Discussion on the Circumcision of a Newborn Male

 

By Roberta P. Davies-Rashid  

robertaRashid@hotmail.com

 

Existing medical data does not support the circumcision of male newborns, concluded a Policy Statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In the AAP statement, published in the March 1999 issue of Pediatrics, Dr. Carole Lannon, chair of the organization' s Task Force on Circumcision, explained that circumcision may have "...some potential medical benefits." However, she said, "...these benefits are not compelling enough to warrant the Academy to recommend routine newborn circumcision." 

I wish I had known more about circumcision before I had my son. If I had, I would not have had him circumcised. I think it is a pediatricianís responsibility to make parents aware of the fact that this needless mutilation does not have benefits that outweigh the torture it is to a helpless newborn. If a grown man wants to endure needless mutilation as an adult, it is his right, but it is wrong to force it on a baby, who is perfect in every sense, just as God made him. 

My son was not circumcised because I see no reason to change how we were created - it makes about as much sense as performing an appendectomy at birth - after all we don't really need an appendix, do we?

 

Both my sons were circumcised mainly because their father was. I suppose this isn't a good reason for it but I feel it had medical benefits although if strict hygiene is kept no child should suffer by not being circumcised.

 

After the birth of my first child (a girl) I was listening to a urologist talking to all the mothers of the newborn males. He was showing them the board they used to strap these little babies to, and perform these circumcisions without anesthesia. He was adamant with these women, saying that the ONLY reason to make your son go through all that pain is religious. There are no medical reasons to constitute it. I have never heard a physician talk so strongly against a procedure before. And, after seeing how it is actually done, I decided right there and then, that if I ever had a son again; he would not be getting circumcised. After teaching him all the important aspects (once he was old enough) on keeping the penile area clean, and if he developed any problems later in life, such as infections, then we/he would have to take care of it then.

 

 I think circumcision is NOT necessary. I have a 4 month old son who was not circumcised. The reason is that I do not believe that he should be exposed to the pain AND risk of an operation, big or small, when there is no medical reason for it. I come from South America where most boys are NOT circumcised. Why expose your newborn boy to this? I definitely do not see a good reason for it, and I truly hope that with time, but soon, parents will realize that the need to this procedure does not exist!

 

We chose not to have our 16-month old son circumcised. Medical data does not indicate a need for it and we saw no need to put him through the pain of circumcision for no reason. My mother-in-law is greatly bothered by it (she had both of her children circumcised), but we feel strongly that we did the best we can for our child. If he chooses to be circumcised later, he can have it done, but you cannot undo a circumcision.

 

 I think every parent should do what they think is right. My 10 month old son is circumcised, and I have no regrets. I do, however, have a problem with others (through the anonymity of the Internet) who pass judgment on me because of my decision, calling me a monster and a mutilator. Maybe the American Academy of Pediatrics does not currently recommend routine newborn circumcision, but for a long, long time, it *was* recommended. I think parents should do what they think is best, and if you meet someone (either in person or online) that has an opposite view; you should try to respect their decision, even if you don't agree with it.

 

 I have two sons, both of whom are not circumcised. One of the reasons we made this decision was that their father is not circumcised, so that they would be like him. My first son had a problem occasionally with infection, but we were able to take care of that and soon there were no reoccurrence. The second son had no problems. Both learned early to clean themselves and prevent infections. I feel that in most cases, circumcision is not necessary. However, if the boy has frequent infection, as did my nephew, it may be a good choice. 

We had our child circumcised for religious reasons and it is an important part of our heritage. 

 

We were told it was best to follow whatever the dad, siblings, or relatives had done regarding circumcision. Since we had no religious reason to have our son circumcised, we didn't.

 

 I had both of my sons circumcised because the penis looks very strange when left in it's natural state. I think the foreskin would make it difficult for men to clean the penis properly and it probably holds in bodily excretions which could cause infections.

 

 It is hard to believe that some of us still believe our way is better than nature's way. Circumcision is cruel. Babies are human beings too! They deserve the same respect as adults. Simply because they cannot yet give us their their opinion, doesn't mean we can force upon them what must be painful and maybe even humiliating.

 

My wife and I recently had a baby boy who we wanted to have circumcised. I feel that this decision is a parent's choice and I do not feel it is correct to have people telling us that circumcision is mutilation. I remember how a couple of the midwives looked at us when they found out that we were having it done.

 

There may not be a lot of reasons for it. Even though some will say there is NO reason for it. Well there is no reason to get our ears pierced either. There is a chance of infection in a uncircumcised boy. I was circumcised when I was born. I do not remember a thing and I am certainly not mentally scarred from it. One thing that did traumatize me was when I was five and had to have a minor operation on my penis. I remember that. So I would rather have my son circumcised at birth than take a chance of infection at a later age and then having the procedure done. I think that, like a lot of other things in this world, we should respect other people and their choices in life.

 

  A physician writes and makes reference to "a recent article showing the incredible decrease in urinary tract infections in circumcised infants and boys. The American Academy of Pediatrics might have to amend their recommendation. "He concluded by adding the famous words of Yogi Berra, "it ain't over till it's over."

 

 In my opinion, circumcision of male newborns should not be considered a safe practice. Although I must respect the religious implications involved in a parent's decision, I do not understand why it is so common in the U.S. In Europe and other parts of the world circumcision is not routinely performed because its risks outweigh the benefits. If done in Third World countries, circumcision is called genital mutilation, and so should it be referred to in this country!

 

 If you could guarantee the personal hygiene needed to maintain a clean, germ-free area, then circumcision should not be performed. But without that kind of guarantee, and of course, one does not exist; girlfriends and wives are at constant risk not only from infection, but possible cervical cancer down the road. These facts were discovered over 45 years ago.

 

   I am not familiar with the medical pros or cons of circumcision, but I have known adult males that have had to be circumcised and it was a painful recovery. Also, there are aesthetic matters such as appearance and cleanliness to be considered. I personally am very much for circumcision at birth.

 

  I think circumcision is just a fashion statement that someone made a long time ago, and there is no good reason for it. I believe that a newborn should come into this world into loving arms, not come into the world and receive a painful surgical procedure.

 

  Medical science has changed there opinions on many things over the last 50 years. God knows more than doctors since he made man to start with. He also started circumcision of the descendents of Abraham as a covenent of his people at that time. I don't believe God is in the practice of abusing newborns so it can't be such a bad thing. Also, the majority of the laws given to the Israelites were health related and made for a strong healthy people. We now have knowledge of bacteria and antibiotics and don't really need circumcision, but I don't believe there can be any harm in anything that God had at one time commanded. My oldest son was circumcised and my youngest had hypospadias and had to have his foreskin used for repair of that defect. That foreskin certainly came in handy but now he doesn't have it where it used to be and he is just fine.

 

We chose circumcision for many of the usual reasons, but here are some less frequently mentioned issues that we also considered: We were living in Mozambique when my son was born. Evidence was beginning to emerge that African countries where male circumcision is routine have lower rates of AIDS transmission than countries where males are not circumcised. I also know several men who were circumcised as adults to convert to Islam - they said it was UNBELIEVABLY painful (it's not the same cut as for newborns, who have less foreskin). Well, my son is now free to convert to Islam or Judaism without worrying about that. And we've supported a practice that just might help fight AIDS.

 

Jeez, after reading all the responses I just have to say this... in any aspect of becoming a parent... you will have people for and against any topic. Circumsion vs. Natural is just another example of this. As a parent I've chosen to look at both sides and then make my decision according to what **I** feel is right. Therefore, my husband and I have made the decision to circumsize our child when he comes into the world. After all, his father is behind circumcision and it happened to him. And as for people thinking we are monsters or mutilators for doing so... well you do what you want with your kid and don't tell me how to parent mine. Its not like we're doing anything illegal, because if it was as bad as the 'natural' people claim it to be it would be illegal.

 

 For me and my household, circumcision is the way. God directed His children to be circumcised, and do not forget David and the uncircumcised Philistine Golliath.

 

 My 16 yr. old son was circumcised 2 days after birth and we also have NO REGRETS. Our pediatrician at that time in 1986, was the only pediatrician in Muncie, IN that use a local before performing the circumcision & I believe that was the main reason we chose him; even though other members of the medical profession assured us that "babies feel no pain" from this at this age, we STILL wanted a numbing agent used. We had NO PROBLEMS and am glad we decided to do this, after asking the Dr.'s opinion, because (and this NOT being the most important reason, but...) he says there appear to be no kids in gym class that have not had this done, and that in itself is important in the determining factor, since hight school kids can be very cruel to ones that are "different", as you all know. BUT, most important is the fact to me that my husband was not circumsized because he was a premie, but i have had pre-cancerous cells of the cervex and had to have cryo-surgery (all is fine now, but) the dr. said that this was an actual cause in a lot of cases!

 

  We opted to not circumcise our son. He has not had any problems what so ever and he is now 4 years old. I think that if it is not related to a belief system such as religion, Dr's should emphasize that it is unnecessary. We (USA) find it barbaric that other countries circumcise females, yet we do not consider it to do so to our males. It makes no sense to me. At my son's birth, I had to tell multiple staff members over and over again that we did NOT want my son circumcised. It just shouldn't be that way. What's next, forcing us to feed with formula?

 

 

 

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