AMERICAN JOURNAL OF DISEASES IN CHILDREN, Volume 141: Page 128,
Sir.-- Before the mid-1970s, the American standard of care included neonatal circumcision, a minor surgical procedure that promoted genital hygiene and prevented later penile cancer as well as cervical cancer in female sexual partners. More recently, evidence has suggested that adequate hygiene is all that is needed and that circumcision is an unnecessary and traumatic procedure. In 1983, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology jointly agreed that routine circumcision is not necessary,1 and third-party payers are increasingly refusing to pay for the procedure. Whether recent evidence of a decreased incidence of urinary tract infections in circumcised male infants 2 can stem the anticircumcision tide is questionable.
The purpose of this communication is to offer some solace to the generations of circumcised males who are now being told they have undergone an unnecessary and deforming procedure, which may also have been brutal and psychologically traumatic. To them I offer these lines:
Ode to the Circumcised Male
We have a new topic to heat up our passions
Edgar J. Schoen, MD
Department of Pediatrics
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
280 W MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94611
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