Doctor Hopes New Info on Circumcision Will Make Parents 'Do the Right Thing'​

newborn baby footThe 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



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sylph... sylph_ironlight

Both of my sons have been vaccinated, and neither of them are circumcised. My doctor and nurse practitioner both went over the pros and cons of having it done, then urged us not to circumcise. We agreed. Having said that, all my nephews have been circumcised. It's a very personal choice, regardless of what side of the debate you are on. Whether you have it done or not, parents should be drilling proper hygeine and sexual health practices into their children to combat things like STDs and UTIs.

nonmember avatar Steven

I am against infant circumcision it should be a personal choice when the person is old enough to decide for themselves.

nonmember avatar Kay

I kind of feel like he's trying to shame people into circing - because most of the intact folks I know would cringe at the thought of being lumped in with the anti-vaccine crowd. We didn't circ my son, and here in the PNW the rates are super low - and I'm happy about that.

AliPa... AliParker

I agree with sylph_ironlight.

I am very against circumcision. The mayo clinic doesn't change my mind even a little. I cringe to think of the people it will help persuade to do it. But not my son. Not really my problem. I am glad that the circumcision rates are declining and I hope they continue to do so. In the meantime it's that parents business if they choose to do it.

nonmember avatar Bud Yanker

Do not listen to Brian Morris and Thomas Wiswell. They have been pushing this unnecessary and cruel procedure for some unknown reason for the last 20 years. The UTI argument is a canard. UTI's are most common in female babies and are treated with antibiotics, as it is done in boys. As any real doctor will tell you, besides a plethora of other complication, meatal stenosis occurs in about 7% of circumcised boys. Once it occurs, the child has to undergo a meatomy. I encourage every parent contemplating circumcision to do the research on this extremely painful complication that occurs very often. Again two words for Morris and Wiswell - meatal stenosis.

nonmember avatar Adrien

Having this done at the urging of my ex Hus was and is my biggest regret to date. Hearing my baby's screams from two rooms away, the healing problems he had after where they basically had to rip the healing skin off two more times (which caused some scarring) and the general nightmare was enough for me to be against it. God made us this way. I should have stuck to my guns and went against my exHus.

nonmember avatar Ingrid

I am European. In Europe children are vaccinated but not circumcised. Our children are perfectly healthy. We have three boys and never encountered any health problems.

And did you know that I have never seen a circumcised men or boy in my life. It is just not a common thing to do. Except when you are jewish of muslim.

Coles... Coles_mom

Bud Yanker - meatal stenosis does not occur very often. I was a nurse for a labor and delivery doc for many many years and we performed hundreds of circumcisions and never saw one case of that. Or any complication ever, as a matter of fact.

nonmember avatar Suzanne

I don't think you can compare it to vaccinations at all. Failing to vaccinate creates public health problems, it leads to outbreaks that effect everyone. Not circumcising really just effects the individual.... And maybe their future sex partners.

miche... micheledo

:I would rather see a comparison of health statistics in men from countries that don't routinely circumcise and those that do in our country.  I have a hard time believing circumcision is such a necessary medical procedure when so many countries do not do it and seem to have no problem with their men!

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