Explaining circumcision to mom.... - page 4

by brentster_us

15,013 Unique Views | 38 Comments

Ok, so here is the problem: I'm a nurse and when a new mom asks me what is circumcision, what should i say? I mean, ok, go with me on this. I have researched for myself that the AMA, the pediactric association (whatever it... Read More


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    Staff note: A number of posts have been removed for being, a) off topic, b) inflammatory, c) made in reference to a post that was removed, or, d) some combination of the above.

    The original intent of this thread was to talk about explaining circumcision to parents, not the pros or cons of the procedure itself. Regardless of our own opinions, we still have an obligation to present factual, non-biased information to the parents and then leave the choice to them.

    Let's be realistic. In all of the previous pages and pages and pages of debate (some of it quite heated), very few minds were changed one way or the other. The only thing that consistently happened was that threads had to be closed and given cooling-off periods to avoid spontaneous combustion.

    Please, let's return to the original topic--the relaying of information to families--and leave the circumcision debate out of the conversation.

    Further off-topic/inflammatory posts will be edited or deleted.

    Thank you.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Mar 25, '11
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    A number of posts were removed because, even though members were requested to stay on topic, the discussion reverted to the pros and cons of circumcision.

    If that keeps happening, we'll take that as an indication that it's time for the thread to close.

    Thank you.
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    I have a lot of strongly held ideas and beliefs that are very controversial, but at work I stick to the scientific facts and would never offer my own opinion.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Apr 3, '11
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    SoonStudent and everyone,
    I believe that's all we can and SHOULD do. When parents ask about circs (or anything else), we should give pros and cons, and leave the decision to them. We can explain the procedure and answer their questions with facts; but our personal opinions about it are just that.....personal opinions; and they have no place in the discussion. If the parent/patient asks what we would do, we need to redirect them by saying something like, "we're not talking about what I would do; we're talking about what you believe YOU should do."
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    Quote from studentpn73
    Our pediatrician was against circs, still referred us to another doctor though, did not put his beliefs onto us or lectured us in anyway. Gave us a pamphlet on the pros and cons and left it to be our decision.

    As for pain medication, our sons were not given anything. Infact they didn't even cry. The nurse showed me the board they were strapped down on, and said that was the only part (they are different ages yet both went through the same thing, same doctors and same nurse) they cried on. One had a bell for his circ, the other had nothing. Both circs were clean cut and healed fine.
    I know of others who never circumsized their sons and ended up having to later on (age of 2yrs, 15 yrs, and as young adults), and yet others again who have never been done and are doing great.
    I am not trying to argue here but circs should never be performed without pain medication. That is very unethical and unless you were a witness to their circs you should not believe what the nurse told you. Some nurses have admitted they have to been instructed to lie about the baby's reaction to circs and if your sons received no pain medication I bet it was very painful. Please be sure in the future if you have any more sons that they get pain medication just like you would not let someone perform a procedure on you without pain medication.
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    My understanding is that Nurse Assistants are NOT given education on intact genitals of males nor how to care for them properly. Is that true? If it is, then there is a problem with how patients are cared for and that needs to change or it is a risk factor for the patient's overall health. That said, honestly, if babies were at risk for HIV and STI's, then there might be some truth to "benefits" of cutting their genitals. However, since they are not at risk, and as one commenter said that her baby was normal "just not circumcised yet"...... and a babies genitals are healthy and normal.....why is it assumed that he just isn't circumcised yet? That would infer that infant circumcision was a necessary medical procedure....which it is definitely not. What I don't see is anyone offering information on the foreskin (it's normal, natural and not a birth defect....) and that information which is vitally important to the full disclosure of information given to parents who are being asked to sign a consent form, and that is not being provided. How do we expect parents to make an informed consent, if they are not fully informed? There are a ton of ethical questions related to infant circumcision, but far worse is the fact that accurate up to date information is not even given to medical and nursing students. How many know the normal functions of the foreskin? Not many. If Aposthia is a birth defect (male infants being born without a foreskin)....then how is it possible that we have an unnecessary medical procedure (surgery) that basically surgically creates a birth defect? Most all other medical organizations though out the world do not recommend infant circumcision. The problem is that giving information to parents that is not a full disclosure, is basically not informing them of all the facts, yet a personal opinion might be misconstrued as medical advice? This makes no sense.
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    Circumcision is a personal choice a parent makes for their child.
    If asked what one's personal decision is regarding same--as a nurse, we need to be right down the middle
    "I support a parent's right to choose what they believe to be best for their child"
    Any further questions, I would direct to their pediatrician.
    rn/writer likes this.
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    Quote from Equinox_93
    Well- given that it *has* been proven to decrease STD transmission, I don't think the issue is quite as simple as merely giving parents "the facts" and it being as clear cut as all that.

    Also- the "divine mistake" point only works with those who are religious :wink2:

    Personally, we chose NOT to circ our son- but as I do see "the facts" and they are as much for it as against it- a fairly even split- I can certainly see why some would choose to go for it- especially in areas where HIV and other STDs are especially rampant. People see that first hand and see a way to cut that risk for their child- even if it's not a guarantee- most parents view protecting their offspring as a high priority and will do anything they can to do so. Even if it means snipping a bit of skin and taking the risk of that surgical procedure. The point is that each parent has to do their own risk/benefit ratio for their own circumstance- and what they anticipate being issues for their offspring. Their own experiences and biases will play into that, of course- but when "the facts" are neutral with as many pros as cons- it becomes a personal decision and that risk/benefit ratio has to be applied individually.
    I am not sure where you are getting this information from, but STD's are rampant with unprotected and/or high risk sex--doesn't matter if a male is circ'ed or not. Let's not get parents all in a tither that their kid is gonna get aids from being uncircumsized. That is just wrong.
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    My opinion doesn't matter to the parent. Circumcision is a personal choice. It cannot be undone, really (there are some techniques but I doubt it's the same.) The studies do show a lower risk of STD transmission with circumcision. It doesn't mean being circumcised prevents STDs. I explain the procedure itself and the risks it carries with it, explain the need if it's a deformity, explain the pros and cons. Answer any questions they have truthfully and without my own opinion.


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