons with female circumcision? (Example: Primitive forms of female circumcision are contrasted with "modern" forms of male circumcision, without recognizing that the vast majority of male circumcisions in the world occur under the same rudimentary and unsanitary conditions as female circumcision, while in some parts of the world less severe forms of female circumcision are medicalized alongside male circumcision.)
  15. make vague recommendations ( e.g., that parents should be counseled, without defining what parents should be told)?
  16. use only the biased term "uncircumcised," instead of positive terminology such as normal, natural, whole, complete, or intact? (Example: Do we call someone "untonsillectomized" or women "unmastecomized?")
  17. use the euphemism "circumcision," instead of clearer and more accurate terms such as "amputation of the foreskin," "penile surgery," "wound," "scar," etc.
  18. employ misleading terms such as "prevent" disease, when circumcision cannot "prevent" any disease? Does it use trivializing terms such as "discomfort" to describe "excruciating pain."
  19. employ "apples and oranges" comparisons, such as comparing inherent short-term risks to potential long-term benefits, while omitting inherent long-term disadvantages?
  20. discuss only the statistical risks and benefits of circumcision, or does it include the guaranteed disadvantages, such as: financial cost, permanent disfigurement, keratinization (leading to sensitivity loss), as well as the loss of erogenous tissue, natural lubrication, penile bulk, and protection from injury?

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