Another long night .. two more deliveries .. man, I am feeling like an obstetrician! … This morning I had a long talk with two new parents about circumcision.
It's a challenging decision these days .. as the (mis)information about this procedure propagates across the internet .. both for the procedure and against it. Even "unbiased" resources like "dr Spock" come down on one side or the other .. and the usually excellent patient education materials from the AAFP are just so-so .. and the AAFP's recently released policy statement reviews some of the literature, but actually says very little.
Missing from most discussions is an ethical component. As a physician, I take an oath to assist my patients' healing .. not perform what may be a cosmetic surgery. If done for religious reasons, perhaps we should call the rabbi instead. And as one who facilitates health and healing, I don't want to perform what may very well be unnecessary surgery on a person who cannot make a decision for themselves!
.. and I don't buy the "I want him to look like me" bit I hear from fathers sometimes. They look different. Period. Big ones and small ones and fat ones and thin ones. They are all different .. and a circumcision isn't going to change a kid's relationship with his dad either way.
In the end, the couple from this morning are going to think about it for another week …