Members of an organization aimed at changing the way Americans think about neonatal male circumcision called Intact America, are asking Massachusetts lawmakers to pass a bill that would outlaw the procedure they describe as "unnecessary, painful and risky." The group's executive director, Georganne Chapin, says the procedure is unethical because the infant cannot give his consent, and the proposed bill does not include an exemption for religious groups.
Currently, no Massachusetts lawmakers have signed on to support the bill, and I hope that none of them consider doing it in the future, because what's really unethical is the government taking the right away from the parents!
Circumcision is done for many reasons including cultural and religious purposes, but it has also been shown in studies to reduce the rate of sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections. Although one could argue that it's not an overwhelming medical necessity, it still falls into the category of procedures that are well established in the medical curriculum.
Medical decisions should be analyzed or recommended only by the medical community. At no time currently is the medical community - which in this case includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Academy of Urology - to create an all-out ban on a common procedure that poses no great medical risks.
If the government were to put this bill into action to outlaw circumcision, it would be an intrusion on both the medical profession and the rights of American families. It goes beyond the purview that any government - state or federal - should have. I had both my sons circumcised and have never regretted my decision to do so.
I want to know what you think_ Do you agree with this proposal to ban all male neonatal circumcisions in the state of Massachusetts?