mommmy4 asked in HealthOther - Health · 1 decade ago

Can someone explain the American Academy of Pediatrics statement on circumcision?

Here is their statement:


Circumcision Policy Statement

Task Force on Circumcision

Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child. To make an informed choice, parents of all male infants should be given accurate and unbiased information and be provided the opportunity to discuss this decision. If a decision for circumcision is made, procedural analgesia should be provided.

(1) Refers to "potential" medical benefits, then says that these "potential" medical benefits are NOT SUFFICIENT to recommend ROUTINE circumcision. When your average parents have their newborns circumcised, wouldn't this be considered ROUTINE? and then isn't the pediatrician performing the circ. going against the AAPs statement? I realize it is not policy.

(2) It then reads that when it is not essential to the child's CURRENT wellbeing, the decision to do it is left to the parents. I don't get this. If it's NOT MEDICAL, how can a pediatrician ethically perform this procedure?


My eldest son was circumcised. The doctor did not go over any risks or benefits. He just told me the decision was mine.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    1- In this case "routine" refers to what the AAP reccomends for ALL babies. Immunizations are generally considered routine, as are certain after-birth procedures. It is understood that these are the standard of care and it is assumed they will be done unless the parents OPT OUT. Circumcision used to be routine- parents were not asked, the nurses simply took the baby away, and it came back circumcised. Now, parents have to OPT IN. In my opinion, a pediatrician who reccomends circumcision to ALL parents is going against the statement, performing the procedure on parental request is within the statement. ("parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child")

    2. Ethics are funny things. I don't think that ANY doctor can ethically perform a circumcision. Doctors, however, have questionable ethics as a rule. Common excuses from doctors are "if I don't do it, they'll go to another doctor who will" and "if I don't do it, they might try something drastic, like having an unqualified person do the procedure, at least I can do it correctly". Other favorite excuses are that millions of men are circumcised, it does no harm, it MAY be useful in the future (these doctors compare circumcision to vaccination- another procedure which is not technically needed for the childs CURRENT well being), or everyone is doing it. Ethics are subjective, and doctors are well known to distort theirs when they want.

    A good place to find more answers to your questions might be Doctors Opposing Circumcision. You can find them here...

  • 1 decade ago

    As others already said, the AAP doesn't recommend circumcision for ALL baby boys. However, since ithas certain medical benefits, theparents should determine what they feel is best for their son and choose accordingly.

    As for ethics, well.. vaccines arent' essentical for the child's CURRENT well being. And they also have "potential" benefits as they're only really beneficial if the child is exposed to that disease. They're painful, they're given without the individuals consent, but with proxy consent, as circumcision and they also have risks. So are they unethical as well?

    Circumcision is a prophylactic procedure. And since the risks are very little, there's no reason why a parent, informed ofthe benefits and risks, cannot make a proper decision on behalf of his son.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What they are saying, and they just revised the statement about one month ago, is that circumcision is not just for cosmetic purposes. It has benefits whether you care to admit it or not. The AAP is not the almighty governing body. what it is saying is that parents have a choice and they can make that choice to either circumcise or not to circumcise. It is quite ethical for a qualified doctor to perform this procedure. It is not mandatory, it is not recommended but it has its benefits and its drawbacks. Mostly benefits. by the way their statement now mirrors that of the American Board of Urology. Which is a breath of fresh air from their previously more anti circumcision stance.

    If you want to talk about ethics. What is ethical about a doctor being able to perform an abortion on a girl as young as twelve years of age without the parent's consent or knowledge? However, that is perfectly legal in the United States today.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's not routine because it's not automatically done and they don't think it should be.

    Only 50% of babies are circumcised currently in the US, 10% in other western countries like the UK, Canada, Australia.

    The potential benefits are potential because they haven't been proven sufficiently and most don't apply to infants anyway (stuff like penile cancer, HIV from sex, etc you aren't going to have as an infant).

    Because it's still popular in the USA and in some religions, sadly some people are hesitant to speak out against it and still frame it as a parental choice. Yes, it is unethical for doctors to do it knowing it is not necessary and without the consent and/or best interests of the actual patient (the baby). But sadly it has been considered a choice for so long, that people don't think about it that way.


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  • 5 years ago

    Yeah = I suppose with falling male cirk rate they must be getting desperate How do they pay for third Mercedes. But does AAP make laws in U S A ? I thought that was job of Congress & Senate. What does Women's Rights movement say about it ? M.

  • 1 decade ago

    The AAP's statement shows that there is no medical justification for recommending infant circumcision. But they're too afraid of lawsuits to admit that they've been unnecessarily cutting babies for years based on erroneous medical information.

    And how many doctors actually give parents accurate information on the risks?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It means that they don't recommend it because the risks outweigh any "potential" benefits (i.e there is no clear evidence there are any benefits but there are a lot of complications)

    Your right I completely agree it is insane that parents are allowed to make this decision. but I guess they have to be careful not to infringe on the rights of the Jews. Unfortunately if you look at the top of any organisation in America then you'll probably find a Jew.

    Edgar Schen ( ) and Daniel Halperin ( ) are prime examples of this.

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