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     INFORMATIVE VIDEOS: 
    
Facing Circumcision  Eight Physicians Tell Their Stories
     Restoration in Focus  
Instructional Video for Foreskin Restoration
     They Cut Babies, Don't They?  
One Man's Struggle Against Circumcision
     Whose Body, Whose Rights?   Award-winning documentary seen on PBS!

THE BOOK THAT EXPOSES IT ALL: 
    
Circumcision Exposed
Rethinking a Medical and
Cultural Tradition

FORESKIN RESTORATION with:
The P.U.D.  new low pricing!
and The VacuTrac at special pricing!
plus the Foreballs device

 

 

Infant Male Circumcision
is Not in the Best Interests of the
Health and Rights of the Child

Photo 1985 B. Emory, from:
Circumcision-What Every Parent Should Know by Anne Briggs,
Birth & Parenting Publications, Earlysville, VA, 1985

Circumcision.gif (46 KB)

 

A CIRCUMCISION FACT SHEET

Scope of the Problem

   Current national rates: Australia 15%1, Canada 20%2, the United States 60%3.
  In the U.S., over 1.25 million infants annually - more than 3,300 babies each day - one child every 26 seconds.
  The surgery wastes more than $250 million health care dollars annually4 as well as untold personnel hours.
  Globally, at least 20% of male children will be subjected to some form of non-medically indicated genital mutilation.5

Early and Current Rationale

   (U.S.) physicians thought it logical to perform genital surgery on both sexes to stop masturbation. This rationale was
initiated in the English-speaking countries during the 19th Century.6
    The current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice.7 To make sons
resemble their circumcised fathers, to conform socially with peers, to improve hygiene, to prevent phimosis, and as
prophylaxis for infant urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and cancer of the penis/cervix.8

Decision Making

   The circumcision decision in the U.S. is emerging as a cultural ritual rather than the result of medical misunderstanding
among parents. It is more an emotional than a rational decision.9
    Other factors affect parents’ decisions, including esthetics, cultural attitudes, social pressures and tradition.10
    Ultimate decision may hinge on non-medical considerations.11 Circumcision has become cultural surgery.12

Foreskin Function

   When the infant is incontinent, the prepuce fulfills an essential function, to protect the glans.13
    The foreskin is more than just penile skin necessary for a natural erection; it is specialized tissue, richly supplied with
blood vessels, highly innervated, and uniquely endowed with stretch receptors. The foreskin contributes significantly
to the sexual response of the intact male.14
    This mucous-membrane contact [male foreskin and female labia] provides natural lubrication...and prevents dryness
responsible for painful intercourse and chafing and abrasions that allow for entry of STDs, viral/bacterial.15

Penile Development

   Development of the prepuce is incomplete in the newborn male child, and separation from the glans, rendering it
retractable, does not usually occur until some time between 9 months and 3 years.16
    (Infant) circumcision...traumatically interrupts the natural separation of the foreskin from the glans.17
    Circumcision interferes with penile development, surgeon must tear skin from sensitive glans to permit removal.18

Immediate Risks and Complications

    Complications are often overlooked or un(der)reported. Lacerations, skin loss, skin bridges, chordee, meatitis, stenosis,
urinary retention, glans necrosis, penile loss, hemorrhage, sepsis, gangrene, meningitis.19
    Literature abounds with reports, morbidity and death from circumcision Realistic (complication) figure is 2-10%..20

Long-Term Adverse Outcomes

   Poor surgical result is not recognized until years later. Adverse consequences of infant circumcision on men’s health must
be recognized by physicians, parents & legislators..21
    Circumcision is a subtraction, removing one-third or more of entire penile skin - tragic loss of erogenous tissue..22
    When sexually functioning tissue is removed, sexual functioning is altered. Penile changes are documented.23
    Of 313 circumcised male respondents, 49.5% cited a sense of parental violation, 62% expressed feelings of mutilation,
and 84% reported some degree of sexual harm [progressive loss of glans sensitivity, excess stimulation needed to reach
orgasm, painful coitus and impotence].24
    Body image survey found 20% of circumcised respondents cited dissatisfaction with their circumcision..25

Effects of Pain

   Newborn infant responses to pain are similar to but greater than those in adult subjects. The persistence of specific
behavioral changes after circumcision in neonates implies the presence of memory..26
    Infant circumcision causes severe, persistent pain. Acetaminophen does not ameliorate pain of circumcision..27
    Main structures for memory are functional in neonates and circumcision pain may have long-lasting effects..28

Maternal Bonding / Breastfeeding

   Circumcision affects mother-infant interaction..29
    When an infant is subjected to intolerable, overwhelming pain, it conceptualizes mother as participatory and responsible
regardless of mother’s intent. Consequences for impaired bonding are significant..30
    These are the first data suggesting a protective effect of breastfeeding against UTI..31
    Breasts also produce large quantities of a hormone (GnRH) that may aid in development of a newborn’s brain..32
    Infants feed less frequently after circumcision; observed deterioration may contribute to breast- feeding failure.33
    A stressful, painful event such as circumcision appears to affect the feeding patterns..34

Questionable Benefits

   Good hygiene can offer many advantages over circumcision.35
    Circumcision has no significant effect on the incidence of common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)..36
    Circumcision is not harmless and cannot be recommended without unequivocal proof of benefit..37
    Not one confirmed UTI case in a normal male infant. All cases in infants with clear urinary birth defects..38
    Antimicrobial management of UTI in infants is routine and outcome generally good. It is inappropriate at this time to
recommend circumcision as a routine medically indicated procedure.39
    Reported benefits in preventing cancer and infant UTIs are insignificant compared to surgical risks.40
    Performing 100,000 mutilative procedures on newborns to possibly prevent cancer in one elderly man is absurd.
41

Medical Ethics

   It must be recognized that the child is normal as born and that circumcision inflicts loss of a normal body part and leaves
a scar. This is contrary to the motto of medicine, “First Do No Harm.”
42
    The unnecessary removal of a functioning body organ in the name of tradition, custom or any other non-disease related
cause should never be acceptable to the health profession...and breaches fundamental medical ethics.
43
    Children too young to give consent must be treated as individuals. The child must live with the outcome of decision.
44

Obstetrical Involvement

   Seventy-four percent (74%) of the Ob/Gyns surveyed perform circumcision. Ob-Gyn fees for circumcision range to
$400, averaging $137 nationwide.
45
    Ob-Gyns not aware of preputial structure & function or growing numbers of men undergoing foreskin restoration.
46

Restoration Movement

   In North America many circumcised men are now becoming aware of the mutilation and the harm this has done to them,
and some are seeking methods of replacing the lost prepuce.
47
    At the root of this reaction lies an awareness that a perfectly normal, healthy -- indeed, the most sensually responsive --
part of their penis was surgically amputated when too young/helpless to consent, refuse or resist.
48

Children’s Rights

   All childhood circumcisions are violations of human rights. ...It is the moral duty of educated professionals to protect
health and rights of those with little or no social power to protect themselves.
49
    Circumcision is an issue of self-determination and autonomy.50
    Imperative that children have the right to own their reproductive organs and to preserve natural sexual function.
51
    Circumcisions for personal preference of the parent(s) deny the infant the basic right to respect and autonomy.
52
    Every circumcision...is an assault on a child’s sexuality and a violation of his right to an intact body.
53

Why Does It Continue?

   Americans culturally acclimated/regard foreskin as non-essential, pathologic.54
    Cultural, social and historical perspectives around infant circumcision control physicians and parents.
55


References

1     Average of state and territory circumcision rates. Source: NOCIRC of Australia
2    Average of provincial circumcision rates. Compiled from Health & Welfare Canada and Statistics Canada
3    Average of regional circumcision rates. Compiled by National Center for Health Statistics
4    Updated from Rockney, R. Newborn Circumcision. American Family Physician, October 1988:151-155
5    Wallerstein, E. Circumcision: Uniquely American Medical Enigma. Urologic Clinics of N America, February
1985;12:123-132
6     Milos, M. Circumcision: Male - Effects on Human Sexuality. Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. NY, Garland 1994:119-121
7     Paige, K. The Ritual of Circumcision. Human Nature, May 1989:40-48
8     Paraphrased from Report of the Task Force on Circumcision. Pediatrics, August 1989; 84:388-391
9     Brown. M. Circumcision Decision: Prominence of Social Concerns. Pediatrics, August 1987;80:215- 219
10   Report of the Task Force on Circumcision. Pediatrics, August 1989;84-388-391
11   Poland, R. Question of Routine Neonatal Circumcision. New England Journal of Med, May 1990;322:1312-1314
12   Wallerstein, E. Circumcision: Uniquely American Medical Enigma. Urol Clinics of N Amer, Feb 1985;12:123-132
13   Gairdner, D. Fate of the Foreskin. British Medical Journal, December 1949:1433-1437
14   Milos, M. Circumcision: Male - Effects on Human Sexuality. Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. NY, Garland 1994:119-121
15   Ibid.
16   Gairdner, D. Fate of the Foreskin. British Medical Journal, December 1949:1433-1437
17   Milos, M. Circumcision: Male - Effects on Human Sexuality. Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. NY, Garland 1994:119-121  
18   Denniston, G. Unnecessary Circumcision. The Female Patient, July 1992;17:13-14
19   Marshall, F. Complications: Pediatric Circumcision. Urol. Complic. Med-Surg. NY, Year Bk Med. 1986:387-395
20  Williams, N.
Complications of Circumcision. British Journal of Surgery, October 1993;80:1231-1236
2Snyder, J. The Problem of Circumcision in America. Truth Seeker, July 1989:39-42
2Ritter, T. Circumcision Removes More Than a little Snip. Say No to Circumcision! Aptos, Hourglass 1992:18-1
2Milos, M. Circumcision: Male - Effects on Human Sexuality. Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia.NY, Garland 1994:119-121 
2Hammond, T. Awakenings: Preliminary Poll of Circumcised Men. NOHARMM 1992:76-77 [POB 460795, San Francisco, 94146]
2Ibid.:73-75
2Anand, KJS. Pain and its Effects on the Human Neonate and Fetus. New England J of Med, 1987;317:1321-1329
2Howard, C. Acetaminophen Analgesia in Neonatal Circum.:Effect on Pain. Pediatrics, Apr 1994;93:641-646
2Taddio, A. Effect of Neonatal Circumcision on Pain Responses at Vaccination in Boys. Lancet, Feb. 1995;345:291-292
2Marshall, R. Circumcision: Effects on Mother-Infant Interaction. Early Human Development, 1982;7:367-374
3
0  Laibow, R. Circumcision: Relationship Attachment Impairment. NOCIRC Intl Symposium on Circumcision., San Francisco April 1991:14
31  Piscane, A. Breastfeeding and Urinary Tract Infection. Lancet, July 7, 1990:50
32  Koch, Y. Hormone in Breast Milk May Help Babies Develop. reported in Wash. Post - Health, May 24, 1994:5
33  Howard, C. Acetaminophen Analgesia in Neonatal Circum.:Effect on Pain. Pediatrics, Apr 1994;93:641-646
34  Marshall, R. Circumcision: Effects on Mother-Infant Interaction. Early Human Development, 1982;7:367-374
35  Krueger, H. Effects of Hygiene Among the Uncircumcised. Journal of Family Practice, 1986;22:353-355
36  Donovan, B. Male Circumcision & Common STDs in Developed Nation Setting. Genitourin Med, 1994;70:317-320
37  Thompson, R. Routine Circumcision in the Newborn. Journal of Family Practice, 1990;31:189-196
38  Altschul, M. Cultural Bias and the UTI Circumcision Controversy. Truth Seeker, July 1989;1:43-45
39  McCracken, G. Options in Antimicrobial Mgmt. of UTI in Infants-Children. Ped Infect Dis J, Aug 1989;8:552-555
4
0  Lawler, F. Circumcision: Decision Analysis of its Medical Value. Family Medicine, 1991;23:587- 593
41  Denniston, G. Unnecessary Circumcision. The Female Patient, July 1992;17:13-14
42  Snyder, J. The Problem of Circumcision in America. Truth Seeker, July 1989:39-42
43  Toubia, N. FGM: Responsibility of Reproductive Health Professionals. Intl J of Gyn & Obst, 1994;46:127-135
44  Shield, JPH. Children’s Consent to Treatment. British Medical Journal, May 1994;308:1182-1183
45  Garry, T. Circumcision: A Survey of Fees and Practices. OBG Management, October 1994:34-36
46  Sorger, L. To ACOG: Stop Circumcisions. Ob.Gyn. News, November 1, 1994:8
47  Warren, J. The Case Against Circumcision. British Journal of Sexual Medicine, September 1994;21:6-8
48  Bigelow, J. Uncircumcising: Undoing Effects of Ancient Practice in Modern world. Mothering, Summer, 1994:56-61
49  Toubia, N. FGM: Responsibility of Reproductive Health Professionals. Intl J of Gyn & Obst, 1994;46:127-135
5
0  Phillips, I. Advocacy: Rhetoric or Practice. Nursing BC, August 1994:38
51  Milos, M. Circumcision: Male - Effects on Human Sexuality. Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia
52  Phillips, I. Advocacy: Rhetoric or Practice. Nursing BC, August 1994:38
53  Sperlich, B. Botched Circumcisions. American Journal of Nursing, June 1994;94:16
54  Altschul, M. Circumcision Controversy. AFP-American Family Physician, March 1990;41:817-821
55  Stein, M. Routine Circum.: Gap Between Contemporary Policy and Practice. J of Fam Pract, 1982;15:47-53

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