The AAP's Impending Announcement on Circumcision

Avatar for islaywhisky
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Registered: 01-06-2002
The AAP's Impending Announcement on Circumcision
2
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 9:27pm

According to the Washington Post, the AAP will be making an announcement 'recommending' RIC in the September issue of Pediatrics magazine. I'm not sure of the exact details, but it will be worded along the lines of 'the benefits outweigh the risks'. Here's the link to the WaPo article...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-scie​nce/circumcision-long-in-decline-in-the-us-may-ge...

and a direct quote from the piece:

"According to its 2005 position statement, which reaffirmed its 1999 stance, existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn circumcision but not enough to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. That position is poised to change, though, as the AAP is expected to release an updated statement and report reflecting recent research later this month. While details are not yet available, the new position concludes that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, said Michael Brady, a pediatric expert at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and a member of the AAP's task force on circumcision.

The AAP's new position falls short of a routine recommendation, Brady said, adding that parents should continue to take into account their own cultural, religious or social views. But from a public health perspective, I think it [circumcision] is a good decision and a lot of children will benefit."

Over and above the uncomprehending shock that most of the world's parents will experience at this news, the dismissive response by the world's medical institutions will be massive.

The AAP is likely to find itself isolated and in danger of becoming a laughing stock among its peers worldwide.

If it does not recommend routine infant circumcision (as seems to be the case) that is well and good. But if it even so much as insinuates that pre-puberty boys should be circumcised as some kind of panacea against future ills, the AAP's statement will be the butt of crude jokes across the world.

These are my opinions; what are yours?

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2009

".....The AAP is likely to find itself isolated and in danger of becoming a laughing stock among its peers worldwide....."

The sad truth, dear Christopher, is that they just don't care. 

People in the 'rest of the world'  care, in different measures, about what other people in the 'rest of the world' may think about them. This is not found in American culture. As with many other aspects of the American "manifest destiny", the "audience" here is purely internal. After decades of living among them, I have repeatedly witnessed, first hand, how well this culture is vaccinated against foreign ideas, concepts, and technologies that are not part of their norm. You can bring up in a conversation that outside of the USA and religious groups, nobody circumcises for "health benefits". All you get, mostly, are either i) blank stares (as if you were talking about the sex life of Martian spores),  ii) a "oh really? I didn't know", followed by a blank stare and a change of subject, or, iii) the more pathetic "well, but here in America we do". Period, end of discussion.

Because of this lack of "opinion accountability", my take on  the impending announcement of the AAP is that is simply politically motivated to protect the procedure against potential attack such as what took place in San Francisco a year or so ago, or what is taking place in Germany, Austria and Switzerland right now. They will thus restore some of the lost power that hospital physicians (the main peddlers of this practice) once had in cajoling, convincing, and almost making circumcision sound mandatory to unsuspecting parents. It is easier done when you have a captive audience as in here.

Even though I have lived here so many years, I have long thrown my hands up in the air with respect to Americans and the circumcision of their boys. Somehow, they are a lost cause.  I am more concerned about their exporting this monstruosity to other countries, as they did to South Korea and recently to sub-Saharan Africa.

Regards,

Federico.

 

Avatar for islaywhisky
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2002

Federico, thank very much for your response, my friend. Yours stands out in stark isolation. I posted this thread on all three boards under our umbrella heading of 'Circumcision'.  And only my fellow CL and Englishman, Tony (geedee) on the Circumcision Support section replied.

Your position as an expatriate in the USA is so very valuable! I once posted a thread on BabyCenter's old circumcision debate board, entitled  'An American Tragedy'. I think I may have repeated it here. It spoke of my perceived awareness of the USA's insularity from the rest of the world where custom and entrenched beliefs were concerned. The 'American Way' was the only way. It seems that's still true. A 'captive audience' as you pointed out.

The San Francisco endeavour sadly failed. But Germany, Austria, Denmark, Holland, Finland et al are on the ascendancy and it will only take a final step to actually outlaw infant circumcision to turn the practice on is tail. Why the UK is lagging behind I believe may be due to complacency because we don't circumcise, but confounded by our relatively high proportion of ethnic minorities who do circumcise for religious or cultural reasons. The political furore is something we are content to avoid.

You say you are more concerned about America "exporting this monstruosity to other countries, as they did to South Korea and recently to sub-Saharan Africa." South Korea was a direct result of American troops stationed there during the Korean war - and at least their infant boys are left untouched. Their adolescent boys are expected to cope with the pain.

As for adult African men circumcised because of foolish, flawed experiments to combat STDs - I pity them. American wealth is better spent in funding self-sufficiency with clean running water and basic hygiene in African nations where it's so scarce.

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i