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HELP! please help me tackle these arguments effectively

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me tackle these arguments effectively? I'm hoping some of you already have some relevant words and links that you could quickly share here, that I could copy and paste. I've been trying all morning to do some research and compose a letter addressing my Uncle's arguments...but my little boys keep interrupting me. My uncle is a nurse in his 60s and is pro-circ (I'll quote his email below) so I don't know if I will change his opinion, but I want to respond with something that is well researched and intelligent so he doesn't think that I just don't know what I'm talking about.

Here's what he said:
"I have seen many more complications from uncircumcised males than from the proceedure it self. In addition there is the very real concern that HIV is more easliy spread through the foreskin and that the rate of transmission is much higher for those who have not been had it removed. Perhaps better methods of conrollong pain could be used, But when it is done at a later age which happens fairly frequently I think it is much more problematic. I happen to be pro circumcision after seening thosands of both and seeing many hundreds of complications from un and very few perhaps three or four from the proceedure. Most Hispanic's and Native Americans are "natural" and many suffer from higher rates of infection from closure of the foreskin and other complications.
I would also dissagree with the comparison between female and male circumsions. From an antomical position the procedure for females is not comparable, the clitoris compairs to the glans penis and therefore it would have to be emasculation or removal of the entire glans penis not just the foreskin. Also what source do you site for the reduction in sensation I have great doubts that the foreskin is all that much more sensitive. The female proceedure is designed to eliminate pleasure it has no health benifits, when the proceedure is done at such an early age as with your boys there is no memory of the tramatic event so that maybe better that at a later age. I have doubts about the difference in sensation and would like to see any well designed to compair the two groups. however if you search the medical lit you will see there are many benifits to this proceedure. When I worked at Indian health service where most 98% do no have the proceedure I have seen thosands of complications. We had a yearly census of 60,000 + through the ED the last few years I was there. PLease consider these facts before making up your mind, the HIV virus has a particular affinity for the foreskin making transmission easer, the area retains moisture and bacteria which can create other problems."
post #2 of 58
[QUOTE=vaughnmama;8463325]Can anyone help me tackle these arguments effectively? I'm hoping some of you already have some relevant words and links that you could quickly share here, that I could copy and paste. I've been trying all morning to do some research and compose a letter addressing
Quote:
my Uncle's arguments...but my little boys keep interrupting me. My uncle is a nurse in his 60s and is pro-circ (I'll quote his email below) so I don't know if I will change his opinion, but I want to respond with something that is well researched and intelligent so he doesn't think that I just don't know what I'm talking about.

Here's what he said:
[I]"I have seen many more complications from uncircumcised males than from the proceedure it self.
Forced retraction is most likely the cause if this line is indeed true. talk to him about how doctors and parents need to learn more about proper care of the intact penis, that is, LEAVE IT ALONE!




Quote:
In addition there is the very real concern that HIV is more easliy spread through the foreskin and that the rate of transmission is much higher for those who have not been had it removed.
Two studies to show him:

http://www.cirp.org/news/healthday2007-03-05/

THe cells in the foreskin eat HIV.

http://www.biologynews.net/archives/...inst_aids.html
Circumcision overstated as HIV preventative.

Also: Should the choice of sensitivity and function of the foreskin vs possible STD prevention be the choice of the parents or the owner of the penis??!


Quote:
Perhaps better methods of conrollong pain could be used, But when it is done at a later age which happens fairly frequently I think it is much more problematic.
Grown men get good drugs, and they don't die from circumcision. Infants do. One just recently in fact: http://healthblog.ctv.ca/blog/_archi...2/2967860.html

Quote:
I happen to be pro circumcision after seening thosands of both and seeing many hundreds of complications from un and very few perhaps three or four from the proceedure. Most Hispanic's and Native Americans are "natural" and many suffer from higher rates of infection from closure of the foreskin and other complications.
THE FORESKIN IS SUPPOSE TO BE CLOSED! This man sounds like he needs education on the correct care of the intact penis!


Quote:
I would also dissagree with the comparison between female and male circumsions. From an antomical position the procedure for females is not comparable, the clitoris compairs to the glans penis and therefore it would have to be emasculation or removal of the entire glans penis not just the foreskin.
There are three types of female circumcision. One involving removing the clitoral hood (the female prepuce). It is directly analagous to the foreskin (the male prepuce)


Quote:
Also what source do you site for the reduction in sensation I have great doubts that the foreskin is all that much more sensitive. The female proceedure is designed to eliminate pleasure it has no health benifits, when the proceedure is done at such an early age as with your boys there is no memory of the tramatic event so that maybe better that at a later age. I have doubts about the difference in sensation and would like to see any well designed to compair the two groups. however if you search the medical lit you will see there are many benifits to this proceedure. When I worked at Indian health service where most 98% do no have the proceedure I have seen thosands of complications. We had a yearly census of 60,000 + through the ED the last few years I was there. PLease consider these facts before making up your mind, the HIV virus has a particular affinity for the foreskin making transmission easer, the area retains moisture and bacteria which can create other problems."
And all this is just a bunch of bull.

Go with the BJU study on sensitivity.

The rest is just really bull. He claims to have seen all these problems, like all the procircs say. Look at the adult circ rate in FInland...its like .07 or something even smaller than that. Or how about Canada? 1%.

No major medical organization in the world recommends circumcision because the risks do not outweigh the benefits. If he was right, you'd think someone would agree with him and change the policies. But he isn't.

Also:

10% of circumcision result in meatal stenosis:
http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2356.htm

Challenge him to show you one negative thing (since he claims there are so many) that happens in 10% of intact boys! And make him show you PROOF! not anecdotal crap.

IF he gives you more anecdotal, jsut say "I know 20 chain smokers who never got cancer. DOes that mean anything? Should we start taking up smoking because the research didn't apply to these people? Anecdotal evidence is worthless."
post #3 of 58
post #4 of 58
http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

Official statements by medical organizations on circumcision. So, if none of them agree that the benefits outweigh the risks, it seems your uncles claim has no legs. Unless he is claiming that all these organizations are not basing their stances on real research
post #5 of 58
Vaughnmama,

Please ask your Uncle at what age they were diagnosing "closed foreskin" ? I believe he is referring to Phimosis. If that is indeed the case Phimosis cannot be diagnosed until adulthood.

Also I would ask him why circumcision as an adult is "more problematic" ? Adults are given general anesthesia and are given proper pain management after the surgery. Is it simply more problematic because it is easier to perform this surgery on an unconsenting newborn? A newborn who will not have the luxury of an anesthesiologist, proper monitoring during a surgery, and proper post-operative care afterwards?

In regards to infections ask him if he advocates forced retraction of infants and small children to "clean" the foreskin? Explain to him that this leads to micro-tears that can introduce bacteria and cause infection.

Explain to him that in the countries where female circumcision is performed that they believe it has health benefits. Tell him that studies have been done proving that circumcised females are less likely to contract HIV as well. (I will find a link to the study for you in a bit)

Tell him the foreskin is MEANT to retain moisture. The Glans penis is a mucous membrane that is meant to be moist. It only becomes dry and keratinized after circumcision. That is not its normal state.

Tell him I seriously doubt his claims that he has seen hundreds of problems in intact males. I worked at one of the largest Level 1 pediatric Trauma centers in the U.S. We served a large and diverse population. Many of whom we were the only medical care for. I saw only one "problem" in an intact male child in the years that I worked there. It was easily treated with antibiotics and did not require circumcision.

HTH

Molly
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalenandEllasmomma View Post
Vaughnmama,

Please ask your Uncle at what age they were diagnosing "closed foreskin" ? I believe he is referring to Phimosis. If that is indeed the case Phimosis cannot be diagnosed until adulthood.

Also I would ask him why circumcision as an adult is "more problematic" ? Adults are given general anesthesia and are given proper pain management after the surgery. Is is simply more problematic because it is easier to perform this surgery on an unconsenting newborn? A newborn who will not have the luxury of an anesthesiologist, proper monitoring during a surgery, and proper post-operative care afterwards?

In regards to infections ask him if he advocates forced retraction of infants and small children to "clean" the foreskin? Explain to him that this leads to micro-tears that can introduce bacteria and cause infection.

Explain to him that in the countries where female circumcision is performed that they believe it has health benefits. Tell him that studies have been done proving that circumcised females are less likely to contract HIV as well. (I will find a link to the study for you in a bit)

Tell him the foreskin is MEANT to retain moisture. The Glans penis is a mucuos membrane that is meant to be moist. It only becomes dry and keratinized after circumcision. That is not its normal state.

Tell him I seriously doubt his claims that he has seen hundreds of problems in intact males. I worked at one of the largest Level 1 pediatric Trauma centers in the U.S. We served a large and diverse population. Many of whom we were the only medical care for. I saw only one "problem" in an intact male child in the years that I worked there. It was easily treated with antibiotics and did not require circumcision.

HTH

Molly
I don't know you but I feel like you. Your reason and logic are so refreshing for someone coming from American medicine.
post #7 of 58
I print these 2 articles and find that they are the best for pursuading people to the nocirc camp:

http://www.luckystiff.org/circumcisi...umcision-6.pdf (By, Dr. Paul Fleiss)


http://www.luckystiff.org/circumcisi...r_Sex_Life.pdf (graphics)

Great Intactivism! Good Luck.
post #8 of 58
I suggest that you reverse the onus. Put him on the defensive instead; require him to first provide you with an authoritative reference justifying the permanent amputation of this normal, healthy, functional tissue.

Because no non-replaceable human body part is inherently disposable. That's the standard in ethics, practice, and law, and the male foreskin is by-definition included in that standard.

Therefore, it is not your responsibility to justify the normal, commonplace extension of that default standard protection to the male genitals.

It is instead his responsibility to first explain exactly how and why people should be allowed to treat the foreskins of male children as uniquely and singularly deprived of that protection, and disposable.

Take a firm stance requiring him to do that before anything else is discussed. First thing, and regardless of any claims to merely potential prophylaxis of any condition or illness. Insist upon that order of events.

Tell him that it simply does not matter whatever else he says, because if he can't or won't do that one thing first, then he does not have what is fundamentally and unavoidably needed to support a position in favor of permitting routine and ritual male prepucectomy without a direct medical health necessity, at all.

Politely but firmly insist that it must be his responsibility to first explain exactly how and why anyone should be allowed to treat the foreskins of male children as being uniquely and singularly disposable, in comparison to the default standard whereby they are assumed to possess the same basic, intrinsic value as any other normal, healthy, functional human body part.

Keep repeating it, as long and as often as necessary. Make it explicitly clear that it is an absolute requirement for him to provide this before you can take anything else he has to say on the matter seriously. Do not allow him to distract you from this fundamental point.

I suggest you do not even admit to the existence of any other claims or assertions on his part. I suggest you ignore them completely in your exchanges with him and only keep insisting that he must first present you with an authoritative reference providing valid and supportable grounds for the unique and singular exclusion of the foreskins of male children from the default standard of protection of all normal, healthy, functional body parts.

It is not your responsibility to justify your position to him, but rather his responsibility to justify his position to you first.

Do the bull dance. Feel the flow. Work it. Work it.

And if you need help or encouragement, just come on back and say so. If he gives you any baffling blabber that you aren't sure how to handle, just bring it right on back to us and we'll happily untangle it for you.
post #9 of 58
My guess is your uncle has a very high tolerance for what he considers "complications" from circ. and a low threshhold for what constitutes a "problem" from being uncirc. The slightest inflammation around the foreskin/penis once in a lifetime = BIG PROBLEM.

Yet I went to the urologist recently on an unrelated kidney matter, and I find out I STILL have meatal stenosis....caused by circ and supposedly "fixed" thirty-some years ago. This made the insertion of a probe a real treat. I didn't want to look at exactly what he was doing, but it was by far the most painful part of the whole treatment and I was sore for a good week afterwards. Makes me wonder what would happen if I ever needed a catheter. Did any red flags go up that this was still a circ complication? No, because the damage from the circ's been done already and they readily accept it. The best thing this dr. could say as "at least it looks like you can still urinate ok." At least he didn't attempt to sugarcoat it or deny circ was the cause. He said it was something that was not uncommon at all, even after the "fix." :

The HIV thing.....every pro-circ out there is grabbing onto that, so desperate to find something to support their cause.
post #10 of 58
See how he answers these points:

Physicians have legal and ethical duties to their child-patient to render competent necessary care based on what the patient needs, not what someone else, including a parent, expresses.

The child has a legal right to bodily integrity. Upon reaching adulthood, the child may have a right to sue to recover damages for injuries or unnecessary surgery sustained in childhood.

The parent must ethically and legally make decisions for the child based solely on the best interests of the child.

Circumcision amputates approximately 50 percent of the heavily innervated skin and mucosa of the penis, tissue that is a specific erogenous zone. Excision of the foreskin renders the remaining skin taut and immovable, eliminates its protective, sensory, and sexual functions, and destroys the gliding action of the foreskin, changing the natural mechanics of
normal human reproduction.

Circumcision puts the patient at risk of surgical mishap, adhesions, meatitis, meatal ulceration, infections, bleeding, and even death.

Circumcision is an extremely painful procedure with long-lasting post-operative pain.

Circumcision creates an abnormal physical appearance with a disfiguring scar encircling the shaft of the penis and the glans penis permanently exposed to drying, abrasion, and mechanical injury.

Basically he is rationalizing, using cute debate tricks and otherwise justifying his irrational belief that circing is best, with no hard data to back it up. Sound authoritative and you can sway many people.
post #11 of 58
Thread Starter 

Here's what I have so far...It took me all day!

Here’s what I’ve got, I'm sending it to him now. And then I'm done with him and the topic! Remember, the reader is my uncle: a 60 year old pro circ nurse. I’m hoping he’ll actually read everything...


Have you actually done any recent research on the topic, or are you just basing your opinion on anecdotal “evidence”? Because I can tell you that I have been researching this for over a year and I have research on my side.

Here are two very compelling articles to start with that I would like you to read:

Separated at Birth from Men's Health magazine:
http://www.infocirc.org/MensHlth.htm

And The Case Against Circumcision - By, Dr. Paul Fleiss
http://www.cirp.org/news/Mothering1997/

Plus a summary of Recent Medical Studies on Circumcision
http://www.circumcision.org/studies.htm

Now to discuss the points that you made in your emails...

In regard to sensitivity and effects on sex: Circumcision amputates approximately 50% of the heavily innervated skin and mucosa of the penis, tissue that is a specific erogenous zone. Excision of the foreskin renders the remaining skin taut and immovable, eliminates its protective, sensory, and sexual functions, and destroys the gliding action of the foreskin, changing the natural mechanics of normal human reproduction. Here is a link to NORM regarding what is lost http://www.norm.org/lost.html. Circumcision creates an abnormal physical appearance with a disfiguring scar encircling the shaft of the penis and the glans penis permanently exposed to drying, abrasion, and mechanical injury.

In regards to infections & complications in intact males, do you advocate forced retraction of infants and small children to "clean" the foreskin? Forced retraction is most likely the cause of complications in intact boys. This leads to micro-tears that can introduce bacteria and cause infection. Doctors, nurses, and parents need to learn more about proper care of the intact penis, that is, LEAVE IT ALONE! The AAP says, “The foreskin usually does not fully retract for several years and should never be forced. The uncircumcised penis is easy to keep clean by gently washing the genital area while bathing. You do not need to do any special cleansing, such as with cotton swabs or antiseptics. Later, when the foreskin fully retracts, boys should be taught how to wash underneath the foreskin every day.” For more on that topic read, “Normal development of the prepuce, birth through age 18” http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/

Now in regard to HIV, there are several statements & studies that you need to read, especially as a health care professional, here are just a few:

Langerin is a protein produced by Langerhans cells in the mucosal lining of foreskin, and it actually fights HIV: http://www.cirp.org/news/healthday2007-03-05/

Research on Langerin: a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en..._uids=17334373

Doctors Opposing Circumcision HIV statement:
http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...Statement.html

Circumcision overstated as HIV preventative: http://www.biologynews.net/archives/...inst_aids.html

African News, Circumcision is No Silver Bullet
http://www.africa-interactive.net/index.php?PageID=4620


In those much publicized studies in Africa, the researchers’ motives were suspect, and the research was terribly flawed. One thing that especially bothers me is that the circumcised group got specific instructions to abstain from sex and use condoms that the intact control group did not. The widespread promotion of the African studies’ findings gives a message of false protection because men might think that being circumcised means that they can have sex without condoms without any risk, which is untrue. And remember that if circumcision prevented AIDS then the USA wouldn’t have such a high rate of infection. You’ll read about this in the links above, but I also want to reiterate the enormous problem of prostitution in Africa that contributes to their AIDS crisis, as well as, a widely held belief that if an HIV infected man rapes a virgin he will be cured (the younger the better...sick!)

Also in regard to the promotion of circumcision as a preventative measure against HIV, it is reminiscent of the incorrect statements that the AAP used in the past to promote circumcision as a preventative measure against penile and cervical cancer. In 1996 the American Cancer Society wrote a letter to the AAP; saying in part “Portraying routine circumcision as an effective means of prevention distracts the public from the task of avoiding the behaviors proven to contribute to penile and cervical cancer: especially cigarette smoking and unprotected sexual relations with multiple partners. Perpetuating the mistaken belief that circumcision prevents cancer is inappropriate.” http://www.cirp.org/library/statemen...s/1996-02_ACS/

A newly published study by Sorrells, “Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis” (British Journal of Urology Int’l, 2007 http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...rells_2007.pdf ), shows that circumcision significantly decreases penile sensitivity, not only raising serious human rights concerns but also a genuine concern that circumcised men, with one-fourth the penile sensitivity as intact men, might not wear condoms, which further desensitize the penis. The foreskin is MEANT to retain moisture. The Glans penis is a mucous membrane that is meant to be moist. It only becomes dry and keratinized after circumcision. That is not its normal state.

It is also important to remember that the consideration of circumcision with regard to STD and AIDS prevention does not apply to children. Babies and children are not sexually active. Kept intact from birth, they can weigh the issue for themselves when they are old enough to consent. Should the choice of sensitivity & function of the foreskin VS possible STD prevention be the choice of the parents, or the owner of the penis??! I argue that the choice should be left to the owner of the penis to make when they are an adult. In fact, physicians have legal and ethical duties to their child-patient to render competent necessary care based on what the patient needs, not what someone else, including a parent, expresses. The child has a legal right to bodily integrity. Upon reaching adulthood, the child may have a right to sue to recover damages for injuries or unnecessary surgery sustained in childhood. The parent must ethically and legally make decisions for the child based solely on the best interests of the child.

Why is circumcision as an adult "more problematic"? Adults are given general anesthesia, they are given proper pain management after the surgery, and they don't die from circumcision. Infants do! Here are just 3 examples of babies dying from it:
http://www.cirp.org/news/theguardian2007-02-17/
http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/chose_to_circ.html
http://healthblog.ctv.ca/blog/_archi...2/2967860.html
It is suspected that the numbers of deaths due to circumcisions are under reported. “...most doctors who have a baby die after a circumcision would prefer to attribute the results of his unethical operation to secondary causes, such as infection or bleeding, while ignoring the primary cause, which is the circumcision that resulted in the infection or bleeding. It is, therefore, very hard to identify the total number of deaths that occur from circumcision.” http://www.cirp.org/library/death/

Is adult circumcision simply more problematic because it is easier to perform this surgery on an unconsenting newborn? A newborn who will not have the luxury of an anesthesiologist, proper monitoring during a surgery, and proper post-operative care afterwards? (More about adult circumcision vs infant circumcision http://www.nocircoftx.org/info/vs.html )

The adult circumcision rate in other countries where the foreskin is not blamed for every penis ailment is statistically tiny. Look at the adult circ rate in Finland...its .07% or less, and look at Canada...1%. Cutting off a healthy foreskin for perceived problems or for possible rare future problems is an American phenomenon...Europeans for example have an extremely small rate of circumcision in comparison. Therefore they have a lot more knowledge about the care of an intact penis. THE FORESKIN IS SUPPOSED TO BE CLOSED! Lots of kids are fully retractable by age 4 to 5, but some do not fully retract until puberty. At what age were they diagnosing "closed foreskin" where you worked? Are you referring to Phimosis? If that is indeed the case, Phimosis cannot be diagnosed until adulthood. In fact a vast majority of these supposed "intact problems" you saw, even if they are real problems and not just mis-diagnosed phimosis, can be treated without surgery. Amputation should be considered the treatment of last resort, not the first and only option.

I have been speaking with a nurse who worked at one of the largest Level 1 pediatric Trauma centers in the U.S. They served a large and diverse population. For many of whom they were the only medical care provider. She saw only one "problem" in an intact male child in the years that she worked there. It was easily treated with antibiotics and did not require circumcision.

Now in regard to FGM vs MGM:
In the countries where female circumcision is performed they believe it has health benefits. Studies have been done “proving” that circumcised females are less likely to contract HIV as well. There are three types of female circumcision, one involving removing the clitoral hood (the female prepuce). It is directly analogous to the foreskin (the male prepuce.) Both are extremely erogenous tissues with unique zones of specialized nerves, making them extremely valuable for optimal sexual feeling. I have numerous sources dealing with female & male genitals/circumcisions, here are a few:

Common Denominators between Male & Female "Circumcision" http://www.noharmm.org/comparison.htm

Embryology, Development of the male and female genitals:
http://www.circumstitions.com/Develop.html

Ontario Human Rights Commission acknowledges harm of male circumcision:
http://www.infocirc.org/pressrel.htm

Male and Female Genital Alteration: A Collision Course with the Law?
http://www.cirp.org/library/legal/davis1/

You say the female procedure is designed to eliminate pleasure, that’s exactly why male circumcision was started in this country. It was during the Victorian era when masturbation was viewed as evil and injurious, and needed to be eradicated.

1860 in the Lancet, by Athol A.W.Johnson “In cases of masturbation we must, I believe, break the habit by inducing such a condition of the parts as will cause too much local suffering to allow of the practice being continued. For this purpose, if the prepuce is long, we may circumcise the male patient with present and probably with future advantage; the operation, too, should not be performed under chloroform, so that the pain experienced may be associated with the habit we wish to eradicate.”

1887 in Treatment of Disease in Children, by P. Blakiston “There can be no doubt of masturbation’s injurious effect, and of the proneness to practice it on the part of children with defective brains. Circumcision should always be practiced. It may be necessary to make the genitals so sore by blistering fluids that the pain results from attempts to rub the parts.”

1888 Plain Facts for Old and Young, by John Harvey Kellogg “A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision...The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment...”

1895 in Medical Record, Masturbation in the Adult, by E.J. Spratling “In all cases of masturbation circumcision is undoubtedly the physicians’ closest friend and ally...To obtain the best results one must cut away enough skin and mucous membrane to rather put it on the stretch when erections come later. There must be no play in the skin after the wound has thoroughly healed, but it must fit tightly over the penis, for should there be any play the patient will be found to readily resume his practice, not begrudging the time and extra energy required to produce orgasm. It is true, however, that the longer it takes to have an orgasm, the less frequently it will be attempted, consequently the greater the benefit gained...The younger the patient operated upon the more pronounced the benefit, though occasionally we find patients who were circumcised before puberty that require a resection of the skin, as it has grown loose and pliant after that epoch.”

Once the fears over masturbation fizzled and the authorities realized that circumcision did not end masturbation anyway, they had to invent all sorts of medical problems that circumcision could supposedly cure and reasons to continue promoting the practice. Why would they still want to promote it so heavily today? It is big business! From the initial fee for the circ, to the bills racked up in pediatricians offices for complications, to the money that urologists make redoing botched circumcisions, or circs that get redone for a tidy profit when parents don’t think it looks enough like Daddy’s tight circ...and let’s not forget the huge commercial market for foreskins, see “Harvesting Foreskins for Commercial use”: http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/47421/ and “Where Do All the Foreskins Go”? http://www.norm-uk.org/where_do_foreskins_go.html

Today no major medical organization in the world recommends circumcision because the benefits do not outweigh the risks. Although circumcision is routinely practiced by some groups for religious and cultural reasons, the routine practice of circumcision is not medically recommended. In its latest policy statement in 1999, the Task Force on Circumcision, established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, concluded that the scientific evidence at that time was not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. This position was also supported by the Canadian Pediatric Society. In many areas of the US and Canada circumcision is not an insured service; parents have to pay for it. Here is a rundown of Medical Organizations Official Policy Statements throughout the world:
http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

Circumcision puts the patient at risk of surgical mishap, adhesions, meatitis, meatal ulceration, infections, bleeding, and even death. This directory contains articles about the complications, risks, adverse effects, and disadvantages of circumcision and their treatments: http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/
Here is a link to a list of some circumcision complications with pictures
http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/complications.html

Let me take one problem, for example; 10% of circumcisions result in meatal stenosis:
http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2356.htm I challenge you to show me one negative thing that happens in 10% of intact boys! And I want PROOF. Not anecdotal stuff.

Just because most boys cannot bring up an actual memory about the moment of circumcision, it does not mean that it does not affect them deeply. The physical, sexual and psychological harm caused by circumcision begins from the moment a baby is strapped into the Circumstraint. Usually performed without anesthetic, (foreskins are only commercially valuable when drug free) the operation is excruciating for the baby. Research published in medical journals like The Lancet shows that circumcision causes overwhelming pain, long-lasting post-operative pain, traumatic shock and behavioral changes. It also alters babies’ sleep patterns, feeding habits and activity levels, and disturbs the mother-infant bond. ( For a short summary of problems with circumcision see: http://www.circumcision.org/information.htm ) It has been shown also that circumcised boys have a much lower tolerance for pain than intact boys. For example; see this article “Baby’s Pain Sensitizes it to Future Trauma” http://www.infocirc.org/babypain.htm . I can personally attest to all of that. Plus, it is positively sickening that their first genital experience is one of such pain in a situation where they can neither fight nor flee.

I truly regret circumcising my boys for many reasons, not the least of which is Colby’s buried penis; he was normal before his circumcision. In a forum that I belong to there is a thread for parents who regret circumcising their sons, as of today there are 43,390 posts to that one thread alone.

And finally, my hope is that you can be persuaded to advise parents to leave babies intact like these nurses have... Nurses for the Rights of the Child http://www.nurses.cirp.org/ or at least not advise them to circumcise for problems that can be solved in other ways.

If you want to discuss this further, you first must provide me with an authoritative reference justifying the permanent amputation of this normal, healthy, functional tissue.
Because no non-replaceable human body part is inherently disposable. That's the standard in ethics, practice, and law, and the male foreskin is by-definition included in that standard. Can you explain exactly how and why people should be allowed to treat the foreskins of male children as uniquely and singularly deprived of that protection, and disposable?

It simply does not matter whatever else you say about merely potential conditions or illnesses, because if you can't do that one thing first, then you do not have what is fundamentally and unavoidably needed to support a position in favor of permitting routine and ritual male circumcision without a direct medical health necessity, at all.

First present me with an authoritative reference providing valid and supportable grounds for the unique and singular exclusion of the foreskins of male children from the default standard of protection of all normal, healthy, functional body parts. It is an absolute requirement for you to provide this before I can take anything else you have to say on the matter seriously.

Respectfully,

Jenny





Thank you to everyone who helped me write this, I couldn't have done this without you. Thank you for letting me borrow your words. You are welcome to take this letter and edit as necessary in your own intactivism.
post #12 of 58

Great letter!

This chart comparing FGM to MGM is sort of eye-opening too.

http://www.circumstitions.com/FGMvsMGM.html
post #13 of 58
Great letter!

But I wouldn't point to the Mothering board for your source on why you shouldn't retract. The AAP has a good enough statement on that and I'm sure he'll find Mothering to be a "non-credible source":

Quote:
From the AAP:
The foreskin usually does not fully retract for several years and should never be forced.
http://www.aap.org/pubed/ZZZ13FOPIUC.htm?&sub_cat=1

Also this is a great link to include to refute the HIV garbage: http://www.africa-interactive.net/index.php?PageID=4620
post #14 of 58
Vaughnmama, that's a wonderful letter!

Another thing you might include is the fact that the vast majority of these supposed "intact problems" your uncle sees, even if they are real problems and not just mis-diagnosed phimosis, can be treated without surgery. Amputation should be considered the treatment of last resort, not the first and only option.
post #15 of 58

Maybe a dumb question

Why are you discussing it with your uncle to begin with? Is he in a position to recommend circs and be heard on the matter frequently? Is he in OB / pediatrics?

I guess I don't see how it's worth the time. And maybe your energy talking about circ is better spent with parents.

Just curious, really.
post #16 of 58
Thread Starter 
That is a very good question. He is an emergency room nurse. The only reason I am wasting my time with him is because he "threw down the gontlet" so to speak and I'm not going to let him get away with trying to make me feel like I don't know anything. He is such a "know it all" plus in his career he has participated in promoting these pro-circ ideas to people who come in with "problems" and maybe if I can get him to think a little bit, it might save a foreskin or two. But this is the last time I discuss it with him if he can't show me valid proof. Which we know he can't.
post #17 of 58
: I'm so SICK of the entire HIV argument! I mean REALLY... shouldn't we practice PREVENTION and not how to most keep the disease away as it seems everyone is assuming that our boys WILL come into contact w/ an HIV postive person... and that's just not true! For god's sake= maybe we should just chop off the entire penis... that'll keep 'em "clean".
post #18 of 58
Thread Starter 

His response, not too surprising, but pretty disgusting!

So this was his response to my very well documented letter:

"You call seeing hundreds of cases anecdotal ? While in ideal situations it might be all right but many many women esp those who are to stupid or ignorant or uneducated will clean it well enough . While I will look at some of the articles I will examine them with a bit more experience than you have. Just think about organic foods for instance while they are good they are not the end all, or ancient man would have lived beyond 30 years of age, there are many factors that go into evaluation of social change. If you have ever seen herpes under the foreskin, or smigma built up where the cheezy substance clouds the room and gags u ? If you have a well educated, well to do population then maybe u are right, but certainly u can not compair female to male as if they are the same. I wll not sign this it is poorly written and is not consistant with my experence. I have seen serval postions reversed over time and this maybe one. I ' ll call u on this."

I think he might mean he's not signing the petition from the ACLU...? But who knows. His arguments are so awful, I want to puke. I haven't responded yet, but I'm not going to get into it with him, certainly not over the phone...no thank you! He can't show me the proof I asked for to support his point of view, just his own subjective experience...

- and these are the people providing health care...nice :
post #19 of 58
It doesn't sound like he even really read your letter. I don't understand what he's talking about - "social change"? Circ has only been a custom in the US for less than 100 years. Is the social change he's referring to intactness? Herpes under the foreskin? Smegma build up? Has he seen mentally ill or homeless women come in who stink or have herpes on their labia? Has he recommended that they cut their genitals?? His reply to you sounds sputtering and angry (and doesn't really address what you wrote) while your letter was beautiful. He's also resorting to the "I know better than you" belittling tactic by saying "I will examine them with a bit more experience than you have". If he can't provide you with uncontested evidence for circ then he needs to step off and educate himself.
post #20 of 58
He's just going to ignore all evidence and claim superiority. I'd point this out to him, point out the circumcision numbers are falling hard, and tell him how happy you are that society is in the process of turning away from him on this issue.
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