Thursday, August 30, 2012

4 big voids in the AAP's 2012 Policy on Circumcision

As I read the Technical Report, I see 4 big voids that seem were logical to explore as we are talking of amputative surgery:

a) What are the functions and anatomy of the part being amputated? Seems just logical to study them. In fact, the technical report gives BAD advice as it seems to suggest that by the time the baby is 4 months old the foreskin should be retractable.

b) What are the benefits of not getting circumcised? If you "can elect" to loose a body part (or elect to have a body part removed from another person, which is the next point), what benefits would it have to keep that body part? I never saw a discussion of that in the Technical Report. If you think that there is no benefit, you should still state so, not just leave the blank, especially when you are talking of unbiased information.

c) Given that the surgery is irreversible and that the individual being operated does not have the ability to consent, is it ethical to do it? What makes it a parental right to decide to remove a body part from a baby? If it was ANY other healthy body part (a phalanx of a finger, the tip of the nose, an ear lobe, a clitoral hood) the doctor would turn down the parents' request, even if that part can become unhealthy in the future. So what makes the foreskin so different that it is seen as disposable by proxy?

d) There are a large number of adults who were circumcised as babies and are unhappy, angry or depressed about it -you wouldn't see protests otherwise, it's not like people routinely protest against brain surgeries right? So, doesn't that deserve a little bit of study as well? I didn't see any mention of that in the technical report. If those adults were your "patients" (by parental consent) 20 and 30 and 40 years ago and they are so unhappy and feel abused, there was something that obviously didn't work out that well, but you are basically selling the same product, just changing the selling speech. But what is it that didn't work for them, in spite of parental consent and such?

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