Circumcision Debate - page 4

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   Bobl427
    As a male, I have always wondered what it would be like to be uncircumcised. I have done a fair amount of reading on the subject and it seems to me that the risk for infection is minimal in light of modern hygiene habits. I have worked in Long Term care for 10 years and never once seen a foreskin infection. This is not to say that there is no risk.
    It seems to me that foreskin is not a birth defect or an anomole to be fixed. You will not find this practiced in most European countries and I have yet to find statistics that there are widespread infections associated with intact foreskin.
    As for looking like Dad, I really don't think that is a valid reason for circumcision. My Dad was uncircumcised and I do not remember feeling anything in regards to the difference between us. I believe that I just assumed that the difference was the same as the difference in our hair color of shape of our nosed etc...
    If it was my choice, I would not be circumcised. I understand that it has been the "norm" for many years but so was slavery. Change is not always a bad thing.
    It is obviously the right of parents to make this decision but it should be an informed decision. Parents should be given factual data about the procedure and the relevant statistics. It seems that the medical community and society has presented circumcision as "the right thing to do". How about making it a choice based on the facts?
  2. by   jenniferj
    Originally posted by nurs4kids
    I hardly think that because I chose to have my son circumcised he will forever (I did not say forever) mistrust me<rolls eyes> (Is that how you talk to your friends and co workers? You make fun of them and let them know that their opinion couldn't possibly be as valid as yours?) Just because someone's personal feelings don't agree with yours, don't give them your psycho, mumbo jumbo. That's BULL!!! (So I express my opinion, with explanations, and you call me psycho.) 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. (That is not what I said) I hope you don't use the guilt game professionally to influence patients toward your belief. (Goodness knows we shouldn't let our personal beliefs influence our nursing. We wouldn't want to behave as moral, ethical, people, after all)

    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. (How soon do the babies go home after their surgery?) My son was gone for 20 mins, returned to me asleep and never cried another tear over circ pain. (And he didn't cry once during the following days when the urine stung his scabbed-over penis?) 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! (I have had lots of vag infections in my life, so have my mother and daughters. Perhaps someone should have removed that body part to save us all the pain we have endured.) 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. (I never said that no one should ever have this done. I merely asked people to look beyond the "looks like dad" arguement, and think about some things they may not have considered.)

    Just imagine how boring life'd be if every man's penis looked the same
    (I hope in the future you are able to participate in forums without the need to attack others. It would probably make for a friendlier discussion.)
  3. by   Ted
    I can see that this thread has been around for quite a while!! Lots of interesting discussions for and against circumcision.!!!

    I used to be totally against circumcision. Well . . . I have a little secret to share with you. I didn't know that I was circumcised until just four years years ago . . . I've been a nurse for nine years.

    I used to say to my wife (more than a few times!), of 15 years, that I was glad I was NOT circumcised . . . it was barbaric . . . it was mutilation . . . it looked EXTREMELY painful!!! Interestingly, about four years ago (did I say that I was nursing for nine years?!?), my wife, my FATHER, and I were discussing the topic of circumcision. Don't ask me how we got on that topic . . . with my father . . . we just did. Once again I said that I was grateful not to be circumcised . . . that it was barbaric. . . that it was mutilation . . . and that it looked extremely painful! My smirking father pulled me aside and said, "Ted, you were circumsized when you were born."


    Well . . . I absolutely have no problems with circumcision. It sure beats having a build up of smegma.


    Ted Fiebke

    P. S. I once sat along side a fellow nursing student . . . who was female . . . who, after "The" lecture on human sexuality, turned to me and asked where the clitoris was. I don't feel so alone . . .

    Last edit by Ted on Jul 23, '01
  4. by   nurs4kids
    Well Jennifer, let's see..
    Your last post is very hard to read because you placed comments in the quote from my original post, but being the patient person I am, I'll do my best to answer you.

    The word "forever" can be removed from my original post, because by your admission "(I did not say forever)", I do not have to fear any long term emotional struggle with my child over my decision to have him circ'd.

    Your second comment, "(Is that how you talk to your friends and coworkers? You make fun of them and let them know their opinion couldn't possible be as valid as yours?)" Quiet humorous coming from you..I quote your original post " 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." Because a mother has her child circumsized this means she will not protect him???? That IS what you said, isn't it? You use the guilt factor in an attempt to sway one toward your belief...I use humor toward what I feel to be a ridiculous use of psychology. Call it what you wish, I just call it like I see it

    "(So I express my opinion, with explanations, and you call me psycho?)" I never called you psycho. I said your use of the "trust vs mistrust" as a reason to not have your child circ'd is "psycho mumbo jumbo".

    You DID say that because a parent didn't protect the child from pain, he/she was jeopardizing trust.

    "(Goodness knows we shouldn't let our personal beliefs influence our nursing. We wouldn't want to behave as moral, ethical, people, alter all)"...You're very correct in both statements. However, your personal beliefs should NOT be pushed upon others without proven OBJECTIVE scientific facts to back them. Very early in nursing school, we are taught that one should never push his/her personal beliefs on clients/ do THAT is unethical.

    "(How soon do the babies go home after their surery?)"...This ranges anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks, depending on the original reason the child was admitted. If the child was a premie and admitted for the circ only, 24 hours. If admitted for other reasons, and the circ is done secondary to the admission, the child is d/c'd when the original reason for admission is resolved. I don't understand the logic to this question??

    "(And he didn't cry once during the following days when the urine stung his scabbed-over penis?)" Of course, all babies cry, so I can't say 100%. BUT, did he cry every time he voided? NO. Did he cry alot? NO. Post circ care requires either vaseline or neosporin to be liberally applied to circ site. This encourages healing AND protects from irritation. I've witnessed numerous boys (as we all know, when the air hits their wee wee's, they have a tendancy to pee pee) voiding with a fresh circ, and can't recall one screaming in pain at this time.

    "(I have had lots of vag infections in my life, so have my mother and daughters. Perhaps someone should have removed that body part to save us all the pain we endured.)" Lots of vag infections?? That's scary. Could it be that the sex partners of the above mentioned were not circ'd (this causes an increased risk of female infection and Ca!)??

    And I believe your original post goes far beyond the realm of "I merely asked people to look beyond the "looks like dad" arguement.." It's a total anti-circ post.

    I apologize if you felt "attacked" in my original post. I merely intended to defend those who choose to have their sons circ'd. I do not feel we should use guilt to persude someone toward our own beliefs. We should provide them with OBJECTIVE information and allow them to make an educated decision. I'm not anti or pro circumcision. I'm pro choice. It's the parent's choice and based on the information I had, I chose to have mine circ'd. I'd do it again today.
  5. by   RNed
    Seems to me this is a family decision. All posts have good arguments for and against, depending on which side of the debate one is on.

    Why do we allow pierced ears, eyebrows, nipples, etc ? I have seen many young girls, 5, 6, and 7 year olds and even little babies with pierced ears. Young men with tattoes, etc. None of these seem to have any medical purpose.

    Circ, pierce ears, nipples, breast feeding or bottle feeding, we all have our personal cultural differences and beliefs. Should we infer that a Mom is less of a Mom if she chooses not to breast feed? Do any of our grandmothers still rub alittle whisky on a teething babies' gums? Is piercing a young girl's or boy's ear abuse? Is failure to breast feed your child neglect?

    These are personal and cultural differences in society. Not unlike chemical codes only, No CPR orders, DNR's, no blood products etc.

    We should be cautious when we believe as nurses we know what is best.

    Apparently with circ's it doesn't make much medical sense. If this is the first time we have seen a procedure done that does not make medical sense or provide a medical value, then surely some have buried our heads in the sand or I work at a unique place.
  6. by   wanna B an RN
    I think that was a good point about the young baby girls with pierced ears. My firstborm was a boy and I had him circumsized because that was the thing to do. In the few weeks after my son was circumsized, he didn't cry while urinating or anything like that.

    While I was pregnant with my last child, I happed to be sitting next to the room where a baby was being circumsized. I don't think I'll forget the screams I heard. The doctors said the baby was crying from the cold, I don't know, I just heard the screaming. Luckily, my last child was girl, and I didn't have to make the decision.
  7. by   Q.
    Nurs4Kids, bravo for an intelligent, well articulated post.

  8. by   jenniferj
    Nurs4Kids, I apologize for the crude method I used to reply to your post. I have never participated in web forums before, other than at my school, so I am lacking in experience. In my family we say "be patient with those who are learning." Thank you for your patience.
    I am really amazed by the vehemence of your replies. I thought that this was a place to express one's opinion in a friendly atmosphere. Evidently I assumed incorrectly, and I apologize once again. I didn't do enough research on how the forums work before I posted my thoughts and feelings.
    I feel bad because I thought that maybe I had something to contribute, and evidently that is not the case. I am only a student nurse, but I thought that 41 years of life, 6 children ages 20 down to 6, more than 20 years of marriage, 11 years of homeschooling, 17 years of active church membership, 10 years of breastfeeding babies, 4 homebirths, a 4.0 GPA, being a National Merit Scholar, a National Honor Society member, a Phi Theta Kappa member, 5 years of therapy, leaving an abusive husband, and being a generally well-read person meant that I might have accumulated some knowledge of worth. Hopefully I will find as I become more educated and experienced as a nurse, I will be able to conduct intelligent, articulate conversation and correspondence with the world around me.
  9. by   RNed
    Don't take things to personal in forums and BB's . Controversy sometimes causes one to attack the person and not the opinion. I think all are guilty of that at times, throughtout our lifes. I have posted opinions and thoughts and received a personal attack. As much as I have at times wanted to reply and have typed a wonderful response, I hit delete and my anger and therapy is over.

    We respond to issues from different environments, cultures and beliefs. Obvioulsy if one among us had all the "right" answers this world would be a better place. It isn't because we are "right" only part of the time.

    Of coarse, there are some of us that are "special" and we are right more often.

    My wife calls me "special" and frequently it comes with a smirky type smile.
  10. by   Q.

    Can we stick to the topic at hand and avoid the sarcasm?

    Thank you.
  11. by   BrandyBSN
    It would be very easy to avoid sarcasm if when someone voices an opinion, we take it worth what it is, an opinion. Making personal attacks doesnt help anyone feel free to converse. If you dont agree with something someone says, tell us why, and back up your opinion. Debate the OPINION, not the integrity of the poster.

    Thank you,
  12. by   delirium
    I have seen this in many online forums... conversing online omits many of the nuances of everyday speech such as tone of voice, facial expressions, etc, and we often take offense to something that would not be offensive otherwise.
    Of course, there are times when you feel personally attacked, and cannot help but take offense. In that case, I personally would step back rather than perpetuate the negativity, but that is me, and I am not everyone. I do not expect everyone to react the same way I would.
    I have not contributed to this thread because I have nothing to contribute. I am a woman, a lesbian, I have no male sons, nor a male partner in my life. I have seen, recently, many older patients coming in for circs due to phimosis later in life, but I don't really have an opinion one way or another.

    I am not about to tell people how to behave or how to respond, and I don't think it wise for others to do so.
    Take care all,
  13. by   nar-S
    as i had mentioned before...circumcision in many people is a matter of culture, religion, and personal my native country, males are cirred not when they're newborn but when they reach the age of pre-adulthood (age 12-14)...they do these on their own will and sometimes even remind their parents that it's a way it's their sense of passage...i wonder for those parents who didn't have their sons cirred, would you allow them to have the procedure (at around that age) if they ask for it ???