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09 April 2009 @ 12:57 pm
Medical society statements and other information on circumcision  

Canadian Paediatric Society
http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/fn/fn96-01.htm
"Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed."

http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/pregnancy&babies/circumcision.htm
"Circumcision is a 'non-therapeutic' procedure, which means it is not medically necessary."

"After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions."

Royal Australasian College of Physicians
http://www.racp.edu.au/download.cfm?DownloadFile=A453CFA1-2A57-5487-DF36DF59A1BAF527
"After extensive review of the literature the Royal Australasian College of Physicians reaffirms that there is no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision."

 (those last nine words are in bold on their website, and almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%.  "Routine" circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia in all states except one.)

British Medical Association
http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/malecircumcision2006?OpenDocument&Highlight=2,circumcision#Circumcisionformedicalpurposes
"to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate."


National Health Service (UK)
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles/article.aspx?articleId=649
"Many people have strong views about whether circumcision should be carried out or not. It is not routinely performed in the UK because there is no clear clinical evidence to suggest it has any medical benefit."

Canadian Children's Rights Council

http://www.canadiancrc.com/Circumcision_Genital_Mutilation_Male-Female_Children.aspx
"It is the position of the Canadian Children's Rights Council that 'circumcision' of male or female children is genital mutilation of children."

drops in male circumcision:

USA: from 90% to 57%
Canada: from 47% to 9.2%
UK: from 35% to about 5% (less than 1% among non-Muslims)
Australia: 90% to 12.6% ("routine" circumcision has recently been *banned* in public hospitals in all states except one, so the rate will now be a lot lower)
New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans)
South America and Europe: never above 5%

It's worth remembering that no-one except for Muslim and Jewish people would even be having this discussion if it weren't for the fact that 19th century doctors thought that :
a) masturbation caused various physical and mental problems (including epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, tuberculosis etc), and
b) circumcision stopped masturbation.

Both of those sound ridiculous today I know, but if you don't believe me, then check out this link:
A Short History of Circumcision in North America: In the Physicians' Own Words

Over a hundred years later, circumcised men keep looking for new ways to defend the practice.

The record payout for a botched circumcision is $22.8 million.  It was said at the time that the victim "will never be able to function sexually as a normal male and will require extensive reconstructive surgery and psychological counseling as well as lifelong urological care and treatment by infectious disease specialists."

Sure, cases like that are very rare, but why should they happen at all?  If you look up the galleries of botched jobs, one thing that may surprise you is just how many jobs were botched cosmetically, rather than medically.  Skin tags and skin bridges and hair growing half way up the shaft are not normal, but would not be counted as medical complications.

News just in last week: A jury in Atlanta has awarded $1.8 million to a boy whose penis was severed in a botched circumcision five years ago. The Fulton County jury also awarded the boy's mother another $500,000.