The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published new guidelines on August 27, 2012, indicating that health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. The rate of this controversial procedure being performed has declined in the United States. The AAP was neutral in its position regarding circumcision. With new data that suggests medical benefits, the AAP is taking a different stance on circumcision. The added benefits include lower risk for urinary tract infections and acquiring a sexually transmitted infection. Despite the new data, the AAP is not recommending routine circumcision.
Opponents of the procedure believe that the risks outweigh the benefits. Risks include loss of sexual sensation and infection. Another important element to the debate is that the procedure could be psychologically harmful according to Dr. Ronald Goldman. Cross-culturally, a court in Cologne, Germany found that circumcision went against the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity.
What does this heated debate mean for parents? Parents decisions regarding this procedure should be based on medically accurate and non-biased information. These findings should be placed in context of parents’ religious, ethical and cultural beliefs according to Dr. Susan Blank. Ultimately parents must decide whether or not to circumcise. Two tips are offered to assist in this decision making process:
- Research: Couples should conduct research regarding the procedure to help understand the medical benefits and risks associated.
- Communicate: Couples should discuss during pregnancy their findings regarding the research and integrate it with their cultural, religious or ethical belief systems to help them make an informed decision regarding circumcision.
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the La Jolla 92037 and Del Mar 92014 area.