The decision to circumcise is a very personal one. I know people on both sides of the debate and respect what they have to say. Whether or not to circumcise can be a very challenging decision for new parents and one "expert" has some very strong feelings about it. The study's outspoken author feels circumcision should be like vaccinations -- recommended and contributes to the overall good health of kids, and adults. There was even a suggestion that it should be mandatory.
I'm sorry but no.
The Mayo Clinic published a study which experts are saying "makes the strongest case yet for circumcision." The health benefits of circumcising exceed the risks by at least 100 to 1. It's even being questioned if the decision to circumcise should be taken away from parents. But that's just not going to happen. Even the lead author, circumcision advocate Brian J. Morris, realizes that. Though he wishes differently. He feels "it's unethical for doctors not to routinely offer it to parents" and wants it to be like vaccinations. He told The Daily Beast: "a vaccine is highly specific, whereas the protective effects of circumcision cover a wide array of medical conditions."
Still, some of those medical conditions and risks of not circumcising are misleading. It's still the opinion of many doctors, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), that the decision to circumcise is with the parents. Though two years ago the AAP did change it's statement and put more favor on the choice to circumcise.
More from The Stir: The Circumcision Decision: 24 Parents on How They Made the Choice
Morris addressed the "intact movement" directly and how the intactivists have contributed to the declining rates of circumcision. "The anti-circers and the anti-vaxers are very similar, and often the same people," he said. He added, "Just as vaccination, failure to circumcise will put your son at serious risk of adverse medical conditions and he could indeed die from some of them. What’s more he will harm others, from sexually transmitted infections which include oncogenic HPV types that cause cervical cancer, a potentially lethal cancer."
It seems like he's using some scare tactics. Morris has a lot to say on the topic. He added, "Whereas parents can be coerced into vaccination by denying access to childcare for their son, there are fewer inducements to do the right thing and have him circumcised."
As a parent, I feel this is my choice to make for my son. All parents deserve this choice as well. I do appreciate the facts, but I also realize we need to sift through those "facts" and see what is actually a risk, what is benefited, and what really works for your family.
What do you think about Morris' statements? Scare tactics?
Image via Derek Swanson/Flickr