The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new policy statement Monday that has reignited the debate over whether or not boys should be circumcised. The AAP stopped short of a blanket recommendation on whether or not to remove the foreskin from the tip of the penis, saying the decision should be left to parents. The academy did say the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks.
According to the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, 55-56 percent (PDF) of newborn American males were circumcised in 2009 (the most recent year for which numbers were available). That rate is even lower in the western United States and the practice has been on the decline nationwide. Some adament detractors protested outside of an AAP chapter office after the academy announced released their statement.
In Oregon, arguments over circumcision flared up a few years ago when a custody case evolved into a legal battle over whether or not a 12-year-old boy should be circumcised.
Have you faced a decision about whether or not to circumcise your son? What kind of research did you do? What did your pediatrician say? Did religion enter into your decision? Do you have any regrets?
- Robert Mendelson: Retired pediatrician and national spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics
- John Geisheker: Executive director of Doctors Opposing Circumcision
- Ben Hoffman: Pediatrician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the father of two boys