BROOKLYN, N.Y., Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/– Intaction.org, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, denounces the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) over its newly published “Circumcision Policy Statement.” The AAP, a medical trade organization, has published a flawed policy about routine infant circumcision (RIC) that will misguide U.S. health professionals and parents.
RIC is the removal of healthy tissue for cosmetic reasons. The AAP overstates the alleged prophylactic benefits while downplaying risks and complications. The AAP places insurance and personal considerations of doctors above the health and well-being of minors. The AAP completely ignores the rights of the child to genital integrity, and the right of the individual to choose for himself as an adult whether to be circumcised.
The AAP relies on controversial, selective studies to base its claims, saying “Benefits include significant reductions, …., in the risk of heterosexual acquisition of HIV and the transmission of other STDs.” The AAP misguides medical professionals into believing that a causative relationship exists between RIC and STDs.
The AAP does not take into account European statistics of extremely low circumcision rates, lower HIV/STD infection rate, lower health care costs, and greater longevity than Americans. The AAP ignored numerous non-U.S. based medical organizations that are unanimous in their opposition to RIC.
The AAP downplays the complication rate of RIC. It completely ignores infant deaths that have occurred due to the procedure. The AAP did not research the multitude of malpractice lawsuits filed against doctors due to “botch jobs” causing disfigurement. This harm is all the more egregious since RIC neither cures nor prevents any disease in infancy.
The AAP arrives at a conflicting conclusion on whether RIC provides a clear benefit by stating, “Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it…” The AAP seemingly concludes that parental inclination creates medical justification, or that parents will have somehow have a greater ability to determine medical benefits than professionals.
The AAP previously released controversial policy statements. In 2010 the AAP endorsed female genital mutilation (FGM), by the cutting the female clitoris with a “nick.” In that statement, the AAP trampled on medical ethics by tailoring its policy to cater to cultural and religious beliefs. The AAP’s FGM policy was ignorant of Federal law barring such practices. Within days of the release the AAP was forced to retract that policy.