Circumcision: What Your Baby Can't Tell You

"Deaths Attributable to

Newborn Circumcision Are Rare"

And other rarely quoted excerpts
from the American Academy of Pediatrics'
1989 Report of the Task Force on Circumcision,

"Meatitis [inflammation of the external urethral meatus] is more common in circumcised boys."

"Evidence regarding the relationship of circumcision to sexually transmitted diseases is conflicting."

"[O]ne study shows ... a higher incidence of nonspecific urethritis in circumcised men."

"Infants undergoing circumcision without anesthesia demonstrate physiologic responses suggesting they are experiencing pain."

"Pain pathways as well as the cortical and subcortical centers necessary for pain perception are well developed by the third trimester."

"Behavioral changes include a cry pattern indicating distress during the circumcision procedure and changes in ... infant-maternal interaction for the first few hours after circumcision."

"[R]eported experience with local anesthesia in newborn circumcision is limited, and the procedure is not without risk."

"The exact incidence of postoperative complications is unknown."

"Deaths attributable to newborn circumcision are rare." [How rare? With this statement the AAP acknowledges that some babies do die as a result of being circumcised. This fact was omitted from the AAP's March 6, 1989 News Release about circumcision. Why?]

"Local anesthesia adds an element of risk."

"Circumferential anesthesia may be hazardous."

"[P]arents should be fully informed of the possible benefits and potential risks."

"Local anesthesia (dorsal penile nerve block) may reduce the observed physiologic response to newborn circumcision. It also has its own inherent risks."

"Newborn circumcision has potential medical benefits and advantages as well as disadvantages and risks."

Task Force on Circumcision (American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Blvd., P.O. Box 927, Elk Grove Village, 60007):

"The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 37,000 pediatricians dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults." (AAP news release about circumcision, March 6, 1989)