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OMG - AAP says circumcision benefits outweigh the risks?!?!!! - Page 2

post #21 of 93

Yes, so upsetting and backward in this day and age. 

post #22 of 93

Sigh.  And back I go to my Facebook soapbox.  Just when people were starting to get over my last breastfeeding tirade.  But I can't let this go unchallenged!

post #23 of 93
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

That is so... upsetting. What a huge step backwards. To think of all of the ignorant articles and regurgitated half-truths that are about to be spewed, chewed up and re-spewed. I have a pit in my stomach :(

Yes - same here. I can imagine that this only going to reconfirm and validate all my friends with a pro-circ viewpoint - especially those who were on the fence. It's so sad. 

post #24 of 93
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by emma1325 View Post

I just saw this and came here to post about it.


greensad.gif  All the poor babies who will suffer because of this.  Please someone say that there is hope of this being overturned...I remember a couple of years ago when the AAP tried to soften the official language used to describe female circumcision, there was an outcry from the public, and the academy quickly retracted their statements.  I wish something like that would happen to save the poor boys.  :(


The bolded completely baffles me. HOw a logical person doesn't see that female and male circumcision are the same thing - it blows my mind. Its so cruel that there isn't the same outrage for the poor boys. 


A couple of months back I had a conversation with a pregnant friend about circumcision and what she planned to do with her son. She is someone who is strongly against female circumcision and she had actually done some research on it in her graduate studies. We had conversations about this before we both had our first children. Fast forward to a couple of months ago - I was completely taken aback when she told me they were going to circumcise their son. When I told her circumcising her son was the same as female circumcision (in the softest way possible) she emphatically denied they were the same. 

post #25 of 93
Originally Posted by thegoodearth View Post

Yes - same here. I can imagine that this only going to reconfirm and validate all my friends with a pro-circ viewpoint - especially those who were on the fence. It's so sad. 

Yeah. I'm 100% sure my sister is now going to circ her baby when he's born.  She was on the fence but her husband said he would like it done.  I had her convinced that there was no medical reason. They were looking for a medical reason. Now they have one.  They're not going to bother to really look into the studies the AAP used and realize they are flawed. Thanks, AAP.


Another anecdote...my friend had a baby a few days ago and circ'd him because she read that the AAP was going to come out with a new stance and that it would prevent him from getting HIV. She almost changed her mind at the last minute and her husband said no. 


Then she went on to tell me that her husband couldn't bear to change his diaper because he couldn't stand looking at the scabs. :(  But he's the one who insisted on making her go through with it in the first place.  It really makes me sad!  


I wish I were brave enough to post on facebook about the AAP stuff.  I have way too many friends who circ'd their kids because it was the norm and just don't want to deal with fighting them today.

post #26 of 93

Intelligent people such as ourselves will still be against circ. 

post #27 of 93

We are rising up!  We are demanding that this new policy be retracted.  Please join us because every voice counts!  This is what you can do...




The AAP Statement: 12 Things YOU Can Do!

1. Visit the AAP’s Facebook page and let them know what you think about their revised policy.

2. Read the critique of the statement so that you understand why it is flawed.

3. Become informed: Visit Saving Our Sons and follow their Facebook Page to understand more about routine infant circumcision.

4. Find and “like” your local chapter of The Intact Network on Facebook. This will keep you up to date and will let you know when there is something specific that needs to be done.

5. Learn as much as you can about Circumcision so that you can answer questions asked of you and so that the fire starts to burn in you.

6. Remind yourself again and again what the AAP’s decision does NOT change.

7. Change your timeline banner, grab some graphics and spread the word. It is more important now more than ever that people understand circumcision.

8. Order some info cards that you can share in places where parents- to- be can find them.

9. E mail, write, call, or protest in front of your local AAP office or your own local hospital.

10. Contact your pediatrician and OB/GYN to let them know that you oppose their support of Routine Infant Circumcision.

11. Make a donation to Saving Our Sons to help cover the cost of all of the work that is being done.

12. Most importantly, remember that you never, EVER need to doubt that Routine Infant Circumcision is wrong.

post #28 of 93

A few good responses to the AAP's Task Force Statement:

AAP Circumcision Policy Statement: A Critique: http://www.drmomma.org/2012/08/aap-circumcision-policy-statement.html

Children's Health & Human Rights Partnership Condemns New AAP Policy Statement: http://chhrp.org/index.php/news/childrens-health-human-rights-partnership-condemns-new-aap-policy-statement/

Doctors Opposing Circumcision Commentary on AAP Policy Statement: http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/2012-08-26A_Commentary.pdf

post #29 of 93
This is so shocking to me that they made this recommendation. So sad. This is all about the money.
post #30 of 93

I did want to add, on a brighter note, that googling circumcision generally leads to this forum. That's how I ended up here while pregnant with ds. I hadn't definitely decided against it because I didn't know any better... but the AAP's policy had nothing to do with  my decision. They were tooting the "circ prevents STDs" horn long before this statement. Some might be convinced, but many others come here and get their courage and information to do the right thiing :-)

post #31 of 93
Originally Posted by erinsuzy View Post

One of the comments says "I have a question for the anti-circumcision fanatics: If they truly oppose removing a healthy body part without the consent of the child, why aren't they protesting the removal of the umbilical cord?"    wow    Can you say ANALOGY FAIL?... lol   As depressing as the article is- that gave me a good laugh.




Haha, I would be tempted to say "Actually, as long as the umbilical cord is still functioning (ie, it is still pulsing and delivering blood from the placenta) I vehemently opposite clamping/cutting the umbilical cord under *all* circumstances. Once it ceases to function (upon delivery of the placenta) whether I choose to remove it or not, it will dry out and fall off on its own, rendering any decision moot" 


Anyway, I'm generally scared of posting anticirc stuff to facebook because I just hate starting drama. when I see people (especially people i KNOW, vs strangers) arguing in favor of ric, justifying doing it themselves, I have a physical reaction! I feel so sick, so horrible, it eats at me for the rest of the day. It is SO upsetting to me. I have to avoid conversations to protect myself. Its much easier, say, if a friend posts something and I comment on there :P At least that way anyone I'm arguing against is a stranger. Last night, a friend posted this link http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2011/11/27/the-circumcision-decision/ and I decided to let my fear or baby boy's being harmed be more than my fear of stirring up any drama. So I shared, with the comment "Very thorough! Sharing with a tone of nonjudgement for anyone's past decisions, because I know so many parents start out with the same thoughts as the author!" or something like that. I nearly instantly felt horror and dread.. if anyone posted anything to try and justify having their sons cut I knew I would spend the whole day sick over it. The comment stating that I wasn't judging anyone's *past*, I hoped, would prevent anyone feeling the need to post anything defensive. I went to bed a little bit stressed out and hoooped that there wouldn't be any upsetting comments. Aaand.. no comments! Which is kinda surprising, but unless it was "I agree" I don't think I would be able to handle it.. so I'm happy. I got some likes, and of the likers they were people I already knew (or strongly suspected) agreed.. except 1 who was a surprise! So that made me VERY happy. I feel SO much more respect for an individual when I learn they are anti-ric. And putting it out there lets everyone on my friends' list know where I stand, and if they are ready for any information.. they see it.. and maybe.. just maybe.. some seeds are planted. 


Such a small thing.. but since its really hard for me to step out of my comfort zone with any kind of intactivism, I'm glad it went well for me. And "well" for me means no friends/family members rubbed in my face why they think they made a good choice, or that they "really researched" and "feel they did the right thing" 

post #32 of 93

Hello all,

I have not been here in a long time, but I saw this thread while googling the recent AAP statement.  Since a lot of posters on here are having kids or know people who are having kids, I just wanted to clarify that the AAP still DOES NOT recommend routine infant circumcision.  While their statement does say that the potential benefits of circumcision may outweigh its acute risks (bleeding, infection), the decision rests fully with the parents to make a final choice based on their personal, religious, or cultural beliefs.  In effect, this statement is not very different from their old one with regard to this last point.  The primary difference is that the AAP makes a recommendation for the first time that insurance, most notably medicaid, should cover circumcision so that all parents can have access to the procedure if they feel that  circumcision is in the best interests of their child.  


In its talk on benefit vs. risk, the AAP seems to make a unfortunate suggestion that there might be some kind of public health benefit to circumcision.  However, this is where the statement becomes extremely self-contradictory.  For example, one of the so called benefits to an individual infant is the possible reduction in HIV.  This is based from data collected in sub-Saharan Africa, which the statement correctly says may not be extrapolated to the US.  The statement also correctly points out that in the US HIV is primarily acquired through gay sex and intravenous drug use.  The studies in Africa showed only an effect on female to male transmission, which is the rarest form of transmission in the developed world but allegedly the most common form of transmission in Africa.  Circumcision has no effect on male to male transmission.  So, even if the studies could be extrapolated to the US (which is very unlikely since the two populations are so different), the chances of a US infant actually benefiting from circumcision in this regard are essentially negligible (probability of 0.001%, if that).  Keep also in mind that the infant would only possibly benefit 20 + years from now, when he becomes sexually active, and when there might be actually a vaccine or a cure for AIDS.  The methodology of the African studies themselves is questionable and their value to the real world might be very small.  In addition, no study has shown that circumcision actually makes a dent to HIV rates on a large scale population level anywhere on earth.  The academy seems to acknowledge all of this, but for a puzzling reason adds on the equally small benefits of UTI reduction, penile cancer, etc and says that the combined value of these small benefits exceeds the equally small risks.  


Curiously, the academy states that there is NO PRECISE way to quantify the acute risks, let alone the long term ones.  Douglas Diekemma, the ethicist on the AAP task force, acknowledged for example that a man might be very unhappy to be circumcised as an infant and that this is always a potential risk of circumcision, but again there is no way to quantify such occurrences.  The AAP statement also says nothing of the foreskin.  You would think that a statement that talks about an amputation of an organ would first consider the functions of that organ, apparently not in this case.  In other words, the AAP states that it does not know what the risks of circumcision are and how many people are affected by those risks, but needless to say, the data from Africa still convinces them of the small benefits.  In short, the statement on the one hand admits the value of the benefit to an individual from circumcision is small but that small benefit somehow exceeds the non-quantafiable risks.  Indeed, this is all very contradictory and because of these contradictions the AAP leaves the decision to the parents to make the final call on whether the benefits actually do exceed the risks.  So, they don't really come to any final conclusion, except that if a circumcision is performed, it should be done under proper pain management and that it should be covered by insurance.


The language of this statement is very nuanced and unfortunately many press headlines don't do it justice.  But if you know parents who are sitting on the fence, please inform them that this statement is not a blanked recommendation of any kind and that the AAP technically remains middle of the road on the circumcision issue.  

Edited by tennisdude23 - 8/29/12 at 10:37pm
post #33 of 93
Originally Posted by tennisdude23 View Post
 I just wanted to clarify that the AAP still DOES NOT recommend routine infant circumcision.  While their statement does say that the potential benefits of circumcision may outweigh its acute risks (bleeding, infection), the decision rests fully with the parents to make a final choice based on their personal, religious, or cultural beliefs. 


Huh.  I pretty much agree with what you've said, except for the part where the AAP doesn't recommend RIC.  I think that if they're saying the benefits outweigh the risks, they are implicitly recommending the procedure.  If I were a pregnant mom "doing the research" and read this AAP statement, I would come away believing that a bunch of pediatricians thought I should circumcise my baby boy.  Of course, the statement says way more than that, but that is what my "take-home" message would be, right or wrong.


I am curious as to what new research has surfaced for them to radically change their stance on RIC?  Does anyone know?  Are these studies they're quoting NEW?  This sort of reminds me of when ACOG changed their position on VBAC...

post #34 of 93

Azzeps, in the statement itself, right after the benefits v. risks part, they specifically state that they do not recommend routine circumcision for all boys because the benefits are not great enough.  This is taken directly from the statement, which is what I wanted to clarify on this thread.  They call circumcision an elective procedure (meaning not necessary) and they suggest that there might be some (pretty small) benefits to circumcision which combined exceed the small risks but stop short of a routine recommendation.  That is all.  They fail to quantify either, which is the major flaw of this statement and don't reach any solid conclusion aside the medicaid and pain management things.  Is up to the parents to figure out whether circumcision is in the best interests of the child.  They actually say that for some parents it will be while for others it won't.  

post #35 of 93
post #36 of 93

"Circumcision makes sexual promiscuity healthier...So if you have a sexually-active infant, you should talk to your pediatrician about getting him circumcised."

[Thanks to http://freethoughtblogs.com/alethianworldview/2012/08/30/circumcision-makes-sexual-promiscuity-healthier/ ]

post #37 of 93

I've been haunting their fb page with comments.


It seems so clear that it's money-driven: "Well, there is no conclusive evidence from all this research made by folks trying to justify circ., but insurance companies should cover this elective surgery anyway." 

post #38 of 93
Originally Posted by Rowdie View Post

I've been haunting their fb page with comments.

It seems so clear that it's money-driven: "Well, there is no conclusive evidence from all this research made by folks trying to justify circ., but insurance companies should cover this elective surgery anyway." 

Good for you!
post #39 of 93

Oops, sorry, you're right, tennisdude23.  I went and read the statement on their page, and it does say they don't recommend it.  But I still don't get why they'd say, "there are benefits... but we don't recommend you do this to your newborn son..."  And I get that the benefits are teeny tiny, as are the risks.  It seems like semantics to me.


Here's what they say on the AAP page, just for reference:


After a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision. The AAP policy statement published Monday, August 27, says the final decision should still be left to parents to make in the context of their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs.

post #40 of 93

Hi All - I haven't been around here in ages!  I had to come see what the take on this whole BUSINESS was in these parts :)  So let's look at this logically. 


1.  The baby cutting rate has dropped precipitously over the last few years

2. Medicaid in 17 states have dropped coverage

3. Many private insurance companies have dropped coverage

4. Peds have lost A LOT of income

5. The AAP is a trade organization

6.  The AAP's objective is to protect their members (not children - their members (peds))

7.  In the statement they just about begged for reinstatement of third party coverage.

8. MGM surgery takes a doc 15 minutes and nets him about $400

9. A busy cutting doc can make a house payment off of foreskin removal if the practice continues unabated.

10. Insurance and medicaid reimbursement along with a positive spin will keep the numbers from getting any lower


All of this equals one simple thing.  The AAP is doing their job and protecting their members wallets and revenue stream by trying to make the foreskin pathologic and requesting payment to continue their cash cow of cutting baby genitals.  This statement is money in the bank for their members. 

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