D.O.C. to AAP: 14 Oct 1998

                Doctors Opposing Circumcision
                        2442 NW Market St. Suite 42
                        Seattle WA 98107

                Attorneys for the Rights of the Child

                                         October 14, 1998

Carole Lannon, MD; The AAP Task Force on Circumcision;
  Dr Joe Sanders and the AAP Board
PO Box 927
Elk Grove Village, IL 60009

Dear Dr. Lannon, Dr. Sanders, Task Force and Board Members,

We are writing to apprise you of the seriousness of the AAP's Task
Force on Circumcision's and your actions if you issue a policy
statement that, in any way, endorses partial penile amputation -
circumcision - or forced prepuce retraction, with or without
anesthesia. Contemporary national and international research, ethics
and logic, history, as well as the lack of endorsement by any
national medical associations worldwide show us that prophylactic
circumcision is unnecessary as well as harmful.

If you issue a policy statement which approves or condones an
unnecessary procedure which is known to cause serious injury and
death, you, the Task Force and the AAP could be held legally

Pediatricians who perform this procedure cannot abdicate their
legal responsibilities by saying the parents "requested" their son
be circumcised or even "consented" to it. If a parent wants a doctor
to amputate a childs' body part, the physician must make an
independent assessment and decision about the value of such a
procedure. If an irreversible procedure has no clear medical
justification, the physician must refuse to fulfill the parents'
request. Only the person affected can consent to damaging cosmetic
procedures, and with infant circumcision this is clearly not

The AAP, of course, has a responsibility to protect its members
from lawsuits and criminal action. A solution to this dilemma has
been suggested to the AMA by one of our members. The AAP could join
with the AMA to lobby Congress to pass a law prohibiting Male
Genital Mutilation, as they have already done with Female Genital
Mutilation (S.1030 in effect April 1997).  This would solve the
critical problem that male minors would receive the same protections
afforded their sisters guaranteed by the provisions of the 5th,
14th and 19th Amendments to the United States Constitution which
provide equal protection and prohibit sex discrimination. Those
who performed circumcisions prior to the effective date of the law
would be protected from prosecution under Federal Law.

In the meantime, the AAP and its Task Force on Circumcision can
seriously consider a moratorium on medically non-indicated circumcision
to coincide with the Task Force's release of its policy statement
on circumcision.

Please understand that Doctors Opposing Circumcision, and Attorneys
for the Rights of the Child, as non-profit organizations, view
ourselves as fulfilling one of the most important civic duties
available to American citizens. By providing this information, we
are fulfilling our responsibility to the Task Force, the AAP and
the physicians they represent as well as our responsibility to
protect the babies, all of whom are adversely affected by circumcision.

                       Sincerely yours,
                       George C Denniston MD MPH, President, D.O.C.
                       J. Steven Svoboda Esq, Director, ARC

The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages are a not-for-profit educational resource and library. IntactiWiki hosts this website but is not responsible for the content of this site. CIRP makes documents available without charge, for informational purposes only. The contents of this site are not intended to replace the professional medical or legal advice of a licensed practitioner.

Top  © CIRP.org 1996-2024 | Filetree | Please visit our sponsor and host: External link IntactiWiki.