April
25
 

Debate rages over circumcision in the US

scalpel

While there has been heightening debate in recent years about the ethics of circumcision, the procedure has become less popular in the US and some doctors argue that circumcision should occur in the teenage years. One of the key elements of the debate is consent. Some argue that it should not be performed on babies because they cannot give consent and it causes pain (also subject to debate). The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision for boys and is preparing to update its policy statement on the issue. The procedure has shown success in lowering rates of HIV infection in Africa, and many doctors see it as a method of preventing infection of teens in the US.

One doctor suggests a new approach: stop circumcising newborns altogether and allow boys to decide whether they want circumcision when they approach puberty. "I don't think there's sufficient evidence to be performing circumcisions on neonates," says Dr. Noni MacDonald, of Dalhousie University, who wrote an editorial recently on the issue in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Why not wait to do the procedure until a time when it has an impact and when the person you're doing it to can give consent?” ~ CNN, Apr 14



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