American Academy of Pediatrics Changes Stance on Circumcision

The group says that medical insurers should pay for the procedure. What do you think?

Even as the circumcision rate for newborn baby boys in the United States reaches its lowest level in decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Monday that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. It’s the first time that the influential medical group has updated its circumcision policy since 1999. The academy said that medical insurers should cover the procedure.  

A review of medical literature published Monday in the journal "Pediatrics" finds that circumcision may protect heterosexual men against HIV infection. The policy shift comes as circumcision becomes a charged political topic from the Bay Area to Germany, where a court ruled in June that circumcision is illegal. Jewish groups are asking the German government to pass legislation that protects the practice

The academy's position does not endorse circumcision, but suggests that it should be an option available to parents, according to an article in the New York Times. 

According to a federal study of circumcisions performed in community hospitals published in February, there were 1.2 million hospital circumcisions in 2009. California counts one of the lowest circumcision rates in the country with 22 percent. 

What do you think? Should circumcision should be banned, or should parents be allowed to have the choice, as the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests? 

Anne Mobley August 28, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Circumcision of boys most definitely should not be banned. It should be elective and up to parents to decide for themselves. And if not done at birth, it should be up to the person to decide to have it done later in life. Personally, I just don't understand why parents would not have their sons circumcized. However, female genital mutilation or female circumcision most definitely should be banned. This horrible procedure is done in 28 countries in the world, mostly third world countries, to reduce a woman's libido, and is done without anesthesia for girls from birth to puberty. This is just plain wrong in my opinion.
Doreen August 28, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Karen, I'm not aware of a circumcision ever having killed a baby??? I do know about the problems that can occur in uncircumcised adult men, and they aren't nice, to say the least. Painful for the man; infectious for the woman. I always thought circumcision was a matter of hygiene, cleanliness. Isn't that why it started?
Jeffrey Boore August 28, 2012 at 06:26 PM
It is rare to die from circumcision, but it does happen. I have heard the arguments about hygiene, about infection, and about conformity to societal expectation. Those are the same arguments that they use about female genital mutilation in some other countries where it is commonly done and broadly supported.
Jeffrey Boore August 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM
But the parents are NOT deciding for themselves. They are deciding for their sons to have their genitals mutilated. Why would anyone be born with a defect that must be surgically corrected immediately after birth? We don't immediately remove tonsils or appendices. Would it be OK if the parents made that decision? How about removing gall bladders since those often create problems later in life? How about nose jobs or lip enhancements to make the baby cuter? Should parents always have the right to surgically alter their babies any way that they please? There are many people who say that circumcision changes a man's sexuality too and that that is the primary reason for doing it historically. If you are against female genital mutilation, but OK with male genital mutilation, then would you be OK with it for females if done using anesthesia?
morning glory August 28, 2012 at 08:13 PM
You are so right Jeffery! Re: Anne " I just don't understand why parents would not have their son cirumcized". I will tell you Anne, as a mother of boys why would I want to put my beautiful, perfectly formed, infant sons through agony for no reason? God made them that way so I kept them that way!!!! FYI most health care plans do not cover circumcision anymore because the medical field has realized it is not a good practice.


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