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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been misunderstood a few times in my threads, so let me start by saying this... My son will be left intact! (I was just getting information that is specific to our hospital, so I can use it when I wage anti-circumcision war against my DH!) With that said...

I went to an OB appointment yesterday. (This was the first one I've been to since I found out I'm having a boy and started to research circumcision.) After the "regular" part of the appointment, I brought up circumcision. "We found out we're having a boy, and are now talking about circumcision. What are your views on it? I don't want it done, but my husband is on the fence."

The first words out of his mouth were "There's no medical need for it." I told him a few things, letting him know that I've done my research, and blah blah blah. We talked about how it's only being done because nobody wants to be out of the local norm. He talked about how if insurance would quit covering it, circ rates would drop dramatically. I brought up a few things that I've learned, like how intact rates are so much higher out west than they are here in Wisconsin, etc. I was very happy to hear that he's against it (too bad he still does it though!). I was really afraid that I'd bring it up with him and he'd be giving me loads of BS. He didn't at all.

Then I asked specifically about the rates for the babies that he and his partner deliver. Sadly, he said only about 5% are left intact, most of those being Hispanic babies. (I was really hoping he'd have a higher number so I could use it against DH's "he'll be the only one in the locker room argument.")

Then I asked him what method he uses. He uses the Gomco and his partner uses the Plastibell. He uses a local anesthetic given via injection into the skin, and he also does some nerve blocking. (I didn't know what specific questions to ask about that.) Here's the interesting part... He says that he only takes off enough to be able to say that he did it. He's curious to know what these boys look like as they grow up. He thinks they might actually look like they're intact because he takes so little off, but obviously has no way of knowing because he doesn't see them after that day.

I asked him who signs the consent form and he said it has to be the mother, not the father. Also, he told me to have the nurses write it in big letters at the front of his chart "DO NOT CIRC" because he knows I'm a little bit worried about a mix-up or something. He says it's never happened because the hospital is so small, and when nurses pick up babies to bring them to be circ'd the first thing they do is check the baby's chart.

I'm trying to think of anything else that we talked about. I think at my next appointment I'll ask him if he can think of anything that I can do to help bring the circ rates down. Maybe he'll have an idea?

Just wanted to share my story...

5,002 Posts

I am so happy to hear about your story! That's just wonderful. I had a bit of the same thing happen to me. We were visiting my mother and stepdad this weekend and circumcision came up. I told her all the horrors associated with it and she listened intently, asked questions and said, basically, "Wow, I had no idea. So, I assume you have no intentions of doing it, if you have a boy." I sent her two non-circ web links yesterday and she responded with:
"That circumcision stuff is gross. Don't think I would do it to my baby,
either. Same as I wouldn't have another cat declawed unless it was
scratching so badly it would be finding another home otherwise. I'm sorry
now that I didn't work with Dusty before deciding that, but it's done now.
I've learned my lesson."
You don't know my mom, but out of her, well....I'm impressed!!

On another note: My DH was born in a birthing center and was circ'ed against his parents' wishes. The doc berated his mom, telling her she'd be sorry, blah, blah, blah. Then, he went ahead and did it anyway, claiming he thought it was a different baby! His parents sued and won a small settlement. For 1976, though, I call that progressive. Sadly, the few thousand dollars can nowhere near make up for what he has lost.
He is considering foreskin replacement for the future. I believe this to be different from your situation though, due to your OB's outlook on circ.

Best of luck to you and congratulations on (and thank you for) your decision!!!!!!!!!!!

2,093 Posts
Hi Kim... so... this doctor "only" removes the ridged band... the most specialized part of the whole penis... how relieving... and he does not followup with the boys he mutilates... how reasuring. If only all the people who consent to his circumcisions knew that... that he was TOTALLY shooting in the dark- that he had NO CLUE what the outcomes were... holy camoly!!

Please find out what aftercare instructions this Dr. is giving to circumcising parents because this, what he is doing is a sure fire set up for skin bridges and second circumcisions AND lawsuits. This is absolutly UNACCEPTABLE! I am sure that a large portion of these boys are having complications from these circumcisions which leave scar tissue laying against the raw exposed glans. This is what happens to these boys who he "hopes" look intact... :

and this:
""The maddest parents, those who are ready to sue," said Gearhart, "are angry because their son doesn't look circumcised," because not enough skin was removed. These babies can be recircumcised, he said." (from Washington Post)

he is leaving a ring of SCAR infront of the glans and asking it to preform like the ridged band... DUH! That is a invitation to post circumcision PHIMOSIS... and more circumcised boys will be circumcised for phimosis than intact boys... so this Dr. IS causing HARM... and if he would just go do some followup- he would find out all about it... all he had to do is go to the pediatric urologist in town and ask... what kids are you re-circumcising... who did their circumcisions... what is wrong with them? And he would know if he was responsible.

I'm glad you are talking... here is a link to information about the ridged band. Would you please share it with this doctor...

and here is my "Ten Great Reasons for OBs to quit circumcing babies"

please please- give them to him. You can just tell him- "I was talking to my friend Sarah and she wanted me to give these to you and your partner." and tell him that I took this to the ACOG convention in Philly. There is no reason for this Dr. to be doing circumcisions... there are plenty of other people who can do it in his stead. An OB- by DEFINITION- is not supposed to TOUCH a male patient. Whatever it is they do... they must do it with female patients... any association with male patients is outside his field of expertise. On that alone he can easily take the high road and refuse circumcisions... just say- "Are you kidding? I am an OB- that means I am a WOMAN'S doctor... I don't touch children and I surely don't touch penises!!

Love Sarah

ridged band
Ten great reasons for Obstetricians to quit circumcising babies

1.To comply with ACOG guidelines of informed consent.
Being born with a normal male sex organ is not an emergency. A male can make this decision for himself if he chooses. ACOG makes a great effort to protect the physical integrity of female patients and to secure consent for all procedures, the willingness to ignore these guidelines in order to circumcise infant males highlights a sexist double standard. Males should also be respected as whole and embodied persons.

2. Circumcision violates the Hippocratic Oath. Participation in an invasive non-medical procedure is an indicator of a physician's professionalism.

3. American circumcision is a global embarrassment.
Callis Osaghae bled to death after a home circumcision in Ireland. Many Irish doctors were incensed when it was suggested that they should preform circumcisions for the immigrants who requested them. They felt this was an abuse of their medical training and a clear ethical broach. American doctors are protected by law, from pressure to circumcise females, yet no such legislation protects doctors from the pressure to circumcise males. Their inability to stand up to that pressure, in the absence of state mandated legislation, reflects poorly on their ability to comply with internationally accepted medical standards.

4. Obstetricians are specialists.
Despite this, obstetricians have cornered a market outside their specialty by popularizing the circumcision of male neonates. High pressure tactics in the hospital and a service industry conveyor belt give indifferent or reluctant parents the opportunity to secure a circumcision without having to do anything. A circumcising OB will rarely do any followup and will also not encounter any of the common long term pediatric or adult issues of circumcision damage. This confusion of the role of an obstetrician as child circumciser reflects poorly on the obstetric profession and abusively forces maternity nurses to cooperate.

5. Soliciting elective surgery from women in labor is abusive and unethical.
There is an implied medical endorsement when hospital staff solicits in the course of admitting patients. The AMA circumcision policy states that a lack of information and deferral of the decision until after the birth contribute to the high rate of circumcision in America. This means that if parents were given more time and more information, fewer would circumcise their son.

6. Unnecessary surgery exposes a circumciser to avoidable liability.

7. The refusal to treat infant pain is well documented. The obstetrician circumciser is the worst offender of any medical specialty, with the most appalling record right here in the northeastern US. Despite the AAP admonition that children not be exposed to the pain of circumcision, many medical schools still teach circumcision without pain relief. (using living human children)
Circumcision Practice Patterns in the United States
Stang HJ, Snellman LW Pediatrics. 1998 Jun;101(6):E5

8. Circumcision in America did not spring from our culture, it came from our doctors.
Circumcision is now known to have no medical value, yet doctors inexplicably offer it as a cultural service, maneuvering consent from fathers circumcised in an era predating modern respect for patient autonomy.

9. Circumcision gains public acceptance at the expense of a physician's professional integrity.
As long as physicians are willing to involve themselves in non-medical surgery, parents will be confused about the intended purpose of such surgery.

10. The best reason to say, "NO!" is your own.

This message to obstetricians comes respectfully to you from a survivor of Placenta Previa
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