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pogi

Circumcision

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10 hours ago, pogi said:

According to Moroni 8 , "the law" of circumcision was done away in Christ.  This is speaking of the physical ritual and token of the covenant - the actual circumcision of the foreskin. 

It seems like all covenants that we make with God today are associated with ordinances and rituals.  If the covenant of circumcision is not done away, but has only been shifted, when/how is this covenant actually performed and made today?  Could baptism be considered the replacement?  But then how do we reconcile that both were practiced by the Jews for different reasons. 

The circumcision of the heart is more the spiritual realization of the physical token/covenant, as far as I understand.  It is mentioned several times in the old testament, so I don't necessarily see it as something introduced by Christ as a replacement for physical circumcision.  The circumcision of the heart seems equivalent to me to the mighty change of heart - which is not necessarily associated with a covenant.  So, if the covenant remains, what is it exactly and when do we enter it?

The main point to be made by the prophetic call for circumcision of the heart (and the New Covenant - New Testament which Jeremiah also mentions) is that God is less interested in the Law of Carnal Commandments than he is in the purpose of that Law, i.e., a broken heart and contrite spirit.  He also declares via the OT prophets that obedience is better than sacrifice, even though he instituted the sacrificial rituals.  How can it be that God has two programs going simultaneously?

This double-system is so extensive and overwhelming that it overrides the strong tendency to see a bifurcation between the New Testament and the Old Testament (all the while everyone ignores Jesus' own declaration that he came to fulfill the Law, not replace it).  Yet even otherwise sophisticated people frequently miss the point that there is really no disjuncture between OT and NT.  They are not sufficiently familiar with Holy Writ so as to see the continuity between the testaments.  Jesus himself repeatedly made the point that his Gospel was the primary subject of the OT.  It was all about him.  Those who are so scandalized by the "Christianization" of the OT by the Book of Mormon just don't get it.

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19 hours ago, pogi said:

I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation about circumcision, it's history, religious circumcision, and the pros/cons of non-religious circumcision. 

In light of the the response I got the last time this topic was raised in this forum, I'm hesitant to join in, but it sounds like you, at least, are genuinely thinking about this. Good!

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1st, as far as I understand, the law of circumcision started with Abraham as a sign of the Lord's covenant people ...

First, it is important to delve into historical context. When people say the word circumcision in our current world, a particular radical surgical procedure is meant. This is not at all what circumcision meant at any point in ancient scripture. See Nissan Rubin, 'Brit Milah: A Study of Change in Custom', in Elizabeth Wyner Mark (ed.), The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite, Brandeis University Press (2003), pp. 87--97.

In short, as the term itself states, the foreskin is 'skin in front'. The tip of the foreskin contains a sphincter (ring of contracted muscle, similar to the lips) which pulls the shaft skin of the penis (and its inner nerve-rich mucosal lining) forward beyond the tip of the glans. This was the Biblical foreskin or 'skin in front'. Biblical circumcision therefore was the trimming of this 'pucker' from the end of the penis, leaving almost all of what is now designated foreskin in place. This is called brit millah in Hebrew.

The sole change would have been that, with the preputial sphincter removed, a man's penile skin would have been left loose at the tip instead of tightly drawn closed. The self-lubricating, gliding motion provided by what we now call a foreskin would have been unaffected or only slightly affected, meaning sexual function would have been the same or very similar: there would have been no friction between male and female partners, most of the specialised nerves would have remained in place, the mechanics of intercourse would have remained the same, etc. In addition, the glans and urethra would still have been protected immunologically from infection and mechanically from chafing, irritation and the loss of sexual sensation that occurs when a mucous membrane that is only one cell thick is required to toughen into outer skin that is dry and cracked and has many layers of cells.

Beginning c. 200 BC, Hellenising Jews started to 'draw down the foreskin' in order to appear uncircumcised in public (as athletes, in gymnasiums, in baths, etc.). This was possible because the glans hadn't been exposed. All that was necessary was to take a few strands of hair, for example, and tie up the loose end of the penile skin so that it puckered again and didn't accidentally peel back. After approximately 400 years of this practice growing and gaining favour, Jewish rabbis c. AD 200 decided that a new form of circumcision was needed, one that would prevent a Jewish male from trying to hide his Jewishness. They introduced brit periah, which is the denuding of the glans by tearing (in the case of the young) and cutting away all or most of the movable flesh from the end of the penis. This gave us modern circumcision, as practised in places like America today.

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Given this passage in the BoM, why do Latter-day Saints still circumcise their boys?

Excellent question. When I was studying in America, I actually had an LDS American friend who was scandalised when his inactive sister didn't circumcise her sons. I was dumbfounded. I asked him if he'd ever read either the New Testament or the Book of Mormon.

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Why circumcise boys and not girls? 

There is a really simple answer to this question, and it involves a clear double standard. People will try to obscure this fact, however, by arguing that somehow the circumcision of females is fundamentally different to the parallel procedure performed on a boy. It's dizzying.

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What about you Saints on the Isles of the sea, is Latter-day Saint circumcision common where you are at?

It's a complicated answer. The performance of circumcision is extremely rare where I live. We literally don't have a single public hospital in my jurisdiction that performs circumcisions; one private hospital will do it, but it costs many thousands of dollars. At the same time, we have many Church members who are migrants from nations where circumcision is an entrenched cultural practice. One of my housemates, for example, was born in West Africa and was circumcised as an infant. Without going too deep into the psychology behind it, people from circumcising cultures often seem to feel a need to justify the practice by perpetuating it. Consequently, we have members in our ward who have saved for years and then paid large sums of money to travel back to their nations of origin just to have their boys be circumcised. If they did this to their daughters, they would be imprisoned upon return, but like most (all?) other developed nations, our laws turn a blind eye to the genital cutting of minors of just one sex.

I know of at least one family in our ward, very traditional parents of five sons, who have refused to do this, but they are rare. As I've mentioned before (often to howls of protest, which I'm expecting again ...), most of the boys in our ward who've been taken overseas for circumcision have been in their teens when this happened and therefore know the before and after very well. Very few to none of them plan to continue the practice on their own sons. When I was Young Men president, I repeatedly listened to their complaints about how bloody annoying and uncomfortable it is to have what God designed to be an internal part of the body be turned into an external part of the body. There are only two possible outcomes: loss of most sensation or a lifetime of feeling continually irritated from friction and exposure. I honestly don't know which is worse. (And then, of course, removing the only moving part from sexual intercourse means friction for women as well, but that's another topic. It certainly keeps the personal lubricant industry afloat ...)

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After watching a documentary on circumcision on Netfilx, I am regretting and feeling much remorse for the decision I made to circumcise my son.

I feel bad for you and hope your son understands that you weren't being intentionally malicious. I had a housemate when I was studying in America who was livid over his circumcision. He said it was ugly (and it was), and though he'd been circumcised as an infant, he still experienced irritation from the scar itself and from the friction to his glans and remnant inner foreskin and found arousal extremely painful. He was sufficiently upset that he actually had fantasies of getting revenge on the doctor who had messed with such an intimate part of his body without his consent. He finally decided to confront his parents about it, and they couldn't understand why he was upset. That was the thing that hurt him most, I think. 

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I wish I would have studied this topic out more before making the decision. 

I don't know how old you are, but I have serious doubts that you even had access to accurate information when your son was born. As has been pointed out, anatomical charts in American medical texts for decades failed to even include the foreskin. No doubt you did what you thought best with the information that was provided to you.

At the same time -- and I suspect you already sense this -- many Americans' continuing obsession with removing viable, healthy, sexually and immunologically important flesh from the bodies of their sons appears as barbaric and 'cultish' to much of the rest of the developed world as female genital mutilation, foot-binding, tooth filing, and other practices that are or have been forced upon children -- often for a list of identical reasons that, when inspected, don't actually hold up to scrutiny.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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10 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I had no idea about the female circumcision causing them to lose any sexual pleasure. Don't they do that in some countries? So appalling!

Mediaeval Jewish rabbis often explained that the express purpose of male circumcision was the reduction of sexual pleasure, and that was the specific purpose behind its introduction in late 19th-century America. It was only later on, when people started questioning if sexual pleasure was such a bad thing, that advocates repackaged the surgery as a 'health' measure.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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3 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

In light of the the response I got the last time this topic was raised in this forum, I'm hesitant to join in, but it sounds like you, at least, are genuinely thinking about this. Good!

First, it is important to delve into historical context. When people say the word circumcision in our current world, a particular radical surgical procedure is meant. This is not at all what circumcision meant at any point in ancient scripture. See Nissan Rubin, 'Brit Milah: A Study of Change in Custom', in Elizabeth Wyner Mark (ed.), The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite, Brandeis University Press (2003), pp. 87--97.

In short, as the term itself states, the foreskin is 'skin in front'. The tip of the foreskin contains a sphincter (ring of contracted muscle, similar to the lips) which pulls the shaft skin of the penis (and its inner nerve-rich mucosal lining) forward beyond the tip of the glans. This was the Biblical foreskin or 'skin in front'. Biblical circumcision therefore was the trimming of this 'pucker' from the end of the penis, leaving almost all of what is now designated foreskin in place. This is called brit millah in Hebrew.

The sole change would have been that, with the preputial sphincter removed, a man's penile skin would have been left loose at the tip instead of tightly drawn closed. The self-lubricating, gliding motion provided by what we now call a foreskin would have been unaffected or only slightly affected, meaning sexual function would have been the same or very similar: there would have been no friction between male and female partners, most of the specialised nerves would have remained in place, the mechanics of intercourse would have remained the same, etc. In addition, the glans and urethra would still have been protected immunologically from infection and mechanically from chafing, irritation and the loss of sexual sensation that occurs when a mucous membrane that is only one cell thick is required to toughen into outer skin that is dry and cracked and has many layers of cells.

Beginning c. 200 BC, Hellenising Jews started to 'draw down the foreskin' in order to appear uncircumcised in public (as athletes, in gymnasiums, in baths, etc.). This was possible because the glans hadn't been exposed. All that was necessary was to take a few strands of hair, for example, and tie up the loose end of the penile skin so that it puckered again and didn't accidentally peel back. After approximately 400 years of this practice growing and gaining favour, Jewish rabbis c. AD 200 decided that a new form of circumcision was needed, one that would prevent a Jewish male from trying to hide his Jewishness. They introduced brit periah, which is the denuding of the glans by tearing (in the case of the young) and cutting away all or most of the movable flesh from the end of the penis. This gave us modern circumcision, as practised in places like America today.

Excellent question. When I was studying in America, I actually had an LDS American friend who was scandalised when his inactive sister didn't circumcise her sons. I was dumbfounded. I asked him if he'd ever read either the New Testament or the Book of Mormon.

There is a really simple answer to this question, and it involves a clear double standard. People will try to obscure this fact, however, by arguing that somehow the circumcision of females is fundamentally different to the parallel procedure performed on a boy. It's dizzying.

It's a complicated answer. The performance of circumcision is extremely rare where I live. We literally don't have a single public hospital in my jurisdiction that performs circumcisions; one private hospital will do it, but it costs many thousands of dollars. At the same time, we have many Church members who are migrants from nations where circumcision is an entrenched cultural practice. One of my housemates, for example, was born in West Africa and was circumcised as an infant. Without going too deep into the psychology behind it, people from circumcising cultures often seem to feel a need to justify the practice by perpetuating it. Consequently, we have members in our ward who have saved for years and then paid large sums of money to travel back to their nations of origin just to have their boys be circumcised. If they did this to their daughters, they would be imprisoned upon return, but like most (all?) other developed nations, our laws turn a blind eye to the genital cutting of minors of just one sex.

I know of at least one family in our ward, very traditional parents of five sons, who have refused to do this, but they are rare. As I've mentioned before (often to howls of protest, which I'm expecting again ...), most of the boys in our ward who've been taken overseas for circumcision have been in their teens when this happened and therefore know the before and after very well. Very few to none of them plan to continue the practice on their own sons. When I was Young Men president, I repeatedly listened to their complaints about how bloody annoying and uncomfortable it is to have what God designed to be an internal part of the body be turned into an external part of the body. There are only two possible outcomes: loss of most sensation or a lifetime of feeling continually irritated from friction and exposure. I honestly don't know which is worse. (And then, of course, removing the only moving part from sexual intercourse means friction for women as well, but that's another topic. It certainly keeps the personal lubricant industry afloat ...)

I feel bad for you and hope your son understands that you weren't being intentionally malicious. I had a housemate when I was studying in America who was livid over his circumcision. He said it was ugly (and it was), and though he'd been circumcised as an infant, he still experienced irritation from the scar itself and from the friction to his glans and remnant inner foreskin and found arousal extremely painful. He was sufficiently upset that he actually had fantasies of getting revenge on the doctor who had messed with such an intimate part of his body without his consent. He finally decided to confront his parents about it, and they couldn't understand why he was upset. That was the thing that hurt him most, I think. 

I don't know how old you are, but I have serious doubts that you even had access to accurate information when your son was born. As has been pointed out, anatomical charts in American medical texts for decades failed to even include the foreskin. No doubt you did what you thought best with the information that was provided to you.

At the same time -- and I suspect you already sense this -- many Americans' continuing obsession with removing viable, healthy, sexually and immunologically important flesh from the bodies of their sons appears as barbaric and 'cultish' to much of the rest of the developed world as female genital mutilation, foot-binding, tooth filing, and other practices that are or have been forced upon children -- often for a list of identical reasons that, when inspected, don't actually hold up to scrutiny.

Do you have a link to that prior thread? I’d like to read (or re-read) your comments. 

Incidentally, routine neo-natal circumcision has become far less common in the United States. Last I heard, the prevalence was around 60 percent, way down from being in excess of 90 percent, as it once was. The notion that an intact male will feel strange for “not being like the rest” is no longer a compelling argument, if it ever was. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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5 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Mediaeval Jewish rabbis often explained that the express purpose of male circumcision was the reduction of sexual pleasure, and that was the specific purpose behind its introduction in late 19th-century America. It was only later on, when people started questioning if sexual pleasure was such a bad thing, that advocates repackaged the surgery as a 'health' measure.

So that is why circumcision was a commandment at one time???? 

 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

So that is why circumcision was a commandment at one time???? 

Did you actually read my first post??? Biblical circumcision was a completely different procedure. 

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We circumscribed one of our sons, but not the other (no money at the time). Neither son has complained. If I were to do it over, I probably wouldn't do it for the first one as it doesn't seem to accomplish anything useful, but I don't lose any sleep over it.

Personally, I was circumscribed as an infant. I will never know if my sexual experience would have been better, if I hadn't had it done, but I am happy with what I have so I don't lose any sleep over it as well.

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9 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Mediaeval Jewish rabbis often explained that the express purpose of male circumcision was the reduction of sexual pleasure, and that was the specific purpose behind its introduction in late 19th-century America. It was only later on, when people started questioning if sexual pleasure was such a bad thing, that advocates repackaged the surgery as a 'health' measure.

As later as 1936, it was included in pediatric textbooks as a treatment for masturbation. 

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8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Do you have a link to that prior thread? I’d like to read (or re-read) your comments. 

It looks like The Nehor found it for you.

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7 hours ago, Danzo said:

We circumscribed one of our sons, but not the other (no money at the time). Neither son has complained. If I were to do it over, I probably wouldn't do it for the first one as it doesn't seem to accomplish anything useful, but I don't lose any sleep over it.

Personally, I was circumscribed as an infant. I will never know if my sexual experience would have been better, if I hadn't had it done, but I am happy with what I have so I don't lose any sleep over it as well.

That's my experience as well.  One of my sons was born in a US hospital and was routinely circumcised. The other three were born in a German hospital and nothing of the kind happened.  I've heard nothing from any of them about it, one way or the other.  As for me, none of the problems mentioned by @Hamba Tuhan have seemed to occur to me.  How is anyone to know, anyway?  Those who have had the procedure as infants will not experience what it was like without it.  Those who never had it done won't know what it was like with it.  As for those who had it done in adulthood, and have thus experienced sex under both conditions -- how are they to know that their post-circumcision experience is the same as someone who was circumcised as an infant?  All I can say is that I don't feel I've been cheated out of anything.  It's all been just fine.  No complaints at all.

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4 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I actually found it myself. Surprisingly, it had not been closed, though the last post was in 2017. So I responded to a post on it, thus practicing thread necromancy. That’s why we have two active “Cirrcumcusion” threads going right now. Sorry, guys. 

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45 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

That's my experience as well.  One of my sons was born in a US hospital and was routinely circumcised. The other three were born in a German hospital and nothing of the kind happened.  I've heard nothing from any of them about it, one way or the other.  As for me, none of the problems mentioned by @Hamba Tuhan have seemed to occur to me.  How is anyone to know, anyway?  Those who have had the procedure as infants will not experience what it was like without it.  Those who never had it done won't know what it was like with it.  As for those who had it done in adulthood, and have thus experienced sex under both conditions -- how are they to know that their post-circumcision experience is the same as someone who was circumcised as an infant?  All I can say is that I don't feel I've been cheated out of anything.  It's all been just fine.  No complaints at all.

So the moral of this story is that neonatal circumcision as a routine practice is pretty much needless — a cure in search of a problem. 

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Watching the Netflix show now. And something stands out as a problem right away, why would God build a human body only to have it cut out when born?

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14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

That's my experience as well.  One of my sons was born in a US hospital and was routinely circumcised. The other three were born in a German hospital and nothing of the kind happened.  I've heard nothing from any of them about it, one way or the other.  As for me, none of the problems mentioned by @Hamba Tuhan have seemed to occur to me.  How is anyone to know, anyway?  Those who have had the procedure as infants will not experience what it was like without it.  Those who never had it done won't know what it was like with it.  As for those who had it done in adulthood, and have thus experienced sex under both conditions -- how are they to know that their post-circumcision experience is the same as someone who was circumcised as an infant?  All I can say is that I don't feel I've been cheated out of anything.  It's all been just fine.  No complaints at all.

I am not aware of any complications from my circumcision either.  But I no doubt experienced excruciating pain as anesthesia was not used in 1979, and is still not used enough or properly today.  Why should I have been subjected to that in my first days of life?  "Welcome to the cruel world, now I am going to cut your genitals up for no good reason"!   I no doubt experience less pleasure - and just because we don't know what it was like without it, doesn't justify anything.  That is like intentionally causing blindness to an infant and arguing that it is ok because he won't know any different later on.

I too don't necessarily feel cheated, because, like you mentioned, I haven't known any different and am satisfied with my lived experience, but we are fortunate than no complications happened - other than severe pain and permanent loss of pleasure - which if I let myself dwell on it gives me tinges of anger that I was subjected to that as a newborn for no good reason, but I don't blame my parents.

You ended up fine, but not all do.  The following is a list of some of the documented complications from circumcision.  

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“The hundreds of boys I have seen who needed surgery to repair problems caused by their circumcisions are real. The men who lost more parts of their penis than the foreskin are real. The thousands of adult men saying they wish they hadn’t been cut are real. Not recognizing that circumcision is harmful is either ignorance or denial.”
Adrienne Carmack, M.D., urologist

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Bleeding, which can be severe

Infection

Pain

Removal of too much or too little skin - often requiring skin grafting

Damage to the urethra/bivalving of the glans penis - requiring corrective surgery

Partial or complete loss of the glans or penis

Urinary retention - leading to several further complications including acute renal failure and bladder rupture

Dislocation of Plastibell ring

Hematoma

multiple pyogenic granulomas, 

subglanular stricture

scrotal trauma 

Leg cyanosis

gastric rupture

pulmonary embolism

pneumothorax

erythema multiforme, 

myocardial injury

tachycardia 

heart failure 

Meatitis and meatal stenosis - around 20% incidence in circumcised boys, not seen in uncircumcised boys

Adhesions and skin bridges 

Phimosis

Buried or trapped penis

chordee 

penile torsion

keloid formation 

epidermal inclusion cysts

lymphedema

cancer in the circumcision scar

Subcutaneous granuloma has been reported to occur after circumcision in childhood at a rate of 5%

A recent review found that out of nearly 9000 operations of all types at a large children’s hospital, 4.7% were for complications resulting from previous neonatal circumcision.
The most frequent reasons given for these repeat surgeries were adhesions, skin bridges, meatal stenosis, redundant foreskin (incomplete circumcision with uncircumcised appearance), recurrent phimosis, buried penis, and penile rotation.

https://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/for-professionals/complications/

Oh yeah, lets not forget about death -

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Death is the ultimate harm entailed with any surgical procedure. In cases of true medical necessity, a certain risk of death may be legitimately acceptable to the patient in the overall picture, in balance with the hoped-for benefits. However, when a surgery is medically unnecessary, elective, non-therapeutic, cosmetic, and undertaken without the consent of the patient – as is virtually always the case with infant circumcision – any risk of death, no matter how small, is unacceptable and unethical.

Most deaths are related to excessive bleeding and to infection, as well as to less frequent causes, such as anesthesia accidents and cardiac arrest.

Bollinger, calculating from assumptions about general death rates for male newborns and post-hospital complication rates, estimated a circumcision death rate of 9.0/100,000 for the first 30 days of life.[169] O’Donnell, adjusting Bollinger’s methods with a different set of statistical assumptions, projected a rate of 1.4/100,000.

Earp, et al. analyzed data from the largest U.S. inpatient database on nearly 10 million circumcisions over a 10 year period, looking for excess early mortality in infants who had undergone circumcision.[176] The early death rate attributable to circumcision was found to be 2.0/100,000, with infants circumcised in teaching hospitals and those with co-morbid conditions such as bleeding, cardiovascular, or fluid/electrolyte disorders having a significantly higher risk of death.[176] It should be noted that only deaths that occurred within the same hospital admission as the circumcision could be tracked from this database, thus an unknown number of deaths occurring after initial hospital discharge are not accounted for in this estimate.

 

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On 12/24/2018 at 1:25 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

I have never seen any bullying for such reasons. 

I remember a boy from Junior High being bullied in the locker room for being uncircumcised.  He acquired the nickname "Cheeto" because of its appearance.  That memory is one of the reasons I decided to circumcise my son.  Kids can be cruel.  I hope times have changed since then. 

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10 minutes ago, pogi said:

I remember a boy from Junior High being bullied in the locker room for being uncircumcised.  He acquired the nickname "Cheeto" because of its appearance.  That memory is one of the reasons I decided to circumcise my son.  Kids can be cruel.  I hope times have changed since then. 

Just a few months ago I worried about my two grandsons not being circumcised and if they too would be teased or about their future wives thinking they looked odd. But after watching the Netflix program, I no longer believe this. I hope one day more people sue the doctors/hospitals later in life for taking their human right away to choose for themselves. I hope it comes down to that. I'm now so proud of my daughter to refuse it. I do wonder how circumcision may have psychologically affected men now. Now seeing that some men have had nightmares of being cut down there. And after seeing that many doctors believed at one time that babies do not feel pain, sickening! And some doctors even today do not wait the full 5 minutes for the anesthesia to work. 

IMO, I believe it all started to prevent early sexual arousals in youth or even childhood, ridiculous. And even some doctors going in and cutting older uncircumcised boys telling their parents they need to do something in order for them to clean under the foreskin. Where there bodies will natually do this. This is another reason I thought my grandsons should have had it done, for cleanliness. Wow, it's amazing how one's mind can change so radically in just a few months. 

Glad this subject came up. I'll be more vocal, trying to be brave and post it on FB just now, and chickened out. But maybe later.

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I hope one day more people sue the doctors/hospitals later in life for taking their human right away to choose for themselves.

I don't think that suit would go anywhere as children basically have no rights to decide for themselves - all medical decisions are made by their legal guardians and require parental consent.  Maybe they could sue their parents, but that is not a path that I would advise going down.

If someone was going to sue, they would probably have their best chance by suing on the grounds of informed consent. Each state is different, but in general patients should be educated with sufficient information to make a truly informed decision - that includes risk vs benefit of a procedure.  That simply is not happening.

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There is no nationwide, standardized, prospective system in the United States or Canada for collecting data on circumcision complications in children, not even for the most serious outcomes. Therefore, no one actually knows how many babies require re-hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics, or a blood transfusion; how many lose all or part of their penis (beyond the foreskin); how many need repeat surgery; or how many boys die as a result of having been circumcised.

This has both ethical and practical implications, for without such information healthcare professionals are unable to adequately inform parents of the procedure’s risks, and parents are subsequently unable to give truly informed consent.[9] Furthermore, without this information, there is no way to validly compare the benefits and risks of the procedure – though this is what the American Academy of Pediatrics has nonetheless dared to do, by illogically asserting that “the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks” even as they admit that they do not know the incidence, impact, or added costs of circumcision complications.[10, p. e772, e775)

https://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/for-professionals/complications/

 

We felt highly pressured by our pediatrician to circumcise and were not educated about any risk factors other than general risk factors of surgery - infection, etc. 

The crazy thing is that reduced infection was given as a potential benefit of the procedure, but when you factor in the risk of infection post procedure - how are they calculating that as a benefit exactly?  I can almost guarantee that post surgical infections happen far more regularly and are of a more serious nature than UTI's. 

I feel duped.  I wish I would have had the information to make an truly informed decision.  I absolutely would have chosen to not circumcise.  But it is too late now.  I am not a legal expert, but it seems like there may be legal grounds for suit there. 

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30 minutes ago, pogi said:

I don't think that suit would go anywhere as children basically have no rights to decide for themselves - all medical decisions are made by their legal guardians and require parental consent.  Maybe they could sue their parents, but that is not a path that I would advise going down.

If someone was going to sue, they would probably have their best chance by suing on the grounds of informed consent. Each state is different, but in general patients should be educated with sufficient information to make a truly informed decision - that includes risk vs benefit of a procedure.  That simply is not happening.

We felt highly pressured by our pediatrician to circumcise and were not educated about any risk factors other than general risk factors of surgery - infection, etc. 

The crazy thing is that reduced infection was given as a potential benefit of the procedure, but when you factor in the risk of infection post procedure - how are they calculating that as a benefit exactly?  I can almost guarantee that post surgical infections happen far more regularly and are of a more serious nature than UTI's. 

I feel duped.  I wish I would have had the information to make an truly informed decision.  I absolutely would have chosen to not circumcise.  But it is too late now.  I am not a legal expert, but it seems like there may be legal grounds for suit there. 

Yeah, I agree that the suing aspect may not hold well, but would maybe scare?

I feel duped as well. Hopefully one day this will go on the books as ludicrous such as so many other unnecessary health measures have.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

 

Glad this subject came up. I'll be more vocal, trying to be brave and post it on FB just now, and chickened out. But maybe later.

There, just posted my feelings on the subject on FB! Hope I haven't offended those in my extended family that just had baby sons who have most likely had the procedure done. I even feel like calling pediatricians to see what the heck they think they're doing!

Here's my post, what do you think?:

 

https://www.netflix.com/title/81000861
I feel duped now. And will never forget when the hospital's pediatrician came into my room after having my first son and asking for permission to do the circumcision. I think in my soul I knew it was wrong, but listened to the outside voices over my intuition. Now I regret it, and hope for one day this practice goes out like so many other unnecessary procedures have. Up until watching this Netflix I hadn't realized how I'd been duped.

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50 minutes ago, pogi said:

I don't think that suit would go anywhere as children basically have no rights to decide for themselves - all medical decisions are made by their legal guardians and require parental consent.  Maybe they could sue their parents, but that is not a path that I would advise going down.

If someone was going to sue, they would probably have their best chance by suing on the grounds of informed consent. Each state is different, but in general patients should be educated with sufficient information to make a truly informed decision - that includes risk vs benefit of a procedure.  That simply is not happening.

We felt highly pressured by our pediatrician to circumcise and were not educated about any risk factors other than general risk factors of surgery - infection, etc. 

The crazy thing is that reduced infection was given as a potential benefit of the procedure, but when you factor in the risk of infection post procedure - how are they calculating that as a benefit exactly?  I can almost guarantee that post surgical infections happen far more regularly and are of a more serious nature than UTI's. 

I feel duped.  I wish I would have had the information to make an truly informed decision.  I absolutely would have chosen to not circumcise.  But it is too late now.  I am not a legal expert, but it seems like there may be legal grounds for suit there. 

May I ask how long ago it was that you encountered this pressure from the pediatrician?  I’m in high hopes the health care profession by and large has changed with regard to advocacy for circumcision. 

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27 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

There, just posted my feelings on the subject on FB! Hope I haven't offended those in my extended family that just had baby sons who have most likely had the procedure done. I even feel like calling pediatricians to see what the heck they think they're doing!

Here's my post, what do you think?:

 

https://www.netflix.com/title/81000861
I feel duped now. And will never forget when the hospital's pediatrician came into my room after having my first son and asking for permission to do the circumcision. I think in my soul I knew it was wrong, but listened to the outside voices over my intuition. Now I regret it, and hope for one day this practice goes out like so many other unnecessary procedures have. Up until watching this Netflix I hadn't realized how I'd been duped.

The antidote to being duped is education, reliable information, intelligent discussion and critical thinking. I fear some parents may be their own worst enemies in this regard. 

Many rely on the word of friends and relatives in making the decision, but bias is very much a factor here. No one likes to face the probability that he/she may have been misguided in past behavior and is thus prone to pass along bad advice. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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27 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The antidote to being duped is education, reliable information, intelligent discussion and critical thinking. I fear some parents may be their own worst enemies in this regard. 

Many rely on the word of friends and relatives in making the decision, but bias is very much a factor here. No one likes to face the probability that he/she may have been misguided in past behavior and is thus prone to pass along bad advice. 

So true! :(

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53 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

May I ask how long ago it was that you encountered this pressure from the pediatrician?  I’m in high hopes the health care profession by and large has changed with regard to advocacy for circumcision. 

My son is 28 months old, so it was very recent.  We told her that we wanted to think about it before making any decisions.  Her office called us like 5 times in 3 days telling us that we need to do it now and not delay as delaying can increase risks.  I don't know if or why that would be true, but that is what we were told.  So, we felt constrained to act quickly without having ample time to sufficiently study the issue out.  I feel like we were misinformed as to the strength of the benefits and were extremely under informed about the potential risks and consequences.  I had no idea about the role of the foreskin and why it might be beneficial and desirable to keep.  I would not call our consent "informed" by any stretch of the imagination, which is a serious ethical violation. 

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On ‎12‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 12:05 PM, Hamba Tuhan said:

Biblical circumcision was a completely different procedure. 

Thanks, I am  now much better informed. Too bad humans changed the procedure out of pride or fear of the world. The Lamanites/Nephites always caught grief for following the traditions of the fathers. Here is one tradition we have followed for over 1000 years.

Following bad but well- meaning advice is not unusual. Didn't Washington die because blood-letting was the doctor's advice?

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The antidote to being duped is education, reliable information, intelligent discussion and critical thinking. I fear some parents may be their own worst enemies in this regard. 

Many rely on the word of friends and relatives in making the decision, but bias is very much a factor here. No one likes to face the probability that he/she may have been misguided in past behavior and is thus prone to pass along bad advice. 

In the defense of parents, I don't think that we can really place much, if any, blame on parents when it is pushed as an "important public health measure" by the CDC.  On top of that, parents are not given the opportunity to practice informed consent by their medical providers.  We shouldn't expect parent to be medical experts.  Most trust their pediatricians advice and recommendations.  What information are pediatricians using in this regard?  I can tell you that in my practice of public health, we follow the CDC's recommendations in everything.  If pediatricians are looking to the CDC or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), then they are going to lean in favor of circumcision and recommend it for their patients.

This from the CDC:

Quote

After an extensive evaluation of the scientific evidence, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released draft policy recommendations in December 2014 affirming male circumcision (MC) as an important public health measure...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478224/

And this from the AAP:

Quote

After a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks...

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Newborn-Male-Circumcision.aspx

One questions however, how the CDC or the AAP could possible weigh the risk vs benefit when "there is no nationwide, standardized, prospective system in the United States or Canada for collecting data on circumcision complications in children, not even for the most serious outcomes."

Nor are parents educated on the role of the foreskin before decision making.  We simply can't expect lay people to know this stuff.

The CDC and AAP do rightly recommend the following:

Quote

The CDC supported the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) infant MC policy4,5 (Box 2) and recommended that providers: (1) give parents of newborn boys comprehensive counseling about the benefits and risks of MC

That simply is not happening however - at least not in my case.  Again, I see this more as a failure of the medical community to uphold circumcision as an "important public health measure" and by failing to properly educate parents allowing them informed consent.  I am guessing that many pediatricians in the US are culturally biased in this regard as well. 

As a public health nurse, I am required by law to not only educate the patient verbally as to the risks vs. benefits of vaccination, but I am also required to give the patient a written document called a Vaccine Information Statement (VIS), outlining potential risks of vaccination before they can elect to receive one.  Now, when you think that such extensive education is happening for as simple a procedure as a vaccine, it makes you wonder why similar education is not happening before performing invasive surgery on an infants genitals, causing irreparable damage to the organ and posing serous health risks and unimaginable pain.  My pediatrician made it seem like we were taking him in to get his toe nails trimmed. 

While it is true, that medical providers cannot fully educate on risk vs benefit as the risks of circumcision are not fully understood in terms of statistics, they can at least be given a list of known documented complications that happen from the procedure, even if we don't know exactly how often they happen.  When the list of benefits includes extremely moderate potential reduced risk for UTI's and reduced risk for the extremely rare penile cancer, one wonders who would in their right mind elect for circumcision given the list of known complications - which ironically includes infections and cancer from scar tissue...  

Edited by pogi
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