AAP REPORT RECEIVES FORMIDABLE TRANSATLANTIC CRITICISM IN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL ETHICS AND ITS OWN PEDIATRICS JOURNAL
TARRYTOWN, N.Y., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Pediatrics should be reeling today from two independent blasts of criticism from doctors and medical ethicists saying the AAP's Task Force report last summer, which softened its opposition to routine neonatal male circumcision, is unsupported by scientific data or medical ethics.
Articles in the AAP's own journal Pediatrics, and in a special issue of the British Journal of Medical Ethics, took the AAP to task for its report issued in August 2012 that stopped short of recommending in favor of circumcision, but called for public and private medical insurance to cover the costs for an unnecessary and inherently risky surgery performed more than a million times a year in the United States.
"It has become clear that the AAP, not those of us in the intactivist movement who have argued for years against the surgery, is an outlier in the discussion about the efficacy and necessity for male circumcision," said Georganne Chapin, founder and executive director of Intact America ( www.intactamerica.org), the leading voice for changing the way America thinks about circumcision."The AAP is more interested in its doctors getting paid for performing circumcisions than in protecting the bodily integrity and health of children. The same right to bodily integrity that led to the outlawing of female genital mutilation should extend to baby boys as well." The first barrage of criticism came from an article in the AAP's journal Pediatrics, in which pediatricians and professional associations from 17 countries criticize the AAP Task Force report as riddled with bias and out of step with the increasing awareness among doctors and parents that routine infant circumcision is unnecessary and inherently risky. Circumcision rates in the United States continue to plummet, and have never exceeded 10 percent in most European countries. "There is growing consensus … that physicians should discourage parents from circumcising their healthy infant boys because non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys in Western societies has no compelling health benefits, causes postoperative pain, can have serious long-term consequences, constitutes a violation of the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and conflicts with the Hippocratic oath: primum non nocere: First, do no harm," wrote the 40 pediatricians, urologists, epidemiologists and other doctors who signed the article.