Circumcision Debate - page 2
Hi all. Our HealthGate topic of the week is a debate about circumcision. Is it a minor operation, (endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics) that improves cleanliness and that a baby doesn't... Read More
Jul 19, '01in some people, it is a matter of religion or culture...i had performed circumcision in pre-adult males, in which they come to the hospital willingly...it is much difficult, especially for the patient, to do this type of procedure because it takes time to heal...in some it's also a sense of passage...like with girls getting their ears peirced...it's also more sanitary to be circumcised...you do not want to have an infected genital because of bacterias that accumulated around the tip...and can you imagine the taunting a teen male would have if anyone found out that he's uncircumcised?...kids are cruel with someone different to them...
most hospitals do circumcision to newborns with some form of anesthetic...babies might feel it but they would NEVER remember how they felt...an added plus is that their immune system and antibodies are high...
hard enough that parents have to decide on everything that can and would influence a child's grown...then this things comes up...
Jul 19, '01I just have to reply to this. I have 6 children, 3 boys. Had 2 boys with the first husband, and one with the second. Both husbands were circumcised, none of the boys are. They are 18, 13, and 8. None of them has ever asked why their penis doesn't look like daddy's (and yes, they have seen dad's penis a hundred times. How do little boys learn to stand up and pee? They share a toilet with dad!) None of them has ever gotten any flack from schoolmates or friends. All of them learned to wash their penis the same way they learned to wash their ears. And maybe you think they won't ever remember the pain that was caused for them, but you are talking about trust vs. mistrust, and what a way to teach them from day 1 or 2 that mom will not protect them. And why would you possibly want to place a barrier between you and peacefully loving your baby from its very first moment. Why do you want to place your baby in need of pain relievers? Its body systems are immature, and are having a hard enough time ridding themselves of the waste accumulated inutero, and getting rid of any drugs you were given during labor. I know this is a personal decision, but humans are not lemmings. Just because one person does something does not mean that everyone else needs to. If this were true, we would be living in the dark ages, and medical care would be virtually non-existant. Would you cut off your child's left earlobe? It is just a piece of skin, doesn't have any really important function, right? Please, just think this through, and leave the "look like dad" argument out of it.
Jul 20, '01About the boys will make fun of uncicumcised boys: Here the majority (over 60%) of nbms are not circed. And people: You can be hygenic with foreskin. And as for the "they won't remember" argument, that could be used to justify a lot of things, but it usually isn't.
I did a big project on this at school and found out that the main reason it was adopted in western countries was that they believed it would prevent masturbation and all the diseases that went along with it (like blindness and insanity).
I am not rabid on either side of the issue, but I just don't see any real point to doing it. Parents should educate themselves then make their own decision.
Jul 20, '01JenniferJ,
I hardly think that because I chose to have my son circumcised he will forever mistrust me<rolls eyes> Just because someone's personal feelings don't agree with yours, don't give them your psycho, mumbo jumbo. That's BULL!!! By your standards, if you allow medical personnel to treat your child for ANY illness and pain is caused, then you as the parent will not be trusted by the child. I hope you don't use the guilt game professionally to influence patients toward your belief.
I have cared for hundreds of circ'd kids, including my own. A huge deal is made of the need for pain control, etc. Never do I recall a need for any medication after a circ. My son was gone for 20 mins, returned to me asleep and never cried another tear over circ pain. My decision to circ wasn't an easy one, it was reached after much study and thought. The deciding factor was that I HAVE cared for kids with foreskin infections. I agree, with proper hygiene, infection is rare, BUT the treatment IF an infection occurs is much worse than the actual circ...and they remember the infection pain! That's my own personal opinion.
It's not for us to say which is right or wrong. There are many religious and cultural reasons behind the issue. Just as we respect the religious/cultural practices on other issues, we must do the same here.
Just imagine how boring life'd be if every man's penis looked the same
Jul 20, '01I had my first baby when I was 19 and didn't want him to be circumcised, but his father insisted. We took him to a urologist when he was 3 weeks old and I waited in the waiting room because I knew what was coming. When I heard my poor son scream I knew I would never let this happen again if I had more sons. I had 2 more sons who are not circumcised and they have no problems whatsoever. My (second) husband is from Brazil and they don't circumcise there. He also has no problems healthwise because he has foreskin. I think it is a sadistic practice.
Jul 20, '01Hello,
My son is four years old and not circumcised. My mother-in-law was an OB nurse and she strongly recommended that my husband and I did not get the baby circed. I didn't agree and wanted my son circed but my husband, did not want him circumcised. My son frequently gets a little sore there and he takes a bath everynight. He has asked why he doesn't look like his Poppy and what do you tell a four year old. My husband now says that maybe we should, and I say no because at this point it would be an operation. One were there would be memories and recall!! I even tried to get it done without my husband's knowledge and he ended up getting of from work early and went to the Dr. appointment at the hospital with me. I would have been more insistant had a known at the time. I think little boys should look like there fathers!!!! It is cleaner as well, and I have seen old men with nasty infections, and having circs done in the OR because of infection problems!!!!!
It is a personal choice!!!! But, as a baby they are not going to remember the pain, and it will not adversely affect their lives. Many men have lived through the trauma of circumcision, without psycological scars!!!! Just my opinion
Jul 20, '01Again I have to reiterate, after reading some of the responses, that "mutilation" is a very strong word indeed. My mother had a left radical mastectomy, and we don't consider that mutilation in the least!
Circumcision is a safe, sterile procedure that is a personal choice. We should not push our beliefs or psycho mumbo jumbo, as Tracy properly coined it, on people. If we allow breast implants or breast reductions, or liposuction, how can we condemn circumcision? Puhleez.
Jul 20, '01Suzy K, I would like tp point out that a left radical mastectomy was done, presumably, to save your mother's life and that she was apprised of the risks and benefits before consenting to the surgery. Also, lipo, breast augmentation/reduction and the like are elective procedures sought out by people who can speak for themselves. I continue to believe that it is a personal choice whether or not to circumcise, even though I don't personally agree with it, but I think surgery meant to eradicate cancer and cosmetic surgery are not relevant comparisons to circumcision.
PS...I hope your mother is healthy and doing well
Jul 20, '01Hi. Yes my mom is alive and well, thanks.
The reason I brought up her mastectomy is because I feel that a woman who is left with virtually no choice other than to have her breast removed to save her life would have more of an argument to say that the procedure was "mutilation." An elective procedure such as a circumcision is certainly NOT mutilation.
I also feel that lipo and breast augmentation can most certainly be compared to circs. They are all elective, sterile surgical procedures that are done for cosmetic or personal reasons. They are also performed at the consent of a (hopefully) educated adult. Seeing as a newborn is incapable of making such a decision, we as a society allow the parents to make such decisions for them on their behalf. As Tracy pointed out earlier, this effects all medical decisions for pediatric patients. We have to respect these decisions unless they are blatant and intended abuse.
Someone also mentioned how male circs performed in the US are similar to the female circs done in Africa and other Third World nations. I would like to remind everyone that circs performed in those countries under those circumstances CANNOT be compared to what we do in the US. Circs done there on females are done with a dirty knife, without ANY anesthetic, and usually in public behind a bush. It is also done not for any religious or medical reason, but soley to deprive the female of any sexual enjoyment. This is a far cry from how and why we perform circs on infant boys in the US.
Jul 20, '01Its not only a matter of cleanliness & appearance. Its a health issue. There are have been studies done & data shows that the wives or long time partners of uncircumsized men have a higher incidence of cervical CA & infection. Also, there is data indicating that uncircumsized boys have more frequent UTIs.
I would let my son be circumsized but I would insist on anesthetic.
Jul 20, '01WOW! I know we all have our personal beliefs here, but some of the anger creeping out here is downright uncalled for.
First of all let me say that my opinion is that I don't care what you do, as long as you made an informed decision and are comfortable with it.
That being said, yes I had my son circumcised. I hadn't witnessed one at the time, but I've seen tons since then (in fact I assisted with about a dozen of em today alone), and I would do it again without a second thought.
Don't give me the female circumcision argument, it doesn't even come close. That practice is done only to deprive women of something in a society that looks down upon women. We don't go around doing circs because we hate men and want to cause a little pain! And yes, mutilation is a VERY strong word! Mutilated objects are unsightly to look at, and I have no problem with the sight of a circumcised penis. Quite the opposite
And I was disappointed to hear the nurse who brings up money to the patient who is undecided. What a last ditch effort to persuade someone to your way of thinking. Shame on you.
I hope that everyone who has brought their heated argument here can leave it here. Our patients deserve to hear pros AND cons, and make the decisions themselves. They don't need to hear words like "mutilation, barbaric, sadistic, or mistrust".
Jul 20, '01A health care provider who uses words like barbaric, sadistic, mutilation, mistrust,etc. with patients is being inappropriate...however, this is a forum for professionals, who also happen to be human , and need a forum like this to express opinions on issues in a frank way that we would never use directly with patients...come on, have a little respect for your colleagues' ethical standards, regardless of what he/she would do personally!
Jul 20, '01Back again! I might get an ear infection, should I have my ears removed? I don't think so! As for looking like dad, my dad was an amputee, thank goodness my mother could not have had my arm removed. I may not have remembered the pain, but I would have lived disfigured by a surgeon ready to cut for cash.