Update on the Frank Wolf Int’l Religious Freedom Act (HR 1150)

It is important to clarify that HR 1150 is not a law yet. It has been approved in the House of Representatives, now it moves to the Senate.

Please contact your senator this week and express your concern. Religious freedom does not apply to another person’s body.

You can find the contact information for your state senators here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

 

 

 

The Frank Wolf Int’l Religious Freedom Act (HR 1150) protects ritual abuse of babies

As a person who was once a baby, I feel offended by the idea that my body could be used as accessory to my parents’ religious beliefs, particularly if their religious beliefs call for the permanent alteration of my sexual organs.

Notice that if you are in the United States, the sex of the writer of the above paragraph would be paramount to know if the described act is legal or not. A female writer who expresses dismay over the idea of her sexual organs being permanently altered by her parents would be simply criticizing the fastidious custom of female genital mutilation. A male writer however, would be considered to be “whining” over the most common surgery in the world -never mind that it is one practiced without medical need- and could probably be labeled as antisemite or islamophobe for claiming ownership of his own body.

Notice also that if your family happens to be an ultra orthodox Jewish family in the North East, it is likely that an old man sucked your penis immediately after cutting part of it with his knife. And in spite of laws protecting children from the actions of pedophiles, this man did so under the guise of religious freedom – and currently protected by NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Do you feel dirty now?

Well, given that some organizations such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have raised concerns over ritual circumcision of male children as a procedure that violates the physical integrity of children, that numerous European medical and political associations oppose circumcision of children, that a 2012 ruling in Cologne, Germany, led to a temporary ban in circumcision of children followed by the urgent approval of an unconstitutional law to protect circumcision, our beloved American politicians have seen in the best interest of the world to create a new bill to protect religious freedom internationally. They have, of course, mixed the language including references to organizations such as ISIS.

So, this new bill, passed Monday, would broaden the definition of “violations of religious freedom” in the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to include the persecution of advocates of male circumcision or ritual animal slaughter. Thus, males of the future will have no resource but to surrender their most private organ to be mutilated and carved for the appeasement of their parents’ religious beliefs, enshrining the routine ritual abuse of male babies.

It remains to be seen if the aforementioned bill will extend the same courtesy to those religious groups which practice the genital alteration of female minors -even when it is not written on their main religious book, or how the bill will deal with the distinctions between religious and cultural practices, and which practices are not protected by it.

For the time being, we can thank Chris Smith, R-N.J. and a hundred or so co-sponsors (including also Marco Rubio, no surprise there), for turning the United States into the religious police of the world, and all the male minors of the world into accessories devoid of personhood, to be sexually used during the parents’ religious practice.

Additionally, in his address in 4/20/2016, Rep. Chris Smith commented on The Strategy to Oppose Organ Trafficking Act (H.R. 3694), saying “we have evidence that organs continue to be harvested without consent from some Falun Gong detainees and other prisoners in China“. Well, Rep. Smith, please let me tell you that infant circumcision allows American doctors to continue to harvest genital tissue without consent from American baby boys, for the profit of the biomedical industry. Will you do something to protect those baby boys?

Read more:

JTA - House passes bill protecting circumcision, ritual slaughter as religious freedoms

World – House passes religious freedom reform bill

 

 

 

The lies they tell, the crimes they make

South Florida based doctor Christopher Hollowell posted a video of a circumcision of a 1 year old child. During the narration, Hollowell first appears satisfied about the lower rates of circumcision (and even misrepresents it) but as the video progresses, he becomes strongly biased for circumcision.

Dr. Christopher Hollowell

Dr. Christopher Hollowell

He claims that as a urologist, he sees all the cases where uncircumcised boys have problems. He claims, for example, that the 1 year old child he is circumcising has phimosis and balanitis.

This is problematic already. Most babies are born with congenital phimosis (also known as physiological phimosis), which is a normal condition: the foreskin is not ready to retract. It takes years, for this phimosis to be overcome, with the average age being 10 and a large variance. Being non-retractable at 15-17 is still normal.

Balanitis is often claimed as a reason for non-neonatal circumcisions. However, balanitis simply means inflammation of the penis. Quite often, it’s just an ammoniacal dermatitis resulting from bacteria in the feces staying in the diaper for too long, and can be resolved with medicine and patience, without need for surgery.

The doctor claims the child has severe penile adhesions. What he is doing is patologizing a normal condition. As we have often explained in this blog, the foreskin and the glans start as a single structure, and at some point a layer starts desquamating, creating the subpreputial space. This layer is called the balanopreputial sinechiae or balanopreputial lamina, and it dissolves slowly through several years. But our doctors tend to call it adhesions. The AAP erroneously claims that these adhesions should be resolved by the 4th month of life.

At 1 year of age, these “adhesions” are in fact normal. The foreskin and the glans are still in the process of separating, and there is no need to rush them.

Dr. Hollowell then pulls the foreskin back and claims that the penis of this child has a “cobra head effect” because pulling it down causes the glans to curve downwards, pulled by the frenulum. Based on this observation, he proceeds to excise the frenulum.

Dr Christopher Hollowell cutting the frenulum of a 1 year old boy

Dr Christopher Hollowell cutting the frenulum of a 1 year old boy

Personally, I consider the removal of the frenulum of a child a criminal act. And it is also unnecessary.

It is unnecessary because at 1 year of age, the penis of this boy has not reached its adult size, so any present consideration will completely change during puberty, once production of testosterone increases and the body starts reaching its adult size. So even if the frenulum is short now, it still has plenty of time to grow. Not only that, but even if at 18 the  frenulum was still short (frenulum breve), there are non-invasive ways of correcting it. There is no need to fully remove it.

I believe that removing it is a criminal act because the frenulum carries an artery and a high concentration of nerves. The frenulum itself is said to be one of the most pleasurable parts of the penis -by those who were lucky enough to retain their full frenulum, or did not suffer total damage of it. So, to remove it before the person has attained an age of maturity seems to me a purposely damaging action which has long term effects over the sexual experience of that child.

The loss of irrigation due to cutting the frenular artery can potentially have long term effects. Some suggest that ischemia (lack of blood) is behind the common occurrence of meatal stenosis in circumcised boys. Loss of blood flow could also affect the surface of the glans, as hypothesized by Ken McGrath. Finally, loss of blood flow could be related to erectile dysfunction later in life.

Dr. Hollowell repeats several times that the foreskin is very vascular tissue, yet he doesn’t seem affected by the idea of removing it.

He says that he likes to think of circumcision as plastic surgery of the penis and that he likes to think that every man likes to have a beautiful looking penis. But, isn’t it problematic to perform plastic surgery on the genitals of a child, to think of the genitals of a child in terms of “beautiful looking” as a result of plastic surgery – particularly when performed without consent of the person?

During the procedure he marks the line where he is going to cut. It can be observed that the line is traced around the center of the penis. Now, if we consider that the foreskin is a double layered area, then the total area of tissue being removed accounts for approximately two thirds of the covering of the penis. If it was single layered, it would be one half, but since the foreskin is double layered, it counts two times, thus the total tissue removed is 2/3rds or 66% of the covering of the penis.

Circumcision removing between 1/2 to 2/3 or the penile covering

Circumcision removing between 1/2 to 2/3 or the penile covering

Hollowell says that when asked why do the procedure at one year and not at birth, his response is that he couldn’t do it before and had to try conservative measures because of the age. He then goes on an explanation about aging and bleeding that has more to do with Jewish myths than with actual science. “The foreskin we’ve learned over centuries that if you cut the foreskin before the 10th day of life you will have very little bleeding of the foreskin, so many cultures will just do it as a ceremony without any problems, however after that time, if you decide to cut the foreskin it will bleed significantly and in young boys, a little bit of bleeding can be devastating“. He says this without acknowledging that the only cultures that circumcise babies are the Jewish and the American culture, not “many cultures“, and the reasons he gives have more to do with bible myths than with any solid science. In fact, babies circumcised on the 8th day according to the Jewish tradition, may still die from exsanguination, as we have previously showed in this blog.

As he explains this, Hollowell keeps cauterizing the penis to stop any bleeding. Has anyone studied the harm caused by cauterizing all those blood vessels? If American doctors were using more recent circumcision technology, they would be able to circumcise children and adults without cauterizing the inside of the penis as if it was a piece of grilled steak.

Overzealous cauterizing of the internal parts of the penis

Dr. Hollowell zealously cauterizing the internal parts of the penis

Now, the real reason why Hollowell performs these circumcisions at 1 year of age has everything to do with insurance and little to do with medical reasons. See, for a few years, Medicaid didn’t cover neonatal circumcisions in Florida. So instead of paying the $200 to $800 out of pocket, many families waited one year at least, and then procured a referral for circumcision. Because there has to be a diagnosis code for insurance to cover it, doctors would diagnose phimosis, knowing very well that they are providing a fraudulent diagnosis because those children are perfectly normal. But at that point, because of the age, the procedure (at least in the U.S.) requires general anesthesia and becomes a more involved surgical procedure (mostly because the American doctors are not using the most recently invented devices for non-neonatal circumcision, which would greatly reduce the cost and risks of the procedure), so now the procedure is up to 20 times more expensive.

This medical fraud is what led one doctor Saleem Islam to claim that the cost of circumcisions in Florida “skyrocketed” after Medicaid stopped covering neonatal circumcisions. Doctor Islam in his paper candidly recognized that parents came asking for circumcision for their children, but didn’t mention that those circumcisions would be fraudulent because they were not based on real medical necessity – so they shouldn’t even be covered at all.

So this is the reason Hollowell is circumcising a 1 year old child over a diagnostic of phimosis and balanitis: because the parents did not want to pay the low cost of a neonatal circumcision out of pocket and preferred to seek a referral after the age of one, for a more complicated and risky procedure under general anesthesia and at a higher cost to the tax payers.

Closer to the end of the video (while suturing the penis) Hollowell goes into his litany of things that can happen to uncircumcised boys: they can have adhesions, they can have balanitis, they can develop penile cancer later, they can have urinary tract infections,  they have more risks of getting STDs… all the myths we’ve heard over and over.

And then he compares circumcision to a vaccine. “And I tell you if you could have a vaccine that gave the same results we would jump at it every time, so it is quite interesting to see where our new thought process is on what we would do to offer this to young boys again on a routine basis

The lies they say:

  • The child has phimosis
  • The child has balanitis
  • The adhesions are abnormal
  • The frenulum causes the penis to bend downward
  • Circumcision protects against STDs, penile cancer, etc.
  • Circumcision is a surgical vaccine
  • He won’t know the difference

The crimes they make:

  • Fraudulent use of insurance
  • Cutting one of the most pleasurable areas of the penis – the frenulum
  • American doctors don’t use the most recent technology for non-neonatal circumcisions – thus increasing the risks, complications and cost of the procedure.
  • Subjecting a 1 year old child to general anesthesia for a non-medical surgery (plastic surgery of the penis – give the child a beautiful penis).

Shame on you Dr. Christopher Hollowell.

 

Understanding intactivism

While in circwatch we often discuss studies, articles and publications, and point their flaws, contradictions and conflicts of interest, we are first and foremost bound to the principles of bodily autonomy and genital integrity.

Performing irreversible “elective” surgery on non consenting individuals violates the principle of bodily autonomy. It denies the person the right to provide informed consent and make an informed choice.

Removing part of the genitals of children without medical consent violates their genital integrity, part of the children’s right to physical integrity.

Both violations are ethically problematic.

Sure, there is often a discussion of whether there are benefits or harm, whether circumcision affects sexual function or sensitivity or not. But that is basically an academic discussion.

Let’s be clear. If a child was in a life or death situation, where not performing a circumcision would easily cause the child to die or be permanently impaired, it would be irresponsible to not do it. But that is not the case with neonatal circumcision or with child circumcision.

As clearly indicated by the AAP and discussed by the members of the task force, circumcision is often a non-medical decision based on cultural, religious or family factors. And that is problematic.

By performing a circumcision on your newborn child, you are denying this newborn person the right to choose, the right to make informed decisions over his own genitals, and you are depriving him of a normal part of his body. As a parent you may have the best of intentions, but you are missing this side of the issue.

Doctors should not be enabling parents. This is often perceived by parents as a recommendation, resulting in tilting the balance without regards for the future preferences or desires of the minor individual.

Even if there is a lower risk of a minor or rare condition, there is also a harm in circumcising. The procedure is irreversible and leaves permanent marks – a scar and missing parts. There are low incidence high impact risks that should be taken into consideration as well.

We are not “anti-circumcision”. We have no issue with people becoming circumcised – as long as they can provide informed consent. But we have problems with people forcing minors to undergo permanent reductive procedures on their genitalia.

Andrew Freedman, of the AAP 2012 Task Force on Circumcision, wrote: “It is inconceivable that there will ever be a study whose results are so overwhelming as to mandate or abolish circumcision for everyone, overriding all deeply held religious and cultural beliefs.” And while this is true, it should not be taken as a carte blanche to override children’s ownership of their own bodies. It should be taken to apply to your choice over your own body, not your choice over someone else’s body. You don’t own your child’s body.

Your child’s body should not be an accessory to your religious or cultural expression. Your child’s freedom of choice and bodily integrity are at stake. Please, respect the dignity and personhood of your child.

Jennifer Bossio confirmed: foreskin most sensitive part of penis

Yet she was too biased to admit it!

Bossio, Jennifer, “EXAMINING SEXUAL CORRELATES OF NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION IN ADULT MEN” is a PhD thesis which attempts to “provide a multidimensional perspective of the sexual correlates of circumcision with implications for public policy and individual stakeholders (e.g., medical professionals, parents, men).”

Jennifer Bossio validated Sorrells study and didn't recognize it

Jennifer Bossio validated Sorrells study and didn’t recognize it.

Chapter 3 is dedicated to study penile sensitivity in men who were circumcised as babies, vs. men who were not circumcised (intact). This is evidently a response to the 2007 study “Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis” by Sorrells et al.

Bossio writes (pg. 69): “we did not obtain sufficient evidence to support the notion that the foreskin of adult intact men is the most sensitive region of the penis to all forms of stimuli; however, the foreskin was significantly more sensitive to touch as compared to all the other genital sites tested, and it was significantly more sensitive to warmth than the glans penis.” She also writes: “our results—and those of Payne et al. (2007)—differ from those of Sorrells and colleagues (2007) who found that the glans penis in circumcised men was less sensitive to touch than in intact men.”

In her conclusions, Bossio writes that “we directly assessed the assumption that circumcision leads to a reduction in penile sensitivity by testing tactile detection, thermal sensation, and pain thresholds at multiple sites on the penis” and offers one conclusion that “this study provides no evidence that neonatal circumcision decreases penile sensitivity, no evidence that the exposed glans penis in circumcised men becomes less sensitive over time, and insufficient evidence to suggest that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis.” and then suggests that “if differences in sexual functioning or sexual dysfunction are related to circumcision status, these differences are not likely the result of changes in penile sensitivity resulting from neonatal circumcision

Finally, she concludes that “findings from this study can be used to inform individual stakeholders, public policy makers, medical health care professionals, and parents regarding the minimal long-term implications of neonatal circumcision on penile sensitivity.”

We have issues with the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Excluding participants over 40 years of age creates a bias. Many individuals restoring their foreskins typically started after their 40s. They also excluded individuals with history of sexual dysfunction.

Reading her paper we found contradictions to her assertions that “this study provides no evidence that neonatal circumcision decreases penile sensitivity [...] and insufficient evidence to suggest that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis“.

We also suggest that Bossio missed a vital point by neglecting to study men who have undergone non-surgical foreskin restoration.

First, the assertion that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis comes directly from the Sorrells study, and it is one assertion that is often misunderstood. Sorrells simply evaluated “fine-touch pressure thresholds” – nothing more, nothing less. So when Sorrells concluded that “circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis” it should be read that “circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis [to fine-touch]“. Sorrells did not make any attempt to measure pleasure or satisfaction. Only fine touch, and his findings are consistent with those of Bossio as she said it herself, that “the foreskin was significantly more sensitive to touch as compared to all the other genital sites tested“.

So, if the foreskin is significantly more sensitive to touch, it follows that the circumcised penis, in which the foreskin has been removed, is less sensitive to touch – particularly to fine touch. Which again, contradicts her conclusion that her study “provides no evidence that neonatal circumcision decreases penile sensitivity“.

Now, we partially agree with her assertion that “if differences in sexual functioning or sexual dysfunction are related to circumcision status, these differences are not likely the result of changes in penile sensitivity resulting from neonatal circumcision“, basically because the studies are missing one important point. Static stimulation is not the main method of stimulation during sexual activity. People don’t just lie down being stimulated by touch, warmth, pain, etc. Individuals move during sex. Stimulation is dynamic.

A visual comparison between a typical intact man masturbating, and a circumcised man masturbating, yields important differences – and  this has even been observed by circumcision promoters such as Guy Cox – in a paper published with the pen name of James Badger. While Badger describes it as a difference in preference, the reality is that it is a difference in what is possible to do with the available tissue.

Most intact men masturbate by grasping the mobile penile skin and sliding it up and down the shaft. In most cases this results in the glans being repeatedly covered and uncovered, with the rim of the foreskin stimulating the glans; typically the hand does not touch the glans. In the case of males with particularly long foreskins, the glans may never be uncovered at all, and the hand stimulates the glans only indirectly, through the foreskin.

In circumcised males, the typical technique consists in moving the penile skin what little length it can be moved during erection, or when no mobile skin is available at all, the hand rubs the penile skin, in which case external lubrication (hand lotion or adult lubricant) is needed to avoid chaffing the skin. In many cases direct contact with the glans is avoided unless using lubricant.

What this indicates is that there is a mechanic component of stimulation by using the foreskin as an agent, a mobile part, which interacts with the glans. Obviously, removing the foreskin makes this action impossible, thus altering the mechanism of stimulation for the circumcised male.

We can also consider that during heterosexual penetration, the glans touches the opening of the vagina and goes through its vestibule, but once inside it is not in contact with anything else. The vagina instead is grasping the penile skin, and facilitating its gliding motion during the repeated penetrative motion. For the circumcised male, the vagina simply rubs directly against the penile skin – because there is no movement of the skin, which tends to dry the lubrication of the vagina.

So there is a change that goes deeper than simple passive sensitivity. Circumcision alters the mechanics of the penis and causes stimulation to be different, both for the male and the female.

Bossio’s paper simply moves between two contradictory positions: 1) that the foreskin is more sensitive to touch, and 2) that the circumcised penis is as sensitive as the intact penis – which is simply not possible if a) the foreskin is more sensitive to touch and b) has been removed by circumcision.

It seems to me that given the importance of Sorrells’ study as a starting point to Bossio, she missed the mark. Neither Bossio nor her reviewers understood the meaning of “sensitivity” as used by Sorrells.

Perhaps the real importance of Bossio’s paper was to superficially contradict Sorrells, as an attempt to undermine a common argument used by promoters of genital integrity, and by calling the long-term implications of neonatal circumcision on penile sensitivity “minimal” she gained enough approval from a culturally biased academic community to obtain her PhD.

Misuse of Bossio’s paper:

Annette Fenner published in Nature Reviews Urology a highlight of Bossio’s published study (on The Journal of Urology), which is related to her thesis, with the superficial headline “Circumcision does not affect sensitivity“, and the first sentence, predictably enough, reads “Neonatal circumcision has minimal effects on penile sensitivity“. Fenner misrepresents Bossio’s paper by indicating that “No differences in tactile or pain thresholds, or sensitivity to warmth and heat pain, were observed between circumcised and intact men“. This clearly contradicts Bossio’s assertion that “the foreskin was significantly more sensitive to touch as compared to all the other genital sites tested“.

She then offers an allegedly quoted conclusion that Bossio’s data “do not support the idea that foreskin removal is detrimental to penile sensitivity.” – a quote that is really an inaccurate paraphrase, and we repeat, is deeply flawed based on the non-existent definition of sensitivity.

Fenner then offers her own conclusion, the one that everybody was hoping for, the direct contradiction to Sorrells: “removing the foreskin does not, in fact, remove the most sensitive part of the penis.”

We have already shown above how deeply flawed is this, given that the same assertion is contradicted by Bossio herself.

But that’s what Bossio’s thesis was written for: to allow culturally biased academics to contradict Sorrells’ study by quoting a paper that didn’t understand what Sorrells was writing about, and which is so poor that it contradicts itself without raising the eyebrows of any mindless reviewer.

Misleading headlines

We wrote this review back in January, but we didn’t publish it, silently waiting. Last week, however, the media picked up Jennifer Bossio’s paper, and predictably, as we have often indicated, used misleading headlines to make this look as far more conclusive than it really is. Many of the articles we reviewed, clumsily include Bossio’s contradiction without pointing it out.

Some examples of these disappointing articles:

Science Daily: Neonatal circumcision does not reduce penile sensitivity in men, study finds (New research challenges widely accepted beliefs)

UPI: Study: Circumcision does not reduce penis sensitivity. This article even says “In men with foreskin, it was more sensitive to tactile stimulation than other parts of their penises, however when foreskin sensitivity was compared to other sites intact men had no greater sensitivity than the circumcised men” – the first part obviously contradicts the premise of the headline: if the foreskin is more sensitive to tactile stimulation, removing it has to reduce the penile sensitivity (to tactile stimulation). The second part of the statement simply makes no sense and seems to be a derailing tool.

Tech Times: Getting circumcised does not shrink male organ sensitivity.

Medical Express: Circumcision does not reduce penile sensitivity, research finds.  In this article, Bossio is quoted saying “We found that while the foreskin was more sensitive to fine touch, it was not more sensitive to the other stimuli we used, and those stimuli are likely more important in sexual pleasure“. However, that sentence alone already contradicts the headline – and the whole premise of Bossio’s publication. In fact, the underlined sentence alone shows that Bossio validated Sorrells’ study, the very study that she appears to be trying to contradict.

Queens University: NEWS RELEASE – New research finds circumcision does not reduce penile sensitivity. This must be the originating point of all these press releases, as Bossio’s study was the core of her PhD thesis at Queens University. This article, just like the one from Medical Express, quotes Bossio saying “We found that while the foreskin was more sensitive to fine touch, it was not more sensitive to the other stimuli we used, and those stimuli are likely more important in sexual pleasure” – which we are getting tired of repeating, contradicts the headline and the very premise of her study.

Daily Mail: Circumcision does NOT reduce sensitivity of the penis, experts say.  Unfortunately Bossio’s sad excuse of a study made its waves all the way to England. This article is preceded by 3 bullet points, one of which states: “Findings also suggest the foreskin is not the most sensitive part of the penis“. In this article, Bossio herself is quoted saying that her study “provides preliminary evidence to suggest that the foreskin is not the most sensitive part of the penis“. This version of the article avoids saying that “the foreskin was more sensitive to fine touch“, as the Queens University press release and the article on Medical Express did. Perhaps the contradiction would have been too obvious.

Healio, Medical Daily, True Viral News, Australian Networks, The Independent, I Fucking Love Science, GCO News, Renal and Urology News, Today’s Parent and many others also mindlessly reported on this absurd study.

So congratulations Jennifer Bossio. Your nonsense fooled a lot of people. Who knows how many men will be harmed because of your sad thesis.

UPDATE: Additional problems with Bossio’s paper

  • Some readers pointed out that Jennifer Bossio’s measuring point was the outside of the foreskin (see diagram). The foreskin is not a single structure. It has an outer layer of regular penile skin, and an inner layer of mucosa. There is also a transitional area which was pointed by Sorrells as the single most sensitive area to soft touch, and there is the frenulum, joining the ridged band and the inner foreskin to the glans and the meatus. Sorrells measured sensitivity at 8 different points of the foreskin. Bossio did not take measurements on the points indicated by Sorrells as the most sensitive ones to fine-touch sensation, which are the ridged band and the frenulum. Nevertheless, she found that the outer foreskin was significantly more sensitive to touch than the rest of the penis, which is consistent with Sorrells, even if her conclusions fail to indicate that.
    This was the site used by Bossio:
    bossio1
    These are the testing sites used by Sorrellssorrells_sites
  • According to the Queens University press release, Bossio “extended the research methods in her study to include warmth detection and heat pain because these stimuli are more likely to activate the nerve fibres associated with sexual pleasure“.For one, Sorrells did not make any claims regarding fine-touch sensitivity and pleasure.Second, “extending” the method makes the results difficult to compare. For example, Bossio writes “with respect to warmth detection, the foreskin was more sensitive than the glans penis, but not the midline shaft or an area proximal to the midline shaft. Using a different stimulus modality (warmth sensation, as opposed to fine-touch punctate pressure), we partially replicated the findings reported by Sorrells et al. (2007), in that the foreskin was more sensitive than the glans penis, but—unlike Sorrells—not two sites located on the penile shaft.” This makes no sense, because since Sorrells did not take measures of warmth sensitivity, there is no way to compare the data collected to Bossio in this aspect to anything in Sorrells study. It is not correct to say that this data “partially replicates” Sorrells given that they are referring to different types of stimulus.

    Sorrells declared that the foreskin was the most sensitive part (to soft-touch and to soft-touch only). Different parts of the body specialize in different kinds of sensitivity, according to our body’s needs. For example, our eyes are probably the most sensitive part to light. Our ears are probably the most sensitive part to sound. We wouldn’t try to assess sensitivity to sound in our eyes, or sensitivity to light in our ears. If the foreskin is sensitive to soft-touch, it is likely because we need that area to be sensitive to soft-touch, and removing it is going to affect the reasons why we need that sensitivity.

    Think about it this way. Removing one person’s eyes does not make the person deaf. But that is not a reason to justify removing the person’s eyes without necessity, particularly if we don’t know if the person needs to be sensitive to light.

  • Regardless of whether the foreskin is the most sensitive part, or just as sensitive as the rest of the penile skin, or if it was not sensitive at all, removing it would still violate the bodily autonomy and genital integrity of the person. Bossio writes on BJU that her “results are relevant to policy makers, parents of male children and the general public.” This statement misses the point that the most important stakeholder is the person holding the foreskin: the male child, the future male adult, and that no matter to what extent sensitivity is affected, removing the foreskin of the child deprives the child from the freedom to choose and the right to provide informed consent – thus violating his bodily autonomy and genital integrity.

    To be fair, on her thesis, Bossio writes that “Individual stakeholders are also expected to benefit from this research program, such as medical professionals, parents of male infants, and men themselves.” For some reason, “men themselves” were omitted from the conclusion in BJU.

  • Hugh Young pointed out that the graphics on Bossio’s thesis (i.e. figure 3.2) are collapsed across circumcision status. This conceals any existing difference between circumcised and uncircumcised.Figure 3.2 basically shows that the foreskin is more sensitive than the other testing points for tactile, warmth and heat pain (this last one only by a small difference), and that the glans is more sensitive to pain. The collapsed bars fail to show any difference. Young explains: “This makes the inclusion of the bar for the foreskin absurdly different from the others, because the foreskins of the cut men are non-existent. If their measurements were shown, their bars would be infinitely tall, indicating that no amount of pressure, heat etc, would evoke a response.” Sorrells study includes figures that are not collapsed by circumcision status. Two adjacent bars show the results for circumcised and uncircumcised. In the case of the circumcised males, the bar for non-existent measuring sites is simply omitted. If Jennifer Bossio wanted her study to be comparable to Sorrells, she should have considered presenting graphics that were comparable to those by Sorrells.Bossio’s figure 3.2
    bossio_fig

    Sorrells’ figure 3

    sorrells-fig

Bibliography

Bossio, J.A.EXAMINING SEXUAL CORRELATES OF NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION IN ADULT MEN. Thesis (Ph.D, Psychology) — Queen’s University, 2015-09-18 00:15:45.183

http://qspace.library.queensu.ca/handle/1974/13627

 

Bossio, J.A. et al. Examining penile sensitivity in neonatally circumcised and intact men using quantitative sensory testing. J. Urol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2015.12.080 (2015)

 

Sorrells ML, Snyder JL, Reiss MD, et al. Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis. BJU Int 2007;99:864-9.

http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/sorrells_2007/

Badger J. A Survey about Masturbation and Circumcision. 2000

http://www.circlist.com/surveys/badger-06.html

 

Fenner, Annette  - Male circumcision: Circumcision does not affect sensitivity – Nat Rev Urol

PY  - 2016/01/20/online

VL  - advance online publication

http://www.nature.com/nrurol/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nrurol.2016.3.html

Subtle language to perpetuate the fraud – by Touro Infirmary

I believe we all, regardless of whether we oppose circumcision of children, or promote it, can agree that circumcision is not a necessary procedure.

In fact, the third paragraph of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2012 Policy Statement on Circumcision starts: “Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns“. Then it goes on to boast the “benefits” and endorse insurance coverage of the procedure.

Nevertheless, the important point is, the procedure is considered elective. Intactivists and the medical community disagree over who has the right to “elect” the procedure, but there is no medical view that considers the procedure necessary.

Which is why it is important to see how subtle language is used to convince parents otherwise.

Touro Infirmary

Touro Infirmary, Louisiana

We were alerted to Touro Infirmary’s verbiage and had  the chance to verify it on their website. Touro, founded in 1852, claims to be New Orleans’ only community based, not-for-profit, faith-based hospital, and their “about us” page claims they have always  taken a progressive path.

But are they progressive when it comes to male newborns’ genitalia?

The “before delivery” page reads:

You may have already signed the “Consent for Circumcision” for your male child when you signed your other consents at 36 weeks. If not, this consent will also need to be signed shortly before the circumcision procedure is done.”

Notice the language: this consent will need to be signed before the procedure is done. There is no question of whether you are the parents have decided. The language presents circumcision of the male child as something inevitable, and the consent form as something that just needs to be signed so we can move forward and be done with this.

The “after delivery” page then starts with this question and answer:

“I have heard that after the birth of my baby, the baby will remain in my room, with me, rather than go to the nursery. Is this true?”
“Touro offers “rooming-in/mother-baby care” before and during the newborn’s initial bath and examination by the nurse and pediatrician. Of course, circumcisions and other necessary procedures are done in the nursery, not in the mother’s room.”

Notice the wording: “circumcision and other necessary procedures” which seems to imply  that circumcision is one of those necessary procedures. In fact, it seems it is so important that it is the first one mentioned!

The only place where they hint that circumcision is not necessary or otherwise mandatory is on their example of a birth plan, which includes this line:

“If your baby is a boy, do you want to have him circumcised?”

The website makes no attempt to educate parents on why they would want or not, to have their male child circumcised. But by using careful language,  they present circumcision as a necessity, as something that is simply done. And by doing this, they attempt to ensure the perpetuation of male infant circumcision in the United States.

Touro, shame on you.

 

Which doctors claim that legalizing some forms of FGM will help some girls?

The most recent discussion in genital integrity forums is the publication of a paper (and related news articles) by two U.S. based gynecologysts, Kavita Arora and Allan Jacobs, of an article called “female genital alteration: a compromise solution” in the Journal of Medical Ethics. In this paper, authors Kavita Arora and Allan Jacobs reframe the discussion of female genital mutilation (FGM) as a matter of “alteration“, because they consider that the term mutilation is culturally insensitive and discriminatory towards women. They argue that mild forms of “FGA” do not constitute a human rights violation, and thus promote that some of those forms could be offered and tolerated as a “compromise” to protect children from more extensive forms of “FGA“, allowing parents to uphold cultural and religious practices “without sacrificing the health and well-being of female children“.

This is obviously a scandalous proposal, and one that is not entirely new. In May of 2010 the American Academy of Pediatrics had already suggested a similar path with their maligned “policy statement on ritual genital cutting of female minors“, a paper that was criticized by the World Health Organization as an obstacle to their efforts to eradicate FGM, and was also criticized by pro-genital integrity and children’s rights organizations such as Intact America, fearful that the American medical community may slowly reinstate the practice of FGM among Americans, a practice that persisted for at least the first half of the 20th century, before slowly falling in obsolescence. The AAP’s policy statement was retired one month later.

Both papers, the AAP policy statement and now Arora and Jacobs’ article, however, acknowledge something that most FGM activists deny: that there are parallels between FGM and the circumcision of male children. The AAP declared that some forms of FGM are far less invasive than male circumcision as practiced in the “West” (sic). Arora and Jacobs refer to the difference in the treatment of male circumcision and “FGA” as “disparate“, and recognize that a possible solution would be to proscribe both practices. They acknowledge that both practices have been criticized as a violation of human rights. However, they have already argued in a previous paper that infant circumcision is not a violation of human rights.

And here is where this new paper is a logical consequence of their previous article.

Published in 2015 in the American Journal of Bioethics, the  article, entitled “Ritual Male Infant Circumcision and Human Rights“, is a very flawed rationalization meant to deny that male infant circumcision can constitute a violation of human rights. It has been one of my objectives for several months, to write a response to this paper, but many circumstances have slowed my efforts. I will, however, summarize a few points here, so that we can better understand their mental process.

Their paper on ritual male infant circumcision pretends to appear multicultural, by using language that appeals more to an European audience.  For example, referring to infant circumcision as “ritual” is common in European circles, since it is not considered a medical practice in those places – I imagine that many American doctors would feel relatively insulted by the suggestion that they are practicing a ritual, which is what Arora and Jacobs  are doing. Through the paper, they often reinforce the fact that Muslims practice circumcision, to give the appearance of diversity. However, Robert Darby pointed that by framing their paper around infant circumcision, they are in fact excluding most “ritual” circumcision practices, such as those from African tribes, Philippines, and Muslim groups, since they occur mostly after infancy. It’s worth noting that in some languages, “infancy” refers to childhood in general, but its current use in English refers only to the pre-verbal period, so mostly the first year of life. Arora and Jacobs responded, in fact reaffirming that their paper refers to infancy only -without expressing disapproval or approval to circumcision beyond infancy, which they consider subject to a separate but related discussion, and state that Islamic circumcisions in the United States are often performed during infancy. Which leads to the basic conclusion, that their paper was not written to protect circumcision as it is performed in Africa, The Philippines or in Muslim countries, only circumcision as it is performed by Jews and Americans.

The fact that Muslims in the United States tend to circumcise during infancy is not a result of Islam, but a result of the American culture which makes infant circumcision easily available and almost normative at birth. The same argument can be made for Jewish people who allow their male babies to be circumcised by doctors before leaving the hospital; orthodox Rabbis consider circumcision performed on the second or third day of life, by gentile doctors, to be inadequate and invalid. Jewish circumcision requires a proper ceremony performed on the eighth day of life, by a trained Jewish mohel, with methods that are not the most sanitary, nor place particular interest in preventing pain for the baby. American Jews who have their babies circumcised in hospitals on the second day, do so not because they are Jews, but because they are Americans, and a similar argument could be made for American Muslims.

So once removing the embellishment and appearance of diversity, the paper is a discussion concerning American and Jewish circumcision only. Arora and Jacobs repeat a number of fallacious, obsolete and even irresponsible arguments – which we will address in a future post:

* That early circumcision is safer when performed in infancy

* That circumcision has little or no effect on male sexuality

* That circumcision causes little harm to the infant

* That the more severe complications of circumcision are of little relevance because of their low incidence – in other words, that killing or severely maiming infants is acceptable as long as it is in a very low rate.

Their paper goes into a discussion of whether genital integrity is in fact a human right, and whether the principle of open future as suggested by Darby is applicable or not. Both discussions are fallacious, and I promise I will refute them in detail later.

Finally, they propose a three step test to determine if a parental decision constitutes a violation of human rights. Predictably enough, they find that under their test, male infant circumcision is not a violation of basic human rights. The irony that they had defined the test in such a way that a favorable result would be obtained, seems to be lost on Jacobs and Arora.

But here’s the catch: under the same test, mild forms of “FGA” would also have to be considered valid parental decisions and not violations of human rights. This new paper on female genital “alteration” is just the logical consequence of such a finding.

Personally, I believe that it is sad that educated adults and physicians, whose minds should be focused on healing, spend all the time and energy they spent into rationalizing and justifying hurting babies as a valid parental decision, as long as the harm is relatively low and any catastrophic incident has a relatively low incidence. To me, the purpose this paper serves seems to be masturbatory fodder for circumcision-crazed psychopaths, and not the work of professional and empathetic physicians, thus earning them a proper space in the bookshelf, next to the works of J. H. Kellogg, Remondino, John Money, Brian Morris, the Benatar brothers and Doug Diekema.

Kavita Arora

Kavita Arora

Kavita Shah Arora is an Assistant Professor of Reproductive Biology and Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, as well as a practicing general obstetrician/gynecologist at MetroHealth Medical Center. She received her BS with a minor in Philosophy from the Pennsylvania State University. In 2009, she graduated with both an MD from Jefferson Medical College and a Master’s Degree in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in 2013. She has served on the national ethics committees of both the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Arora is primarily based at MetroHealth Medical Center as a practicing general ob/gyn and also serves as the Department’s Director of Quality. She is an active member of the hospital’s ethics committee. Her research interests include reproductive ethics, reproductive technology, perinatal decision making, conscience, HIV care in pregnancy, and feminist Bioethics. She is also interested in medical education, especially with the intersection of ethics education.

An existent video of Kavita Arora appears to present an idealistic, happy, young adult with passion to provide a nice birthing experience to female patients. When was this passionate healer derailed into defending the indefensible -harming babies, male and female alike? How does she get away with publishing a paper that is beyond the scope of her practice which is not in surgery, urology or pediatric care, but the care of women and their reproductive systems?

Dr. Allan Jacobs

Dr. Allan Jacobs

Allan Jacobs is Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. He received his B.A. (psychology) at Cornell University, his M.D. from the University of Southern California, and his J.D. from St. John’s University. He completed his residency at Parkland memorial Hospital and his fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital. A board certified gynecologic oncologist, he serves as Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. He has published articles in the field of reproductive ethics in journals such as the Hastings Center Reports. He has also published in the area of health law, a current research interest. He teaches biomedical ethics and health law to medical students and residents.

As for Allan Jacobs, his religious affiliation seems to account for his bias in favor of circumcision. Note that he too, is a gynecologist, for whom the concern for the genitals of healthy male children should be zero.

To our knowledge, none of the American doctors that used to perform clitorectomies and other forms of FGM on all-American female minors, ever paid for their crimes. Not even more recent ones, those that removed the phalluses (clitorises or penises) and gonads of intersex babies, as did Dr. Dix Poppas at Cornell University or Dr. Ian Aaronson at the Medical University of South Carolina, -and then proceeded to rationalize those procedures by calling those babies “disordered” (DSD) in the 2006 “consensus“, have paid their time for performing procedures that should be proscribed by the FGM law of 1997.

 To our knowledge, a single case stands in the United States. Dr. Hatem Elhagaly, Muslim, was fired from the Mayo Clinic  for promoting a practice that is illegal in America but, in his words, “honors Islam.” Mayo Clinic however has experience with surgical treatment of ambiguous genitalia, procedures matching the definition of FGM.

 In publishing this paper arguing for mild forms of “FGA“, Jacobs and Arora have followed the logical steps established by their previous paper, but they have also put themselves at odds with the Western rejection of FGM.

Their only positive point is breaking again that “taboo” that makes most American doctors afraid to suggest any comparison between male infant circumcision and female genital mutilation. But the conclusion that those practices are not violation of human rights seems to detract from the humanity and dignity of the authors.

 We believe doctors should dedicate their efforts to serve their patients as healers, not as cultural or religious brokers defending the “parental right” to harm the child (the patient) as part of a ritual.

We hope to see Arora and Jacobs publicly retract their two papers, or follow the steps of Dr. Elhagaly.

When it comes to intactivism, Andrea Peyser gets it wrong

peyserOn January 25, Andrea Peyser published in New York Post an article about intactivism, called “Circumcision ‘intactivists’ don’t want you (or your kids) to get snipped“.

The article started wrong from the headline. Intactivists recognize the right of adult men to decide whether they want to get circumcised or not. Intactivists are concerned with protecting the genital integrity of minors, but recognize the autonomy of adults to provide consent and make decisions over their own bodies.

Peyser writes that “Intactivists claim that uncut penises deliver enhanced sexual pleasure“. It would be better to say that circumcised penises deliver decreased sexual pleasure, as a result of the loss of mechanic and sensorial tissue.

Then she adds that intactivists “liken male circumcision to female genital mutilation“. This common claim is usually simplified to make intactivists look as extremists. One cannot deny that both cultural practices are usually performed on minors without regard for their future preference. In the places where these practices take place, it is assumed that the individual has no say on whether they will be subjected to it or not, and shall simply accept the genital alteration and live with it. In that sense, both practices are culturally and ethically similar, even if their physical effects are different. The AAP recognized that “Some forms of FGC are less extensive than the newborn male circumcision commonly performed in the West” (in their 2010 Policy Statement on “Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors”).

Circumcision promoters usually get away with claiming that circumcision has benefits while FGM doesn’t. But, as mentioned by a group of 38 European and Canadian Physicians, only one of those benefits has any relevance to children, which is the dubious claim that it reduces the risk of urinary tract infections during the first year of life, infections that are usually easy to treat and of little relevance. All other ‘benefits’ apply to adult life – and an adult would be able to make a decision based on his own review of evidence. When considered the number to treat (100 to 1000 circumcisions to prevent one incident) and the incidence of complications (1 in 500 being an optimistic rate), and the massive loss of normal genital tissue, it simply is not proportional.

Furthermore, societies that perform FGM claim that it has social, moral and medical benefits. Our society denies this. Similarly, other societies may deny the benefits that our society claims, and medical claims often change or stay on the edge, which is why the AAP, CDC and CPS statements simply cannot recommend circumcision – leaving the decision to the parents. Quite an anomaly for a surgery, that it is performed based on a non-medical decision.

Peyser questioned intactivist Anthony Losquadro whether the obsession with foreskin is healthy. From outside, it is quite clear that the American society is obsessed with foreskin – with removing it! Similarly, when some Jewish people claim that circumcision is vital to Jewish identity, they are also being obsessed with foreskin – with removing it. Societies where circumcision is not prevalent are not obsessed with foreskin; they simply have no reason to remove random normal and healthy parts of the bodies of children, foreskin included. This is relevant because Andrea is both American and Jewish. Her non-American parents met while serving in the Israeli army.

Following Losquadro’s response, Peyser seemed surprised that “some men harbor deep-seated issues regarding their members“. But, is there any person in the world who lives unconcerned about their own body, including their own genitalia?

Following a discussion of the rates of circumcision, Peyser wrote that “mohels and doctors recently told The Post that an increasing number of grown men in America are now making the cut for religious, medical or aesthetic reasons” – which falls outside the scope of interest of intactivists. Adult males deciding to get circumcised have every single right to do so and can do it after evaluating the evidence, evaluating their own values, and are capable of  providing informed consent. Babies can’t do that.

Peyser then presents that Losquadro drives a 30-foot “van” and hands out literature aimed at persuading parents to retain boy’s “genital integrity”. Peyser wrote “genital integrity” inside quotes, apparently indicating that she does not share this concept.

As the note closes, Peyser offers the typical list of benefits – benefits that, again, are questionable and apply mostly to adults – without comparing them to the typical list of complications and harms.

For some reason, Peyser felt that it was proper to finish her article by making reference to one episode of “Sex and the City” where circumcision was discussed, and where a perfectly normal intact male was body-shamed. Peyser claims to agree with the characters that enthused that “shafts devoid of hoods were more pleasant to gaze upon and touch than intact ones“.

But this sentence is quite revealing. Imagine dear reader if it was a male claiming that “vulvas devoid of hoods and folds are more pleasant…”, as a rationale to justify the surgical alteration of baby girls. This shows one of the real arguments behind American circumcision, and it is not a medical one. It’s simply abuse of children to appeal a social fetish. Whatever kind of penis Peyser enjoys gazing upon and touching should not have any relevance to what surgeries her children or any children are subjected to.

She closes the article by hoping that “guys who spend their lives feeling wounded by circumcision, and the women who enable them, find new hobbies“. We counter that we hope that men and women who make their livelihood by cutting normal healthy genital tissue from non-consenting minors are the ones who should find another career, especially including those mohels in Peyser’s natal Queens who feel that their religion entitles them to suck blood with their mouths out of infant penises they just cut.

So what happens when a baby dies after circumcision?

In my time as an intactivist, I have seen this scenario play out a few times. A parent, relative or friend of a relative posts in facebook asking for prayers for a baby who became severely ill after a circumcision. One of them kept bleeding and had seizures. Another one developed a UTI and a fever after a second procedure to try to fix an already botched circumcision.

Then the baby dies.

The intactivist community at large starts expressing sadness and grief, but they also start sharing the story, hoping that some parents will realize that there is a real danger of death when you send a baby to circumcision.

And then the family comes back… asking for silence. They claim that it was not the circumcision what caused the death. They claim that they are being attacked for their decisions and their beliefs.

What should the community do in those cases?

Accepting that their child died as a consequence of their circumcision means accepting that their child died because of a decision they took. It’s easier to go into denial. In fact, the circumcisers have an interest in keeping the family quiet, so they will likely distort the facts to make it seem as if circumcision was the only chance for the child to survive a pre-existent condition.

In the case of the baby that bled in 2013, the parents later said that bleeding gave them the only chance to fight a bleeding disorder; never mind that their baby didn’t make it.

In fact, in an amazing display of arrogance and irresponsibility, doctor Nisha Jain, M.D., chief of the Clinical Review Branch in FDA’s Office of Blood Research and Review, wrote Patients [of hemophilia] can be diagnosed as infants during circumcision”

In the case of a baby that stopped breathing shortly after a circumcision in Israel in June 2013, the Rabbis claimed a pre-existent condition and said that the circumcision had been performed “flawlessly”.

That same week, a teenage girl died in Egypt after circumcision (FGM) by a medical doctor. A health inspector report said the cause of the death was due to “a sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma”. The doctor who performed the female genital mutilation was found guilty, but it is said he is not in jail.

But shock trauma is never considered in the case of baby boys dying after circumcision.

It is likely that hospitals offer some kind of incentive to families of babies dead after circumcisions. Families in turn will keep quiet about what happened. For example, when Jacob Sweet became severely disabled after having an infection and seizures after circumcision, and the hospital “lost” the records, the family offered a reward to anyone coming back with the records. The legal proceedings lasted for years, and the family was finally compensated. The family, that up to that point had even attended genital integrity events, suddenly became silent. When Jacob died, at the age of 26, his circumcision was not even mentioned in the obituary and related news.

But, who benefits from this silence?

The families don’t want to have their story plastered on the news and all over the internet. They want to settle and move on. The doctors don’t want the bad publicity. So, is it a surprise that the AAP didn’t find studies of mortality, only case reports, and thus didn’t provide any numbers on mortality on their policy statement on circumcision of 2012?

The majority of severe or even catastrophic
injuries are so infrequent as
to be reported as case reports (and
were therefore excluded from this
literature review)
- American Academy of Pediatrics
Technical Report on Circumcision 2012

In Canada, a baby, the son of an Iranian couple, died in 2013 after a circumcision that the parents didn’t even want in the first place, but were convinced by a doctor to have it done for medical benefits. The story remained silent for two years, until the family succeeded in seeing the doctors named. So you can see that there is an interest in keeping silence over these cases.

But, who speaks for the child? Who speaks for the one whose voice was never heard?

Genital integrity activists claim that circumcising a minor is a violation of human rights. Many medical communities refuse to accept this and frame circumcision as a parental right. But when a baby dies after his circumcision, can we claim that his rights were violated?

The World Health Organization (WHO) frames female genital mutilation as a violation of human rights, with this paragraph:

FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.

We disagree that it “reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes” as those societies that practice FGM also practice traditional forms of male circumcision, often resulting in death and mutilation. However, in this moment, we are more interested in the last part of the paragraph:

The practice also violates a person’s rights to [...] life when the procedure results in death

Circumcision apologists claim that every medical procedure has risks. Genital integrity activists remind them that circumcision is not essential to the well-being of the child, and as such is considered an “elective” procedure – and yet the subject is not given the chance to “elect” (or refuse).

So what happens when circumcision results in death?

Who speaks for the baby whose right to life was violated?

How can we stay silent, and wait in silence for the next victim? What good is that?

Sorry families of those babies who died after circumcision. We grieve with you. We feel your pain. But staying silent is the worst form of disrespect for your lost one, and we will speak, if anything with the hope that one family won’t have to go through what you just went.

A death after circumcision and a revision

A one month old baby from Pennsylvania died yesterday, January 2nd. It’s said he had a botched circumcision and a revision. It was said he had a UTI and was running a fever. And now he is not there anymore, and a family’s dreams are shattered.

Whether the procedures caused his death, or not, I’m sure the death certificate won’t tell. Infection, sepsis, systemic failure, will be the most likely causes mentioned.

It’s not our interest to mention the names, for the family it is time to grieve; but it is also not our interest to let this death be swept under the rug; the medical community needs to be held accountable.

Rest in peace sweet baby.