going to urologist with intact son - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-08-2005, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our pediatrician is very pro-intact (is that even a term??) Her own sons are not circ'ed. ANyway my 16 month old has what appears to be a very large schmegma ball on the side of his penis. It has been there for awhile and I have been watching it. But now it appears to be spreadign around where the bottom of the head of the penis is. Our doc suggested we have a urologist look at it just to make sure there is nothing wrong. We have seen this urologist before with our older son who is circ'ed (he did the procedure). I am trying to get a handle on how to approach this situation with him. Should I start off the appointment by stating that we do not want the foreskin retracted - if he feels he needs to then please explain why and any other options before doing so, etc etc. Would that be too combative? I'm sure that there is nothing wrong with this spot and I would hate for the doc to just tear it back (like i have heard so many terrible stories of). How would yo approach this????
Thanks
Kelly
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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Smegma pearls are completely normal. You should not see a doctor about it. Smegma pearls can take years to exit the body during infancy. Don't worry about it.

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Old 12-08-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Emily is right--smegma pearls are completely normal. They're a sign that the separation process has begun. Not all boys get them, however. You don't need to see a urologist unless your ds is in pain or is having trouble urinating.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:36 PM
 
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I agree, if there's no sign of infection or problems peeing, then there's no problem.

If you do take him to the urologist, have the conversation about absolutely no retraction under any circumstances BEFORE you take off your baby's diaper. Then be prepared to watch like a hawk. If the doctor says he can't diagnose the lump without retraction, then get up and walk out because that doctor will do more harm than good.

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Old 12-08-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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have you tried a sitz bath? maybe soaking it will help loosen it up. but really, smegma is good stuff. without smegma, there would be no mammals. I know you know that, just saying that I wouldn't worry about it either. If there's no pain, no infection, and it doesn't bother your son, I'd be more afraid of the urologist than the smegma.

Ooooo things you never thought you'd hear yourself say "I'd be more afraid of the urologist than the smegma."
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Old 12-11-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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I say...take your little guy in to the urologist just to make sure that there is nothing more serious going on.

I have 4 children...and 1 on the way. None of my boys are circumcised as both my dh and I were opposed from the very beginning. My dh is also an 'evil' physician, btw. :

I'm really just shocked at the amount of medical advice being thrown around on this forum.

I have found that being honest and non-aggressive with our physicians in regards to circumcision has been extremely beneficial. Our 11 year old had such tight foreskin that he was having difficulty going to the bathroom. Our pediatrician understood that we wanted to do anything to avoid a possible circumcision and so she called some urology specialists and they recommended a steroid cream. He used it for a couple of months and now can fully retract the foreskin and go the bathroom without any problems.

It's one thing to be opposed to circumcision...it's quite another to tell people to not see a specialist that they have been referred to....that...actually, is dangerous.

How is everyone here diagnosing over the internet?

mommyschiff,

go in to the urologist and explain your concerns about wanting to avoid circumcision. It is quite possible that there is a non-invasive way to fix what is going on if treatment is necessary at all...but it's always better to go in and have it looked at if you have your concerns.
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Old 12-11-2005, 07:50 PM
 
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I agree with the PP about taking him in. It could be a smegma pearl, it could be something else. It could be absolutely no cause for concern but it's best to know for sure and no one here can diagnosis your son.

I would caution you to go in with the knowledge that doctors tend to want to intervene - to do something because it's just what they do - and that, sadly, pediatric urologists can be very uneducated about the foreskin and about current treatments (as I learned when visiting the head of the department at our local Children's Hospital . Be prepared for him to try to retract your son. May not happen, but it's best to be prepared so you can stop it before damage is done. I would absolutely tell him right up front that your son does not retract yet and it is not okay to retract his foreskin under any circumstances - even if he "needs" to. There's too much potential for damage. Also be prepared for him to recommend - maybe even insist on - circumcision. Again, may not happen, but just be prepared.

Good luck. I'm sure everything will be fine.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by busymomof5
I say...take your little guy in to the urologist just to make sure that there is nothing more serious going on.

I have 4 children...and 1 on the way. None of my boys are circumcised as both my dh and I were opposed from the very beginning. My dh is also an 'evil' physician, btw. :

I'm really just shocked at the amount of medical advice being thrown around on this forum.

I have found that being honest and non-aggressive with our physicians in regards to circumcision has been extremely beneficial. Our 11 year old had such tight foreskin that he was having difficulty going to the bathroom. Our pediatrician understood that we wanted to do anything to avoid a possible circumcision and so she called some urology specialists and they recommended a steroid cream. He used it for a couple of months and now can fully retract the foreskin and go the bathroom without any problems.

It's one thing to be opposed to circumcision...it's quite another to tell people to not see a specialist that they have been referred to....that...actually, is dangerous.

How is everyone here diagnosing over the internet?

mommyschiff,

go in to the urologist and explain your concerns about wanting to avoid circumcision. It is quite possible that there is a non-invasive way to fix what is going on if treatment is necessary at all...but it's always better to go in and have it looked at if you have your concerns.
I don't think you understand the original poster's concern. Many, many physicians and other medical professionals in this country are entirely unaware that the normal infant foreskin is tightly adhered to the glans and should NEVER be retracted because of the damage it can do. It is not simply a matter of opposing circumcision - it is a matter of protecting your son from ignorant medical professionals who simply do not know any better.

Perhaps you should read further on this forum - you will read story after story of physicians and nurses, from the ER to office visits, who have given extremely bad advice to parents of intact sons, such as advising parents to retract the foreskin prematurely, or advising that a circ is necessary because of phimosis (at age 1 or 2 ). Many more stories are here of parents who have watched in horror as doctors or nurses forcibly retracted their non-retractable sons, during routine well-baby visits, during hospitalizations, during catheterizations....these are not minor medical "oops" mistakes. Forcible retraction not only physically hurts like hell but also can cause infections and scarring.

No one here believes all doctors (or nurses) are evil. Far from it. We do see so many cases of ignorant medical professionals inflicting physical damage on babies, though, that our advice tends to be "forewarned is forearmed." Medical professionals in this country simply do not learn about the foreskin, its functions, and its general low-maintenance status in medical schools or residencies - sadly, the most many of them will learn is how to cut it off.

Ask your dh what he learned about the foreskin in medical school. Ask to see his anatomy textbooks - do they even show a foreskin on an intact male? Ask to see what the anatomy textbook says about the foreskin. It would be interesting to hear.

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Old 12-11-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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If I had to guess, I would guess that a link to this forum has been posted on a site for the wives of physicians with all of the new posters who are posting here that are wives of physicians.

We may be just a bunch of dumb laypeople here but we've literally had a hundred or more mothers come here after they've gotten a prescription for a circumcision and as far as I know, in the 4+ years I have been posting here, none of those boys have been circumcised and are healthy, happy and whole today.

We've had hundreds of moms who have come here after seeing a doctor who could not accurately diagnose a simple case of infection or lack thereof.

We've had hunndreds of moms come here with false diagnoses of phimosis. To date, there has not been a bona fide case of phimosis and all of the boys are happy and healthy. The only cases of legitimate phimosis I have seen is neck tie phimosis that is cutting off circulation to the doctor's brain. These people need a circumcision just below the chin. That would be the best cure.

We've also had hundreds of mothers come here after their son has had his foreskin forcibly retracted in direct contradiction to the official policy statements of both The AMA and AAP. This left these boys screaming and bleeding after the "loving care" these genital terrorists subjected them to.

Yes indeed! We do have a very negative view of the medical profession at large. We would not tolerate this kind of ignorance from a plumber, electrician or auto mechanic and we are among the few who will also not tolerate it among the medical non-educated either. If that's "evil," then so be it! For the rates they charge, we are justified in expecting a professional and expert level of knowledge and that level is disturbingly lacking in the vast majority from my point of observation. With the level of knowledge I've seen, they are no more that theives in smocks.

Sorry if I offend but as long as I continue seeing the level of incompetence I observe here, I will maintain that position. It's up to the medical profession to provide better information than a bunch of lay people if they don't want the criticizm. I'm certainly not going to dumb myself down for their benefit or to lessen their embarassment at their obscene incompetence.



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Old 12-11-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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I would be very concerned about the medical advice being dished out in this forum if I were the moderator/administrator of the baord. Both my dh and I are quite knowledgeable about foreskin anatomy (he is also intact...not that it is your business)and and the attitudes in the medical community have been changing for some time. With my pg/birth of our 4th child, our ob pretty much advised against circumcision before she even knew that we were against it.

Surprisingly, most of the pressure to circumcise comes form parents, not dawkters...BUT one of the reasons that docs continue to look to 'fix' problems is that if they do nothign, they could be sued if something goes wrong.

and....consider this...I've read through post after post in this forum where people are advised...ADVISED...to used homeopathic remedies first, wait it out, not go to the doctor, postpone surgeries, etc....people who have neither examined a child nor have any type of training in the ability to identify the difference between an infection (for example) and simple ballooning....

Is this forum community prepared to deal with a lawsuit stemming from a woman whose child becomes severely ill...even damaged because she felt pressured into not seeking out medical treatment?

I'm not pro-cir...I think there are very, very few reasons where it is ever necessary...But I certainly understand the original poster's concern. Her pedi is pro-INTACT, but is concerned about the look of the 'schmegma balls' on her son's PENIS.....The pro-INTACT pedi has suggested a urology appt. to rule out anything more significant and you have people here suggesting she not go to an appointment with a specialist for her son....despite him being referred. I hope that this woman goes to the appointment as scheduled but is clear with him from the beginning about her feelings about retracting or circumcision in general. Most physicians would welcome her opinion providing she is not aggressive. If they don't, you, as the patient are free to find another doc.

But...if she gets bad medical advice here (which she has, btw) and chooses to follow it...and her son's problem is not benign...I hope y'all are prepared for the poop that would hit the little fan.

You complain about poor medical advice provided by healthcare professionals...you are right...there are some real losers out there, and it is your job as a parent to find the right care provider..BUT...the people here are giving some really...really bad medical advice...and that is dangerous.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
If I had to guess, I would guess that a link to this forum has been posted on a site for the wives of physicians with all of the new posters who are posting here that are wives of physicians.
I followed a link here from another physician spouse who likes these forums...and I have been reading through all of the different threads in the various discussion areas....I wandered into the circumcision forums because of my own strong feelings about circumcision...but I almost fell over when I read the bad...medical advise.

Advise women to educate themselves and their husbands. Advise them to go to their doctors prepared....but don't advise them not to go when their child has a problem. ...unless of course, you are prepared to deal with the consequences if something goes wrong.

I have plenty of issues with 'dawkters'...trust me...but I have issues with non-doctors doling out medical advice over the internet without 1. any clue and 2. without even seeing the child... Doctors are not perfect..trust me...I'm married to one....but your best weapon is not to go in and be aggressive or to avoid going in at all..it is to educate yourself and be prepared to be your child's advocate...and if you can't agree with the doc, it is your job to find a new phsyician....
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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BUT one of the reasons that docs continue to look to 'fix' problems is that if they do nothign, they could be sued if something goes wrong.
Honestly, I think more often than not it's simple ignorance as opposed to fear of being sued, especially when it comes to foreskin. Why do I think this? Because they prescribe the most drastic, unalterable "remedy" to the problem (where the problem itself is often a non-issue - phimosis is an excellent example because developmental phimosis is so commonly mistaken for pathological phimosis by people who are supposed to know better). When I took my son to the aforementioned Chair of the Pediatric Urology department, he immediately tried to retract my son (we were there to have his undescended testicle and hydrocele examined - absolutely nothing to do with his foreskin). He then basically accused me of being negligent because I hadn't had him circumcised at birth and said he clearly was suffering from phimosis and would have to be circumcised (and no worries because he could just snip it off for me while he was repairing my son's testicle). This is a man who is teaching other future pediatric urologists and setting policy for the entire department at one of the foremost children's hospitals in the nation. Fortunately, I knew that he was out of line diagnosing phimosis on such a young child (my son had just turned 3 at the time) and, even if my son DID have phimosis, he was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond the pale advocating circumcision as a first resort when all of the current medical literature clearly stated that steroid treatment was over 97% effective and circumcision should only be entertained as a last resort. (There are other treatments that are also successful - manual stretching, for example, and a less drastic surgery that leaves the foreskin intact.) I came home and pulled up the most current articles and learned about this in a matter of minutes. Yet, he does this for a living and isn't aware of the most current literature in his field.

When I experience things like this and I come here and hear similar things that have been told to other parents like me, it's hard for me to believe that attitudes in the profession are changing and that doctors are just recommending these incredibly drastic measures to cover their hides. (Although I suppose there's an argument to be made that if they misdiagnose phimosis and prescribe a steroid cream that doesn't work because there was actually nothing wrong and the foreskin just wasn't ready to retract, they'd look rather foolish, whereas if they just hack the whole thing off, the misdiagnosis would never be discovered.)

For the record, I agree with you that people should not be doling out medical advice on the internet. And I agree that it would be best for her to go see the urologist, provided she's certain she's able to stand up for her son.

On the other hand, I do think your views about the reasons things happen in the medical profession might be a bit clouded because of what your husband does for a living.
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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Are you a doctor yourself, or are you just married to one? Who are you to just come onto this forum and start criticising the people who are educated by years of each other's experiences?
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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I would be very concerned about the medical advice being dished out in this forum if I were the moderator/administrator of the baord.
I have discussed it with them and I stand on firm legal ground. I advise parents to make sure the doctor administers a subcutaneous ring block during the procedure. I recommend that they go to their doctor and request a prescription for betamethesone cream. I tell them to demand that their doctor take a culture sample for a diagnosis. There is absolutely nothing about that that can get me or MDC in any trouble legally. I know where the line is and I never cross it.

Depending on the condition and symptoms, I may suggest that they delay a trip to the doctors office for a day if the child is having no trouble urinating. In the case of a suspected UTI, I always tell them to take it to the doctor. Certainly no risk there. As a matter of fact, I have diagnosed several cases of urinary tract infections on-line that the doctor missed and because of my advice, the child got prompt treatment. There is certainly no risk there, only sincere appreciation. I know where the line is and I will not cross it.


Quote:
Both my dh and I are quite knowledgeable about foreskin anatomy (he is also intact...not that it is your business)and and the attitudes in the medical community have been changing for some time.
Yes, for the most part, the change has been driven by medical consumers and legislation, not by the medical profession. The medical profession has been drug kicking and screaming all of the way. If you will recall, it was the medical profession that got us in this mess in the first place and it was the medical profession that was determined to make circumcision of males 100% in the 1950', 60's and 70's. They were circumcising the vast majority of boys without permission and often against the stated instructions of parents. The only thing that stopped that was a lawsuit in 1973 that said they had to get consent. But yet, they were so keen to violate men's bodies that they resorted to tricks like burying the consent forms in a sheaf of papers to be signed that were presented to the mother while she was in labor and lying to the parents about the wonders of circumcision. Even the AAP is complicit in the violation of men. They have the weakest policy statement in the world. You only have to look at the membership roster of The Taskforce on Circumcision to understand. I don't know why the membership tolerates it.


Quote:
With my pg/birth of our 4th child, our ob pretty much advised against circumcision before she even knew that we were against it.
Would she "pretty much" advise against an elective appendectomy of a newborn? Would you be impressed by that? Why can't she just tell the truth about the violation of men's bodies in the most intense, personal and private way possible at the most vulnerable time in their lives? Why doesn't tell parents that it is not their penis and not their rightful decision to make? Why can't she just say "NO?" It couldn't be that it may have $ome effect on her financial well being or life$tyle could it?


Quote:
Surprisingly, most of the pressure to circumcise comes form parents, not dawkters...
Are "dawkters" business people or slaves? Do they not have the right to refuse to perform cosmetic and elective procedures?

You may find it interesting that The AMA conducted a study at a military hospital in Hawaii to determine the doctor's influence in the circumcision decision. A military hospital is the only place where they could control the doctors advice. The expectant parents were given the fully informed part of "informed consent" and the circumcision rate immediately dropped 80%. That's right - 80%! It is clear that the doctors are complicit in circumcision of males and could have a significant effect on the rate if they weren't spineless money grubbers and would step up to the plate. I can't count the number of times I have read innocent mothers post "If it's so bad, why do the doctors do it? If they do it, there must be some good!"


Quote:
BUT one of the reasons that docs continue to look to 'fix' problems is that if they do nothign, they could be sued if something goes wrong.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding this. Are you saying that if a doctor refused to circumcise a newborn, he might be sued? If that's what you are saying, you need to do a little reading up on both medicine and law regarding elective surgery. I have never heard of a case where a doctor has been sued for not performing a circumcision and would be interested to see some evidence of it. If that were true, I seriously doubt the legislatures of 17 states would have defunded Medicaid payments for circumcision since the majority of legislators are lawyers. I suspect that if a parent were to tell a doctor that they were going to sue him, he would have a hearty laugh just before he escorted them out of his office.

Quote:
and....consider this...I've read through post after post in this forum where people are advised...ADVISED...to used homeopathic remedies first, wait it out, not go to the doctor, postpone surgeries, etc....
Ah, yes! I have advised them to wait one day in the case of what might have been a minor foreskin infection or may not have been. I always tell them to watch for any difficulty in urinating too. They don't have to take my advice. I have never recommended homeopathic remedies in leiu of medical care.

And postpone a surgery? Yes, I did that just last week when I advised a mother to contact a circumcision attorney so that the doctor couldn't destroy the evidence. There was no immediate urgency to the surgery. It was elective to repair the handiwork of a hack who botched it.


Quote:
people who have neither examined a child nor have any type of training in the ability to identify the difference between an infection (for example) and simple ballooning....
You really, really, really need to do some more reading. At the top of this message, you said that you are quite knowledgeable about penile anatomy but yet here you are displaying your ignorance for all to see.


Quote:
Is this forum community prepared to deal with a lawsuit stemming from a woman whose child becomes severely ill...even damaged because she felt pressured into not seeking out medical treatment?
We have little worry about that. We don't pressure. Everything here is opinions and research. We actually recommend that parents take their child to a doctor.

Quote:
BUT...the people here are giving some really...really bad medical advice...and that is dangerous.
Yes, we are giving horrible medical advice that has prevented hundreds of amputative surgeries, has prevented hundreds of cases of iatrogenic phimosis, horrible advice that has calmed the fears caused by incompetent medical hacks. We are not going to protect the prima donnas of the medical profession. We are going to call a spade a spade. This is the same profession that performs thorasic surgery on infants using only paralytics. This is the profession that advocated lysol douches that left women infertile. This is the profession that performed lobotomies and involuntary sterilizations. This is the profession that has robbed hundreds of millions of men of their sexuality. That is "really...really bad medical advice" huh?


Quote:
it is to educate yourself and be prepared to be your child's advocate...
I expect to have to educate a housekeeper or a yardman but at several hundred dollars per hour, I expect to get knowledgeable, informed, current and legitimate information and advice. I do not expect to have to give them an education while I pay them to (maybe) listen.



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Old 12-11-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by busymomof5
You complain about poor medical advice provided by healthcare professionals...you are right...there are some real losers out there, and it is your job as a parent to find the right care provider..BUT...the people here are giving some really...really bad medical advice...and that is dangerous.
busymom:

I would first like to welcome you to this board. I applaud you and your physician husband for not circumcising and being educated. It is nice to have the spouse of a physician here and I think if you opened your mind and dumped the attitude you could be an asset to this board.

However I feel the need to respecfully disagree with your attitude regarding the issue of advice. I am an RN, have been for 20 years with much experience with under educated medical professionals. From my experience, very few nurses and doctors (at least where I live) know little if not nothing about the value of the foreskin and their only reply is CUT! Ballooning foreskin...CUT! Non-retracting foreskin...CUT! Heck, for no good reason at all they holler CUT! Oh yeah, let's not forget "You need to be stretching the foreskin back..." And when it won't...CUT!!!

I can't tell you how many people have told me their kids, brothers, husbands and fathers who have had doctors give them CUT as the only option!

I can tell you people arrive at this board on a regular basis offering the same experiences as what I have just described to you. And I will also tell you the wonderful, educated, loving and caring men and women at this board offer them alternatives to CUT every single day, over and over and over again!

For you to arrive here, criticising the people here who repeat the same information, who spend hours upon hours researching to try and find an answer for someone needing help, who offer heartfelt support to moms who are crying because of their regret they circumcised their boys and so on.

You say that it is up to parents to find the right care provider. That's easy for you to say but not so easy for a parent to do in our peer pressure environment to turn to circumcision as the answer to any concern regarding the foreskin. If it weren't for people like us on the internet, parents would be hard pressed to get any accurate information when they don't have the resources! How judgemental for you to place that on poor parents who are just trying to do the best for their kids and want to trust their ignorant doctor. Believe me, I know because (despite my RN license) I was one of those poor parents with my supposed educated Pediatritian telling me I had to force my son's normal foreskin back. How if I didn't get it back he would need a circumcision!

Nobody here said your husband was EVIL. However from our repeated experiences we know the general US physician or specialist are VERY uneducated and provide inaccurate information a heck of a lot more than any poster here! Some of them know the truth but persist in offering circumcision. I don't know about you, but I think evil would be a fitting term for someone like that!

The bottom line is that intactivists on this board do what they do because they love children and want to SPARE them from pain and unneccessary surgery, plain and simple.

IMO, you owe us an apology.
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:43 PM
 
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: you go Frank!
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:18 PM
 
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busymom:

I would first like to welcome you to this board. I applaud you and your physician husband for not circumcising and being educated. It is nice to have the spouse of a physician here and I think if you opened your mind and dumped the attitude you could be an asset to this board.

However I feel the need to respecfully disagree with your attitude regarding the issue of advice. I am an RN, have been for 20 years with much experience with under educated medical professionals. From my experience, very few nurses and doctors (at least where I live) know little if not nothing about the value of the foreskin and their only reply is CUT! Ballooning foreskin...CUT! Non-retracting foreskin...CUT! Heck, for no good reason at all they holler CUT! Oh yeah, let's not forget "You need to be stretching the foreskin back..." And when it won't...CUT!!!

I can't tell you how many people have told me their kids, brothers, husbands and fathers who have had doctors give them CUT as the only option!

I can tell you people arrive at this board on a regular basis offering the same experiences as what I have just described to you. And I will also tell you the wonderful, educated, loving and caring men and women at this board offer them alternatives to CUT every single day, over and over and over again!

For you to arrive here, criticising the people here who repeat the same information, who spend hours upon hours researching to try and find an answer for someone needing help, who offer heartfelt support to moms who are crying because of their regret they circumcised their boys and so on.

You say that it is up to parents to find the right care provider. That's easy for you to say but not so easy for a parent to do in our peer pressure environment to turn to circumcision as the answer to any concern regarding the foreskin. If it weren't for people like us on the internet, parents would be hard pressed to get any accurate information when they don't have the resources! How judgemental for you to place that on poor parents who are just trying to do the best for their kids and want to trust their ignorant doctor. Believe me, I know because (despite my RN license) I was one of those poor parents with my supposed educated Pediatritian telling me I had to force my son's normal foreskin back. How if I didn't get it back he would need a circumcision!

Nobody here said your husband was EVIL. However from our repeated experiences we know the general US physician or specialist are VERY uneducated and provide inaccurate information a heck of a lot more than any poster here! Some of them know the truth but persist in offering circumcision. I don't know about you, but I think evil would be a fitting term for someone like that!

The bottom line is that intactivists on this board do what they do because they love children and want to SPARE them from pain and unneccessary surgery, plain and simple.

IMO, you owe us an apology.



Jen
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:16 AM
 
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Pam, you are exactly right. I have spent thousands of hours researching this topic and I dispense the accumulated knowledge absolutely free of any charge. To be quite honest, it angers me to have someone that has spent a couple of hours on the topic to come and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about and that I am a danger to children. That is extremely offensive coming from someone who has a few hours of research or defends those who only have a few hours of research.

It also offends me that they imply that I have no rights to my own body simply because I was born male and asserting that the have any right to violate my body and get paid for it, no less. To me, that's the epitome of arrogance as displayed by the medical profession.

Unfortunately for many young parents, the medical profession does not make this information easily available. IRC, The AMA and AAP only make the information available if you are willing to pay them $25.00 per day to access their site. Thank heavens for people like Geoffrey Falk at The Circumcision Information Resources Pages (www.cirp.org) Marilyn Milos at The National Organization of Circumcision Resource Centers (www.NOCIRC.org) Steven Svboda at Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, George Hill at Doctors Opposing Circumcision and many others who have spent their own personal funds and countless hours and years of their lives making this information available to us.

With their support and sacrifice, mere mortals like myself can educate themselves and put that information in an easily digestable and comprehendable form on forums like this one for parents that don't have the months and months that I spent educating myself.

Those parents depend on us to get sufficient information to make a fully informed decision that the doctors will not provide. They are so resistant that they are willing to fight it out in court rather that provide parents the full information they need.



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Old 12-12-2005, 02:41 AM
 
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Your information about circumcision is completely accurate....your advice to parents to not see physicians, to hold off on surgeries, to not see specialists, to take herbal remedies is not appropriate. It is irresponsible, and goes beyond the realm of 'educating'..You owe the parents that you are pressuring to not get medical treatment an apology. If something were to happen to a little boy because of failure to obtain treatment, YOU would be responsible for that.

I know too many physicians, NP's, PA's and RN's who are more than willing to discuss not circumcising, retracting and who advocate for leaving things 'the way that they are'.

My OB and my Pedi advocate intact males...it is actually mostly the moms and dads that I know who WANT their boys circumcised to look 'like dad'. I have had many 'discussions' with moms about this and they are adamant...not their docs.

Yes, there are docs out there interested in the quick buck, who don't have a problem with 'circing' a boy....but you are overgeneralizing and your advice is dangerous.

It's great that you guys have spent 'hours' researching this topic. Most pediatricians that I know don't actually have the time to spend hours on end researching the topic of circumcision. They are busy treating children (and parents) when a child is diagnosed with cancer, or another serious disease. They are busy seeing your children when they fall off of their bikes and break a bone.....They are going in at 3am to treat the child with a high fever...whether the family has health insurance or not.

In short...y'all are right about circumcision, but are completely ignorant when it comes to physicians or the medical profession. A few bad apples don't make 'apples' bad. I know bad teachers, lawyers, doctors, professors, parents etc...but I don't generalize based on those.

And..fyi...they really did believe at one time that they were protecting little boys....the change has come slowly, but it is there. I was never pressured with any of my boys....ever....when my 11 year old was born, I was asked if I wanted to circumcize...I said no..and that was it.

You guys need to focus more on how to bring these topics to the attention of your pediatricians and less on 'diagnosing UTI's' online or telling women to avoid their doctors....The fact that you don't see a problem with it and think that I should apologize (especially someone with an RN...my gawd, how frightening) is appalling to me.

Thanks for the good laugh...I'll be telling my friend that I won't be frequenting these forums.
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:46 AM
 
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busymom:

I would first like to welcome you to this board. I applaud you and your physician husband for not circumcising and being educated. It is nice to have the spouse of a physician here and I think if you opened your mind and dumped the attitude you could be an asset to this board.

However I feel the need to respecfully disagree with your attitude regarding the issue of advice. I am an RN, have been for 20 years with much experience with under educated medical professionals. From my experience, very few nurses and doctors (at least where I live) know little if not nothing about the value of the foreskin and their only reply is CUT! Ballooning foreskin...CUT! Non-retracting foreskin...CUT! Heck, for no good reason at all they holler CUT! Oh yeah, let's not forget "You need to be stretching the foreskin back..." And when it won't...CUT!!!

I can't tell you how many people have told me their kids, brothers, husbands and fathers who have had doctors give them CUT as the only option!

I can tell you people arrive at this board on a regular basis offering the same experiences as what I have just described to you. And I will also tell you the wonderful, educated, loving and caring men and women at this board offer them alternatives to CUT every single day, over and over and over again!

For you to arrive here, criticising the people here who repeat the same information, who spend hours upon hours researching to try and find an answer for someone needing help, who offer heartfelt support to moms who are crying because of their regret they circumcised their boys and so on.

You say that it is up to parents to find the right care provider. That's easy for you to say but not so easy for a parent to do in our peer pressure environment to turn to circumcision as the answer to any concern regarding the foreskin. If it weren't for people like us on the internet, parents would be hard pressed to get any accurate information when they don't have the resources! How judgemental for you to place that on poor parents who are just trying to do the best for their kids and want to trust their ignorant doctor. Believe me, I know because (despite my RN license) I was one of those poor parents with my supposed educated Pediatritian telling me I had to force my son's normal foreskin back. How if I didn't get it back he would need a circumcision!

Nobody here said your husband was EVIL. However from our repeated experiences we know the general US physician or specialist are VERY uneducated and provide inaccurate information a heck of a lot more than any poster here! Some of them know the truth but persist in offering circumcision. I don't know about you, but I think evil would be a fitting term for someone like that!

The bottom line is that intactivists on this board do what they do because they love children and want to SPARE them from pain and unneccessary surgery, plain and simple.

IMO, you owe us an apology.
My 11 year old son has had several problems with his foreskin..I've never once had 'cut' be suggested...ever...and we've moved several times over the last few years due to my husband's training.

The peer pressure comes as much from the peers as it does from people in the medical community. I can't tell you how many moms that I know demand a circumcision...and it isn't the dawkter pressuring them into it.

These forums are full of disparaging comments made towards physicians.

My dh, btw, is a european-trained physician who graduated #2 in his medical school and scored in the top 5% on all of his medical boards ...and specialty boards...in this country. He treats all patients regardless of their insurance status and is a patient and universal healthcare advocate.
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:09 AM
 
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My OB and my Pedi advocate intact males...it is actually mostly the moms and dads that I know who WANT their boys circumcised to look 'like dad'. I have had many 'discussions' with moms about this and they are adamant...not their docs.
I want my 3 month old son's ears smaller. I insist. They look ridiculous. Surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday. Thank goodness my 'dawkter' (wth is that?) can't talk me out of it.
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:16 AM
 
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It's great that you guys have spent 'hours' researching this topic. Most pediatricians that I know don't actually have the time to spend hours on end researching the topic of circumcision. They are busy treating children (and parents) when a child is diagnosed with cancer, or another serious disease. They are busy seeing your children when they fall off of their bikes and break a bone.....They are going in at 3am to treat the child with a high fever...whether the family has health insurance or not.
So dockteurs are too busy dealing with "real" problems, they don't have time to determine whether or not they should circumcise infants? Huh. If circumcision made them any money, I might think it was in their best interest to have such a lack of free time.
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:19 AM
 
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Thanks for the good laugh...I'll be telling my friend that I won't be frequenting these forums.
Don't let the door hit ya, anat.
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:19 AM
 
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The peer pressure comes as much from the peers as it does from people in the medical community. I can't tell you how many moms that I know demand a circumcision...and it isn't the dawkter pressuring them into it.
Why aren't these enlightened doctors refusing to do the circumcisions? Would they let themselves be pressured to do any other cosmetic surgery on an infant incapable of consenting to it?

And how hard are they trying to inform these parents they're being bullied by?
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Old 12-12-2005, 04:00 AM
 
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My OB and my Pedi advocate intact males...it is actually mostly the moms and dads that I know who WANT their boys circumcised to look 'like dad'. I have had many 'discussions' with moms about this and they are adamant...not their docs.
I've seen a lot of this too but imagine what would happen if these parents who had already decided to circ were told by the doctor that they don't perform them or heavily discourage the parents from doing it. It really goes both ways. I remember a discussion I had with a friend trying to talk her out of circing (I failed, the baby got circed) and her big argument was that the doctor wouldn't offer to do them if they were a bad thing.

I think some doctors really underestimate how much their opinion carries with some parents. My parents had decided to circ my brother who is 23 years old. My mom's pediatrician told her that he didn't recommend them and there wasn't any reason to do it. My brother was left intact thanks to that doctor.

I haven't had any problems with docs trying to retract my son since we moved to Southern CA. It is certainly the norm around here and most the boys I see are intact so that is probably what the doctors are used to seeing. However my son was born in the midwest and the first doctor that saw him tried to retract and told me that he should be retractible by the time he was 1 and if he wasn't then she would refer him to a pediatric urologist to get circed. It was a high circ rate area so she probably didn't see too many intact boys but even still that was horrible advice. Had I not done my own research I probably would have thought ds needed a circ because he isn't retractible at all.

mama to six ('98, '00, '04, '04, '06, '08)
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:45 AM
 
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busymomof5,

I think you need to realize that many of us have frequented this particular forum for years, and if you spent some time looking through the archives you'd find story after story about bad advice, forced retractions, and extremely cut-happy doctors. I can appreciate that the doctors you know personally are 'good' doctors, knowledgable about intact anatomy and care, who discourage circumcision, etc. However, your experience is just as anecdotal as anyone else's. You don't know and can't speak for all doctors, and neither can we. Doctor's are human beings, they make mistakes, some are more informed/ethical/caring than others.

I think we have good reason to be wary of taking our intact sons to the doctor for minor/common penile irritations, and to try conservative care at home first...like a warm bath, diaper ointment, etc.

Do you realize that there are many stories within this forum that describe a nurse or doctor forcing a screaming infant or young child's foreskin back after the mother specifically said not to, and even while she is telling them to stop they continue? Mothers have actually had to physically intervene and take a care provider's hands off their children because their wishes were completely disrespected.

Please, stick around and read through the archives a bit. Get to know us. There's a reason we feel the way we do.

Thanks,

Jen
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:48 AM
 
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busymomof5,

I think you need to realize that many of us have frequented this particular forum for years, and if you spent some time looking through the archives you'd find story after story about bad advice, forced retractions, and extremely cut-happy doctors. I can appreciate that the doctors you know personally are 'good' doctors, knowledgable about intact anatomy and care, who discourage circumcision, etc. However, your experience is just as anecdotal as anyone else's. You don't know and can't speak for all doctors, and neither can we. Doctor's are human beings, they make mistakes, some are more informed/ethical/caring than others.

I think we have good reason to be wary of taking our intact sons to the doctor for minor/common penile irritations, and to try conservative care at home first...like a warm bath, diaper ointment, etc.

Do you realize that there are many stories within this forum that describe a nurse or doctor forcing a screaming infant or young child's foreskin back after the mother specifically said not to, and even while she is telling them to stop they continue? Mothers have actually had to physically intervene and take a care provider's hands off their children because their wishes were completely disrespected.

Please, stick around and read through the archives a bit. Get to know us. There's a reason we feel the way we do.

Thanks,

Jen
: Busymomof5, I wanted to reply to you, but Jen said it all!

Part of the problem, too, is that the standard of care is different depending on which part of the country you live in. Those who are fortunate enough to live in a low-circ. area will probably have an easier time finding a doctor who is educated on the proper care of the intact penis. Unfortunately, most of us live in areas where the circ. rate is over 50%, and many of us live in rural areas where the circ. rate is over 90%. Most of the horror stories come from these parts of the country.

Also, you mentioned that your dh was educated in Europe, where the circ. rate is extremely low. He probably learned about proper care of the foreskin in medical school. Doctors here in the US do NOT. The only thing they learn about the foreskin in medical school here is how to remove it. They think it's a worthless flap of skin. That is the attitude which we are trying to change.
Also, I second the suggestion to read through the archives here. Maybe it will help you understand why so many of us have anti-doctor or anti-nurse attitudes here. You will read story after story about forcible retractions, mothers who were told their toddler sons had "phimosis" and have to be circ'ed immediately, etc. You will be amazed at the depth of ignorance that is out there.
In any case, congratulations to you for leaving your sons intact!
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:34 PM
 
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Busymomof5:

I agree that any parent who has concerns about their child should see a physician. I also agree that they should educate themselves about what they might expect. I also agree that there is a lot of 'quack' medicine being practiced on the Internet. I agree that the 'not doing anything' advice may have negative repercussions, just like the 'got to do something now' advice.

You bring up a very valid point in your concerns about liability and indiscriminately dispensing advice. This probably is something that you have had numerous discussions on with your husband because of his practice, and the cloud hangs over your head in a very real way.

I don't think that anyone here is trying to convince you that they are a substitute for sound medical advice. We are crusading against putting the boys in a position where there may be a misdiagnosis, when there was no real concern in the first place. Is our advice a substitute for medical care, no. Should a parent always take the advice (sight unseen) from strangers over an anonymous forum, no. Should a parent always take the advise from qualified medical professionals, no. (Most people would not question the motives behind getting a second or even third medical opinion on something important. In essence rejecting the first opinion.) Are there people here with MORE information and experience than the majority of physicians, yes. Can some of these issues be considered, identified, and dealt with without formal medical care, absolutely.

If I were to walk into a clinic and complain to the doctor that I have recently been having a strange odor emanating from my body, the doctor would examine me. If they didn't know the cause, they might refer me to a Dermatologist. If the Dermatologist didn't know, but suspected it might be something sinister, they might refer me to an Oncologist. The Oncologist might suggest that a complete workup was needed, and just in case, a full regime of chemotherapy was in order. By the time the chemo was done, the strange odor has disappeared and everyone can exchange high-fives over a job well done, and I would be happy to be alive. On the other hand, if I had visited a community forum of people in the same situation, I may have discovered that due to the water being off in my house for several days, and the shower being unusable, that the odor was nothing but BO. (With bathing resumption coinciding with the end of the chemo.) Showering would have alleviated the problem with little fanfare. A simple diagnosis, based on previous experience and knowledge, but one that would save an incredible amount of time, money, and worry. This is best analogy (slightly exaggerated) I could think of to illustrate the lack of need to address every medical issue with a medical opinion.

My 3 year old daughter's runny nose, incessant need to ask 'why' and skinned knees do not generally need a medical follow-up, but could potentially be a symptom of pneumonia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and an inner ear infection. The possibility of these serious conditions is present, but most parents would be perfectly reasonable is asking advice from a forum of strangers, and accepting the answers.

I would suggest that it would be more constructive to address your concerns to a specific poster (based on their individual medical issue) about the pitfalls of not pursuing medical treatment, and give your opinion on the severity of the problem rather than make a blanket statement about all advice given here. That comes across (intentional or not) as basically calling the experienced posters quacks, dispensing quack advise, based on quackity quack quack information.

Make your voice heard in a constructive way. You do have valid points and knowledge to share.
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:41 PM
 
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Your information about circumcision is completely accurate....your advice to parents to not see physicians,
Well now, you are getting into the area of unfounded allegations. I do not recommend that parents do not see physicians. As a matter of fact, I often recommend just that when the circumstances justify it. You do not go to a physician for a skinned knuckle and you don't go to a physician for a reddened tip of a foreskin. If there is evidence that the skinned knee or red foreskin tip is not improving, then yes, absolutely, you go to a physician.


Quote:
to hold off on surgeries,
Ah, yes, I do advocate holding off on circumcisions to resolve phimosis in 2 year olds when there has been no pathology. That happens often. Are you advocating that the surgery proceed? I also advocate holding off on an elective surgery in an obvious malpractice case where the surgery would destroy the evidence. What's the problem with that?


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to not see specialists,
I only warned that by definition, a urologist is a surgeon and if you sell hammers, everything begins to look like a nail. I never recommended that she not see a specialist.


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to take herbal remedies is not appropriate.
Another false accusation! I know little of herbal remedies so I don't recommend them.

Quote:
It is irresponsible, and goes beyond the realm of 'educating'..You owe the parents that you are pressuring to not get medical treatment an apology. If something were to happen to a little boy because of failure to obtain treatment, YOU would be responsible for that.
Quite to the contrary! You are making false and unfounded allegations in an effort to tar and feather me. You owe me an apology! You also need a course in reading comprehension.


Quote:
My OB and my Pedi advocate intact males...it is actually mostly the moms and dads that I know who WANT their boys circumcised to look 'like dad'. I have had many 'discussions' with moms about this and they are adamant...not their docs.
Would they circumcise girls of Ethiopian parents in America? Those parents are equally adamant and often go to the trouble to take their daughters back to the homeland to have it done. They want their daughters to "look like mom." Just exactly why is it different for males? (Be sure you know what you're talking about before you answer this one. I certainly do.)


Quote:
Yes, there are docs out there interested in the quick buck, who don't have a problem with 'circing' a boy....but you are overgeneralizing and your advice is dangerous.
Quite the contrary! Just a decade ago, more than 90% of males in the US were circumcised. That would not have happened if not for the almost universal cooperation and enabling of the medical profession.

If anyone's advice is dangerous, it is yours. You are trying to take us back decades to an archaic time when doctors were not questioned at all. That is what is dangerous. Thousands of people (one study showed that the number approaches 100,000 annually) die each and every year at the hands of incompetent medical practitioners. It is incumbent that we protect ourselves from them. It appears that you are advocating against that. Your advice can be deadly.

Quote:
It's great that you guys have spent 'hours' researching this topic. Most pediatricians that I know don't actually have the time to spend hours on end researching the topic of circumcision. They are busy treating children (and parents) when a child is diagnosed with cancer, or another serious disease. They are busy seeing your children when they fall off of their bikes and break a bone.....They are going in at 3am to treat the child with a high fever...whether the family has health insurance or not.
The American Medical Association has an advertising campaign going on now to boost their failing image. It's called "Everyday Heroes." Doctors are not the heroes they have been claiming they are. They are simply workmen getting paid for the job they have chosen. They are not risking their own life and limb. This is just further evidence of their arrogance.

I built a computer from scratch back in the mid 1980's but the sophistication of computers has raced ahead in the 20 years since and I have not had the time or inclination to keep up with the current technology. Should I present myself as a computer hardware expert today? That is what these doctors are doing. If they don't have the expertise, they should do as I do and not represent themselves as experts and rob patients of their money at a rate of hundreds of dollars an hour? Shouldn't they just tell their patients that their knowledge is archaic and not attempt to treat them? The comparison here is that if I screw up someone's computer, I have screwed up a $300-$400 piece of equipment that can be replaced within hours but if the doctors screw up a man's penis, it can never be replaced.

A recent study showed that if you are admitted to an emergency room in cardiac arrest, you are far more likely to die if the attending ER physican has been in practice more than 20 years than if he has been in practice less than 10 years. Is it an acceptable excuse to tell a family "I'm sorry that your family member died because my technical expertise and knowledge is archaic. I've just been so busy earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year that I haven't had the time to keep up with developments in cardiac care for the last 20 years?" What's the difference in a doctor that is so busy that he has not been willing to keep up with knowledge about men's penises for the last 30 years?

My opinion is that these people are walking disasters for some man just looking for a place to happen and for a victim. I think it is a litmus test for them. If they are so ignorant about a well known and controversial issue, what is their competency in other areas? I suspect they are a danger to their patients. Are you aware that more than 200 infant males die every year as a direct result of infant circumcision? Those are 200 absolutely needless and preventable deaths. OTOH, I have never seen a case of an intact child dieing from not having a circumcision. If you have one, I would certainly be interested in seeing it.


Quote:
In short...y'all are right about circumcision, but are completely ignorant when it comes to physicians or the medical profession.
The Bible warns us to beware of deceivers and justifiers. I think that is appropriate advice today.


Quote:
A few bad apples don't make 'apples' bad. I know bad teachers, lawyers, doctors, professors, parents etc...but I don't generalize based on those.
Yes, but how many of those hold our life and safety in their hands? How many are equally paid the earnings of doctors? Considering the potential outcomes of those bad apples, don't you agree that doctors should be held to much higher standards? Sadly, they are held to a lower standard in most cases and have powerful advocacy organizations. Unfortunately, those organizations have been able to subvert our legal system in my state by buying tort reform legislation. This is protection from the legal system from their incompetence. Unacceptable!!!!


Quote:
And..fyi...they really did believe at one time that they were protecting little boys....the change has come slowly, but it is there.
The AMA declared infant male circumcision needless, pointless and non-medical more than 30 years ago. In that time, doctors have worked out their entire careers. There has been an almost complete and 100% turnover in the profession, yet the new ones are still working in complete opposition. If it were not for the internet and medical consumers educating themselves in defense of these neanderthals, I suspect the circumcision rate would remain almost universal in America. Yet, in just the short span of a decade, consumers have learned to protect themselves from these Luddites and the circumcision rate has dropped by almost 50%. The medical profession has had virtually no part in this. In fact, when North Carolina passed legislation to stop Medicaid payments for elective circumcisions, millions of dollars poured into politicians campaign coffers and the legislation was rescinded in just 10 days. What the doctors didn't realize is that they were dealing with evil and greed even worse than their own. The politicians took their money and passed the legislation the very next year and it still stands.


Quote:
You guys need to focus more on how to bring these topics to the attention of your pediatricians and less on 'diagnosing UTI's' online or telling women to avoid their doctors....The fact that you don't see a problem with it and think that I should apologize (especially someone with an RN...my gawd, how frightening) is appalling to me.
You aren't serious are you? Doctors won't even listen to RN's like you! Marilyn Milos got this whole thing started back in the late 1970's and the thanks she got from the doctors was she got fired because of the doctors. Heck, they won't even listen to their own medical fraternities and researchers or they would know all of the same things we know and would refuse to provide the procedure. Instead, they continue to espouse the views of 70 years ago. The only way they will give up is to be dragged kicking and screaming all the way to the end.

I think you should apologize to us for trying to set this whole thing back 70 years, for enabling the deceivers, for apologizing for dangerous incompetence and for trying to subvert our efforts. This is a place of knowledge and light. You can not dumb us down and you can not put out our light.


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Thanks for the good laugh...I'll be telling my friend that I won't be frequenting these forums.
Yep, entirely typical! What you are saying is "I learned everything I need to know long before I got here and I'm going to leave so I won't learn any thing that conflicts with that." Do you sincerely expect other medical professionals to take a different tack that what you take? It's clear that you are here only to defend incompetency.



Frank
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by InDaPhunk
I want my 3 month old son's ears smaller. I insist. They look ridiculous. Surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday. Thank goodness my 'dawkter' (wth is that?) can't talk me out of it.
There ARE crazy parents like this and they can often find a doc who will oblige them, believe it or not. I also think it is highly offensive that parents get their infant daughter's ears peirced...but there are stores that will do it....and moms who insist on having it done....which is outrageous in my book.
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