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Ask the American Academy of Pediatrics to resist efforts to pressure them to
change their position on routine infant circumcision.
Urge them to continue to take a stand against routine infant circumcision,
rather than changing their statement to recommend it. Infant circumcision takes
away the child's right to keep his body intact. It is a medically unnecessary,
cosmetic procedure, and in no way substitutes for future condom use.
By sending this form your letter will be sent to the
current President of the AAP, Dr. Jay Berkelhamer.
Please also take a few minutes and copy the letter and email it to the remainder
of the board of the AAP. Here is the email address and the list of names of all
Renée R. Jenkins, MD - President-Elect, Errol R. Alden,
MD - Executive Director, Edward N. Bailey, Henry Schaeffer, MD, Sandra G.
Hassink, MD, David T. Tayloe, Jr, MD, Ellen Buerk, MD, M.Ed., Michael V.
Severson, MD, Gary Q. Peck, MD, Mary Brown, MD, Myles B. Abbott, MD, John
Curran, MD, Eileen M. Ouellette, MD, JD (Immediate Past President)
Thank you to everyone who helped compile and edit the
Alternatively you could send this
from your personal email address. Feel free to blind carbon copy
firstname.lastname@example.org or join our yahoo group and blind
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I urge you to consider the welfare of the infant
as you consider revising the AAP's policy statement concerning routine infant
circumcision. In addition to potentially more serious complications,
circumcision in newborns causes tremendous pain during the neonatal period,
disrupts maternal-infant bonding and breastfeeding, and results in a loss of
penile sensitivity. The foreskin is not merely extra skin, but rather an
integral and highly-sensitive part of the penis. In fact, studies show that the
foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. According to Sorrells et al. (BJU
April 2007), circumcision removes the most sensitive parts of the penis. The
most sensitive regions in the intact penis are those parts ablated by
circumcision. Furthermore, removal of the foreskin causes eventual
keratinization of the glans and further loss of erogenous sensitivity.
Approximately half of the nerve endings of the penis are removed with
Recently, the news media have reported on studies concerning circumcision
reducing the transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus. However, according to Cold &
Taylor in the British Journal of Urology, "Circumcision has been justified by
some because it removes the Langerhans' cells of the prepuce and therefore
supposedly decreases the risk of HIV infections. This theory is flawed, as even
after circumcision, there is residual penile mucosa of the glans, and there are
Langerhans' cells in the penile shaft epidermis. Surgical removal of the
Langerhans cells in all mucosa and skin to prevent infections is not feasible,
nor rational. In addition, the aggressive circumcision campaign in the USA has
not prevented sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Therefore,
Langerhans cells of the prepuce should be understood as normal mucosal immune
cells, rather than a pathological entity requiring excision."
Circumcised or not, there is no substitute for condom use. And a man with a
foreskin is more likely to use a condom because his extra nerve endings afford
him more pleasure during sex. In fact, as many as 8 or 10 ridges of erogenous
tissue are missing from the circumcised adult penis.
Circumcision should not be performed upon non-consenting minor unless there are
true medical indications specific to that patient. It should be a man's own
choice to make when he becomes an adult, just like any other elective surgery.
Performing circumcision on an infant takes away that choice. According to Taylor
et al. (1996), "The amount of tissue loss estimated in the present study is more
than most parents envisage from pre-operative counselling. Circumcision also
ablates junctional mucosa that appears to be an important component of the
overall sensory mechanism of the human penis."
It is imperative to inform health care providers that proper care of the
foreskin is important and very easy to do. Cleaning the retractable foreskin is
simple to teach, by remembering the three R's: Retract, Rinse, and Replace.
Retract the foreskin, Rinse the foreskin, and Replace the foreskin over the
glans. The owner of the penis is the only one that should retract the foreskin.
On an infant, a care provider should wipe the penis on the outside like a finger
and should never retract it. Unfortunately, most medical schools do not teach
the functions of the foreskin, and most medical text books show only circumcised
penises. There is an urgent need to correct the medical curriculum, and the AAP
can help do that by revising its circumcision policy statement and explaining
the value and functions of the foreskin.
The first rule for any doctor is to "First, do no harm". I believe it is both
harmful and unethical to remove healthy, normal tissue from a non-consenting
newborn unless there is an urgent and immediate medical need.
Many parents choose to circumcise their babies so the child's penis will look
more like the father's. I question whether this choice is more about making the
child or the father feel normal. I urge you not to make the mistake of endorsing
a practice that too many parents assume is the norm.
Circumcision is a medically unnecessary, cosmetic procedure. To endorse routine
circumcision of newborns, babies, or children, you would be endorsing amputation
of a God-given body part as well as depriving the child of his right to informed
consent on removing that part of his body. You wouldn't recommend amputating any
other body part routinely to reduce the odds of infection, so please don't make
a huge mistake and exacerbate a great social problem.