Leaks distort AAP's already-biased policyBy Hugh Young
Websites supporting circumcision have leaked the American Academy of Pediatrics' policy on circumcision, adding further spin to an already biased policy.
The Tablet trumpets "Leading Pediatric Group Endorses Circumcision" and this has been echoed on other conservative sites.
They do NOT "endorse" it. They say "health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns" but the benefits outweigh the risks and then, as they always have, leave it up to parents.
Yet their own ethicist, Dr Douglas Diekema has said on oath that, "the request of a parent or surrogate decision-maker is never sufficient to justify a particular clinical intervention." (The same Dr Diekema has never recanted his support of a token ritual nick to girls' genitals "much less extensive than neonatal male genital cutting" that was the AAP's policy on FGC for a month in 2010 until a storm of public outrage forced it to backtrack).
Their policy exaggerates the benefits and minimizes the risks. For example, there are no good statistical studies of major complications or deaths, so it simply ignores them. It cherry-picks data and misrepresents it. For example it cites a study that found "circumcision [removes] the most senstive part of the penis" but ignores that finding - in fact it ignores the foreskin as much as it can, neither defining it nor considering its unique structure and many functions.
It discusses one circumcision clamp's action without mentioning that its maker has gone out of business after losing lawsuits worth millions to the families of boys who lost too much in the clamps.
Its pro-circumcision bias is manifest - as is its financial interest in getting your taxes and health insurance premiums into their pockets through public funding of circumcision.
As one satirist put it:
An earnest, overachieving group of middle school students proudly turns in a 3-year term paper entitled:
Forty Reasons Why Circumcision Is a Really Good Thingby Cathie Cutup and her 8 friends
How It Looks, How It Works and How to Keep it Healthy.
There never should have been a "Task Force on Circumcision", because everything looks like a nail when you're a hammer. If the AAP is so concerned with the health of the penis, then they should have had a Task Force on Male Urogenital Health and Development, and just observed in passing that unnecessary circumcision was an odd religious thing, outside the realm of ethical medicine. Period.
Trainer: You exhaustively answered the wrong question, but thanks for playing". Bzzt!
Bottom line: the AAP does not recommend circumcision. It is still true that no national medical association in the world does.