The circumcision decision

None of the following medical societies or associations advocate infant circumcision:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Medical Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Pediatric Urologists Association
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Canadian Pediatric Society
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • European Medical Societies (any)


"Studies clearly confirm that newborns feel pain -- something most mothers already knew."
--Dr. Alan Fleischman, New York Academy of Medicine, 1996

For years, doctors, parents and religious leaders claimed that newborns felt no pain during the circumcision process. But research conducted over the last decade points to fallacies in this assumption.

According to author and pediatrician Dr. Dean Edell, considerable evidence shows that newborns experience extreme pain and significant stress during a circumcision. "When I was in medical school, doctors tried to teach me that babies don't feel any pain," Edell said.

In its March 1999 statement against routine infant circumcision, the 55,000-member American Academy of Pediatricians also declared, for the first time, that pain relief is essential during circumcisions. The task force cited considerable new evidence showing that newborns circumcised without local anesthesia experience significant pain and stress -- as measured by changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of oxygen and stress hormones in the blood.

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