Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I saw this on a mom's post on a message board & I couldn't resist.

I have to add that I'm very cautious about what I put here and I don't want to offend anyone. I don't judge parents who chose this surgery for their sons without having all the facts. Its only recently that this operation became standard, in the last century, and all of the information put out was strictly pro-circ, by doctors, the media etc.

If you look at the history of circ in the US this is a surgery that took hold in our culture as a "cure" for various diseases and disorders. Yet, a century later, every single "benefit" of circumcison has been disproven. The latest is HIV, 3 studies from Africa show that performing circs on adults can lower their chance of HIV transmission by 50%. If you take the time to read each study its obvious how flawed each one was and they are a little unethical too. The cut guys were home healing while the intact men were out on the town. Would an American man ever trust his circed status as his only protection against HIV? Why are Africans treated like idiots?

Circumcision is still a "cure" looking for a disease. The complications from this surgery, especially on a tiny newborn, far outweigh the complications of keeping the body the way it was designed. The adhesion rate alone is 70%!

More and more people are leaving their kids intact now, the rate in the US today is 50%--so locker room issues are not a good reason anymore. Because of problems our generation had with tighter circs, they are now cut extremely loose--to retain some of the frenulum (b/c the foreskin is a body part with parts & purposes like any other) so looking like Dad is not even possible. Who sits around comparing genitals anyway? :)

I think its important to be able to talk openly about things that are just nuts in the medical world. There are many examples of things that have been done throughout modern medicine's history that have been totally bananas--bloodletting, giving women big doses of hormones they aren't supposed to have in abundance anymore & then not expecting cancer. How about doctors in the 1940's putting women into twilight sleep to give birth? Routine, non-religious circ was first pushed in the era of bloodletting.

Nowadays an OB that does one circ a day can make more than $34,000 extra every year. The pressure to do it in the hospital can be pretty intense--I've dealt with it 4 times. The funny thing is that once I said no--the doctors and nurses thanked me for choosing not to. When else are you solicited for surgery on someone who can't consent? I can almost guarantee this surgery (for newborns) will be gone in 10 years. The other countries that once did it routinely dropped it once universal health care became standard---Australia, Canada, England. The human body is perfect and amazing in its design and it is totally unnatural to bring home a hurting wounded baby just because he's a boy in America.


Julie said...

I'm totally with you, Clara. Of our three sons, none were circumcised. The idea of *really hurting* a brand-newborn baby was too much for me to get my head around, especially when the medical reasons just aren't there. (And yes, their daddy is intact, so we didn't have any issues of "but why does Daddy look like me...?)

I've heard nurses describe the scene when baby boys are circumcised, and it's not something I like to think about. I'm sure people have good reasons for having it done it to their baby boys; I just hope they really think it out and do it b/c they really think it's best for the baby and not to please Grandma or Grandpa or Great-Aunt Maude.

milkyknitter said...

This is one of the things that i get really distressed about... i have actually wept about it. I am deeply grateful that my first was a girl, because it was between my first and my second that i learned that it was unnecessary. And now i can't even imagine. My boys were born so perfect and it tears at my heart to think of doing anything to harm them (especially given the lengths we have gone to get them here healthy).

I truly hope the tide is turning and that more little boys will be able to keep all the body parts that they were born with. Thanks for posting this.

Joe said...

I know this is over a week old but I just wanted to say excellent post Clara! I don't understand why Doctors and Nurses continue to bring this up when they seem to be happy if it is declined. Just don't bring it up, you know. :)

I see you mentioned the locker room thing not being relevant any more. I thought I would point out that to my knowledge it never was an issue. At least I never ran into that problem.

To you and your readers I think this is beginning to turn around but I don't think we are going to get much help in doing it. It will be grassroots efforts, blogs like this one and parents talking to parents that will end it. So keep it up!

BTW, I am certain I know where you saw that pic. :)

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I'm just a mom in the world. A crunchy Catholic mama of 6 trying to make sense of it all and stay positive. 5 boys here & 1 in heaven. One awesome man who I get to grow old with. I help new moms breastfeed. I`m happy. I don`t go to shows or dance clubs every night but I would if I could. Where`s the nanny? When I see her she`s SO fired! One of my boys is super sweet and sensitive, another one is a holy terror. I learn a ton from all of them daily. Like Nigella says, as any parent of small children knows,there comes a point in the day where you can`t go any further without a drink! I love cocktail hour. I`d like nothing more than to be with my family and some good friends surrounded by tropical plants drinking a margarita listening to the Eagles. I don`t care about trendy, I like that grungy 70`s vibe.