Circumcision Debate - page 3

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

  1. by   NicuGal
    I have to agree with the strong use of some words here and I would certainly hope they aren't uttered in patients hearing range!!

    I don't consider it a for you that you have pierced ears or tatoos? Ever had any plastic surgery...I think the same can be said for that.

    At our hospital it is a parental decision...and we always use anethetic and we have a pain protocol we follow.

    Would I do it to my son...yes....I would. Because...if he doesn't take care of it then he would have to maybe be circed when he was older and that is realllllly awful!!!!!
  2. by   Jenny P
    Wow, I'm amazed by the responses here! I don't believe in circumcision (as I mentioned before) and didn't have my son circumcised. My husband isn't circ'ed either. I worked NBN back in '69-'70, and there was no anesthesia used back then for the procedure. It's nice to know that there is now.

    It is interesting that they did circumcisions to stop masterbating-- I never was aware of my son masterbating when he was little; even though my friends (whos sons were circumcised) often talked of their sons doing it in inappropriate places (the grocery store being the most embarrassing place for one young son's mom). As far as after puberty, it wasn't my business. And he's never had a problem with sores or infection.

    In all of my 32 years of nursing (28 in ICU), I haven't seen more than (maybe) 10 sores in foreskin infections in that time. Most of my patients are geriatrics, and among them, it seems the majority are not circumcised. The worst problem I've ever seen was when a nurse did peri cares on a comatose man and forgot to pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis-- the resulting swelling and edema was unbelieveable and we had to elevate the poor gentleman's penis and try to get the swelling down enough to pull the foreskin back where it belonged. People get sores on other parts of their bodies also; does this mean that those body parts should also be removed? I mean, the number of sores I've seen around the anus are too numerous to count-- should we remove that?

    If the geriatric male population is mainly uncircumcised (especially those born pre-WWII), and our generation is mostly circumcised, did it matter to our parents (or grandparents, for a lot of you) if the boy and his dad matched? My husband informs me that among the soldiers in WWII there was a severe problem, and that is when the big "sanitary reason" push occured. So, in his mind, we really don't have to worry unless there is another war like that with men living in wet dirt trenches again (and from what he's told me, wars have changed since then and we won't see another one like that). I guess he wasn't circumcised because he was jaundiced on the day that they were going to do his and so he never was done. Neither he nor my son were ever teased about looking different than the other boys-- so is this a myth, too?

    I don't know the answer to the arguement here; I do feel it is an unneccesary surgery; but if someone insists on it being done, I would never try to talk them out of it. One friend (a nurse midwife) and her husband had such opposing views on circumcisions that I'm sure that if they had a boy, it would have caused a divorce. Luckily, they had 3 girls instead.
  3. by   fergus51
    Not to sound argumentative or anything, but my nurse friend pointed out that breast reductions, lipo, pierced ears, tattoos etc. are normally done on consenting adults whereas circs are not.
  4. by   Josefin
    I don`t believe in circumcision, with exception if the foreskin is too tight, and because of that needs to be removed to avoid pain. All this talking about how circumcision improves hygiene- I think it`s pretty much crap-talk. We are not living in the 18:th century anymore, we all know the meaning of good hygiene, both for boys and girls, men and women. My children will be thought to wash themself every day, both my boys and girls. (If I willl get any!) By that circumcision wont be needed. Not that it`s that common here anyway, but still...
  5. by   fiestynurse
    Jewish Religious Law:
    Each Jewish' father is obligated to arrange to have his sons circumcised when they are eight days old. It is traditional to celebrate this first milestone with a party attended by friends and family. Ritual circumcision is not merely a surgical procedure, but, rather, is a highly significant religious ceremony.

    Just wondering how this fits into the debate here on circumcision?
    How do you go up against a 3,000 year old tradition?

    I personally, do not see circumcision as a form of mutilation, in the true sense of the word. (after all it is just a little piece of skin we are talking about here) And to restate my previous post, it really is up to each individual parent to decide because so many factors figure into the decision. I would also like to point out that because the American Academy of Pediatrics ( came out with their stance against routine newborn circumcision--many insurances will not cover the cost of this procedure. Many doctors want cash up front (about $150-$200) and will wait to do it in their private offices. It can be a very lucrative practice.

    I think I would rather have the rabbi do it!
    Last edit by fiestynurse on Jul 21, '01
  6. by   Rustyhammer
    I recently read an article stating that men who were circumsized were "sexual handicaps".
    My question is...Can I get one of those "handicapped emblems" to hang on my mirror and finally get a good parking place?

  7. by   nurs4kids
    Thank God my husband is circumsized..otherwise, I'd never get any

    Bottom's a personal choice. It's not for us to push our personal beliefs. I respect those who choose to have or to not have their sons circumsized. As someone earlier stated, you give the parents the pros and cons (non biased!) and let them make an educated decision. Afterall, it's the child and the parents that must live with their decision, not you.
  8. by   JennieBSN
    Hmmm...I have to agree with the folks saying that words like 'mutiliation' and 'barbaric' are pretty strong words for such a thing. Feisty, you read my is Jewish tradition/law that male infants be circumcised.

    Look at it this way...some cultures view the Christian ritual of communion as encouraging/re-enacting cannibalism, and think THAT is barbaric. Think about it...eating 'flesh,' drinking 'blood' looks pretty barbaric from an outside point of view. BTW, I am Christian, and take communion regularly...just making a point here. What do you say about the Jewish couple following their religious beliefs? Are THEY barbaric and 'mutilating' their son?

    My cuban friend was amazed that I was the ripe old age of EIGHT when I got my ears pierced. She says that in Cuba, newborn baby girls get their ears pierced as young as a few DAYS old!! It is cultural. Are they 'mutilating' their daughters?

    I just agree w/the folks who say it is a personal choice. Yes, most Americans circumcise now days for strictly 'cosmetic' reasons, but so what? It's THEIR CHOICE. For me, the jury is still out on the whole cleanliness/infection thing, BUT...I have also assisted with hundreds of circs, and plan on having my sons circumcised. I would be quite p.o.'ed if some holier-than-thou nurse or doctor came into my room and started lecturing me on how I was 'barbaric' and 'mutilating' my son.

    That's my 2 cents...
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by fergus51
    Not to sound argumentative or anything, but my nurse friend pointed out that breast reductions, lipo, pierced ears, tattoos etc. are normally done on consenting adults whereas circs are not.
    And so who is fit to make medical decisions for minors? You or I?? I think not.
  10. by   Rustyhammer
    I once knew a Rabbi who did circumcisions for free!

    ...He only took tips.

  11. by   fergus51
    Originally posted by Susy K

    And so who is fit to make medical decisions for minors? You or I?? I think not.
    I don't actually think it is a medical decision. Here it is classified as cosmetic. And no, I don't think I should be making those decisions. I have enough on my mind thank you. Just pointing out another side of the coin that's all.
  12. by   donmurray
    My pocket dictionary defines "mutilate" as "injure, disfigure, or make imperfect, as by damaging parts, removing a limb, etc."
    A consensus seems to be emerging that this practice is a form of plastic surgery, done for cosmetic reasons, at the behest of persons other than the subject, who has no say, let alone right of consent.
    Just because something has been done for thousands of years, does not necessarily make it right in the present day, though there may well have been important survival reasons back then.
  13. by   Q.
    There also appears to be a growing concensus that infants cannot make decisions regarding their care - and this seems to either surprise or concern some people. Well - I have an idea then! Seeing as it bothers people that procedures are being performed on infants who cannot think for themselves - how about we forego parental consent and let good ole SOCIETY decide? This would apply to ear piercings, surgeries that may or may not save their life, advanced life support, chemotherapy, alternative medicine........the list goes on and on.....

    by the way, Fergus - no hard feelings. Just trying to make a point as well.