Saturday, November 30, 2013

DALLAS: Ob/Gyns may now treat men - but could always cut boys

NY TImes
November 26, 2013

Gynecologists May Treat Men, Board Says in Switch

by Denise Grady
A professional group that certifies obstetrician-gynecologists reversed an earlier directive and said on Tuesday that its members were permitted to treat male patients for sexually transmitted infections and to screen men for anal cancer.

The statement from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology eased restrictions announced in September, which said that gynecologists could lose their board certification if they treated men. Exceptions were made to allow certain procedures, ...

The ABOG website says:
In addition, to remain certified by ABOG the care of male patients is prohibited except in the following circumstances:
  • Active government service,
  • Evaluation of fertility,
  • Genetic counseling and testing of a couple,
  • Evaluation and management of sexually transmitted infections,
  • Administration of immunizations,
  • Management of transgender conditions,
  • Emergency, pandemic, humanitarian or disaster response care,
  • Family planning services, not to include vasectomy,
  • Newborn circumcision, and
  • Completion of ACGME-accredited training and certification in other specialties (see below). [Which raises the question, if not vasectomy, which protects women against pregnancy, why newborn circumcision? It looks as though the answer is "because it is there".]

... but screening men who were at high risk for anal cancer was not permitted, so the September decision left some gynecologists struggling to find colleagues in other specialties to treat their male patients and to track those who were enrolled in studies.

Like cervical cancer, anal cancer is usually caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which is sexually transmitted. This type of cancer is rare, but its incidence is increasing, especially among men and women infected with H.I.V.

Experts in anal cancer asked the board to reconsider its position, and some started letter-writing campaigns. Patient advocacy groups expressed worry that the prohibition would interfere with research and make it harder for male patients to find screening and treatment.

The board had said it wanted to protect the profession as a female specialty and limit the nongynecological work performed by its members. But Dr. Kenneth L. Noller, the board’s director of evaluation, said board members had reconsidered and realized that gynecologists had a long tradition of treating sexually transmitted infections in both men and women, and that HPV and problems related to the virus fell into that category.

LONDON: Newborns know they own their bodies

November 21, 2013

Babies Seem To Know Themselves Soon After Birth

by Thomas Andrew Gustafson
Understanding you exist as a person happens a lot sooner than you might think.

A study involving 40 cute, pudgy babies found that they were aware of their bodies — and even displayed a sense of ownership of them — less than two days after being born.

Both of those qualities are key ingredients in realizing your own existence, says the study's lead author, Maria Laura Filippetti, a doctoral candidate specializing in cognitive development at Birkbeck College, University of London.

"Body awareness refers to the feeling of being alive," she told Shots. "Body ownership refers to the feeling of having a body, the sense that this body belongs to me."

Past studies reveled how important these two aspects of human life were for infants, but this study was the first to discover it in newborns at birth.

How did the researchers figure it out? Filippetti and her colleagues tested the infants' ability to recognize themselves using a test similar to the old rubber hand illusion.

That test tricks the mind into thinking a fake rubber hand actually belongs to a person's body. Researchers lightly stroke a person's real hand with a paintbrush while it's hidden from his or her view. Simultaneously, the researchers stroke a rubber hand that's in plain sight. Stroking the two at the same time and in the same places means the person feels the paintbrush while seeing the action elsewhere.

Normally, a person's brain associates the feeling of one's hand with the sight of the hand. But the brain can be confused by a trick like this and start to think the rubber hand is the one it should pay attention to.

For the infants, the test was very similar. Again, a paintbrush was used, but this time the researchers stroked the babies' cheeks as they watched a video of the same thing happening to another baby.

The researchers tested how the babies behaved when the paintbrush was touched at different times and at the same time on their faces. Since babies can't talk, their researchers gauged the babies' reactions by measuring how long they looked at the baby in the video, Filippetti says.

"A longer looking time for a stimulus compared to another one is a measure of discrimination and preference for that stimulus," she tells Shots.

The newborns did watch the other baby in the video longer when the paintbrush strokes on both happened simultaneously, rather than at different times, or not at all. That response to simultaneous stimulation shows a sense of body awareness and ownership, the researchers say. Here's a of how the test went.

The researcher also performed a second experiment with a twist: They showed the babies the same video turned upside down. The babies tested didn't respond to the simultaneous paintbrush strokes.

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND: Intacitivist touring protest hits town

The Phoenix
November 20, 2013

'Intactivists' take to the streets in Providence

by Steve Ahlquist
Brother K protesting circumcision in Providence RI
“The destruction to the male genitals is absolute,” says Brother K. “Total. You’re left with a fraction of what God and nature intended. It’s appalling.”

It’s Sunday morning on Hope Street in Providence and cars are whizzing by. Some honk their horns in solidarity; others carry passengers clearly confused as to the necessity of a demonstration against circumcision featuring men in white jumpsuits with large red bloodstains on their crotches


Rest of story. Has this link failed?

SUSSEX, ENGLAND: Circumcision-botch doctor turns amateur

BBC News
November 17, 2013

Circumcision doctor in GMC investigation to quit NHS

by Nicola Dowling
A doctor under investigation by the General Medical Council after circumcising a child says he is resigning from the NHS.

Dr Muhamad Siddiqui, a hospital surgeon, had conditions imposed on his GMC registration after a complaint by the parents of the toddler.

The doctor, who carried out the procedure at the child's home, denies all the allegations.
Dr Siddiqui operated his own mobile circumcision service outside the NHS.

The GMC investigation was launched after a complaint by Kelly Braiha and her husband Ghali, from Littlehampton in West Sussex.

They claim their 23-month-old son Najem was left traumatised and suffered an infection because Dr Siddiqui, who works at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, did not take hygienic precautions.

Mrs Braiha says she believes home circumcisions should now be banned.

Dr Siddiqui is also accused of failing to obtain indemnity insurance for his private work and of carrying out regulated procedures without the necessary Care Quality Commission registration.
He denies all the allegations against him.

After an initial investigation by the GMC, the case has been referred to a fitness-to-practise hearing.
In the meantime, the GMC issued an interim order banning Dr Siddiqui from carrying out circumcisions anywhere other than in a hospital or clinical setting.

Regulatory loopholes
But when researchers from the BBC Radio 5live Investigates programme contacted him this week, days after the interim order came into force, he said he would be happy to carry out a circumcision at a private address in Southampton.

After the arrangements for the procedure were agreed, the programme contacted Dr Siddiqui again and told him the call had been made by a researcher posing as the father of a boy he wanted circumcised.

Dr Siddiqui said he wanted to continue performing home circumcisions but he was in the process of resigning from his NHS job and surrendering his GMC registration.

This would mean he would not be able to practise as a doctor but because of regulatory loopholes he would be able to carry on performing circumcisions privately.

[In fact anyone at all, with no qualificaitons whatsoever, may genitally cut a boy.]

Asked why he had agreed to carry out a home circumcision when there was a GMC order preventing him from doing so, he said he would not have carried out the procedure until his resignation had been formalised.

Dr Siddiqui said: 'I don't agree with the limitations the GMC has imposed on me. I don't want to be at odds with the GMC."

Healthcare workers have to be registered with the CQC if they want to perform home circumcisions but Dr Siddiqui felt he did not have to be.

Those who have no formal medical training, however, are not required to be registered with any of the regulators.

5live Investigates has also spoken to consultants who have told the programme they are concerned about the number of children they are seeing with medical complications after some home circumcisions.

They are now calling for tighter controls.

'Children have died'
Consultant surgeon Feilim Murphy, secretary of the British Association of Paediatric Urologists, said: "The biggest issue is there are a number of children who are circumcised by people who are not experienced and don't understand what is required, and there can be significant complications with that."

He said this could include bleeding, which is particularly dangerous for babies, pain, damage to the penis and loss of the top of the penis.

[Circumcision always causes damage to the penis....]

He added: "Unfortunately children have died in the last number of years in Britain and Ireland from circumcision-related complications.

"It does make sense that everybody should register, that everybody should be on the same playing field.

"It makes sense for the child it makes sense for the family it makes sense for everyone."

[What would make sense for the child is not being genitally cut before they could give informed consent.]

Saturday, November 16, 2013

FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY: Doctor failed to check under foreskin for cancer, gets off

November 15, 2013

Ky. high court turns away penis amputation lawsuit

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A Kentucky man who sought damages from a doctor who removed a cancer-riddled section of his penis during what was scheduled to be a simple circumcision has lost his final appeal.

The Kentucky Supreme Court opted not to take up the case of Phillip Seaton of Waddy. The court did not comment on its reasons for turning down the case.
Seaton sued Dr. John Patterson over the amputation.

A jury in Shelby County ruled in favor of Patterson at trial. The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld that decision, finding that the jury correctly concluded that Seaton consented to allow Patterson to perform any procedure deemed necessary during the Oct. 19, 2007, surgery.

The Seatons also sued Jewish Hospital, where the surgery took place. The hospital settled with the couple for an undisclosed amount.

Earlier story

EMIRATES: Another botched circumcision

November 14, 2013

18-day-old baby's organ partially cut off during circumcision

An Arab doctor accidentally cut off the top of the genital organ of an 18-day-old Saudi boy during circumcision, prompting the hospital to call a well known pediatric surgeon for an urgent operation, a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Thursday.

The doctor tried to correct his mistake by stitching the severed part but the bleeding did not stop and the boy could not stop screaming of pain, Sabq said.

“The hospital then called a pediatric surgeon from King Abdul Aziz Hospital for an urgent surgery…the doctor managed to stop the bleeding and restore the severed part,” the paper said in a report from the western Saudi town of Taif.

FLORIDA: Fewer babies cut, hence more older boys

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Health News Digest
November 13, 2013

Circumcisions in Older Boys and Related Costs Skyrocket in Florida

( - GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Circumcisions in Florida boys over the age of 1 have increased dramatically in recent years, doubling costs to the state, a study by University of Florida Health surgical researchers shows.

Saleem Islam, M.D., an associate professor in the College of Medicine department of surgery's division of pediatric surgery, said he and his study collaborators believe the state's decision to terminate Medicaid funding for routine circumcisions in babies under 1 month old has led to the increase in circumcisions for older boys. The study was published in the September issue of the journal The American Surgeon.
[Is anyone surprised? More intact babies means more boys available to be circumcised later. It would be surprising if a fall in newborn circumcisions did NOT lead to a rise in later circumcisions.]

Islam said families should decide for themselves whether to have their sons circumcised, but emphasized that circumcision in the newborn period is preferable for several important reasons.
[NOT circumcising at all is preferable to either early or late - especially to the penis's owner - for several important reasons.]
"The benefits are that the child does not have to undergo general anesthesia, there is much less cost to public monies, it's safer for the kids to get it done [Ther is no evidence for this] and that's the right age, as well," he said.
[Not circumcising has all those benefits and more. And what does "the right age" mean?]
Because newborns require only local anesthesia for a circumcision, newborn circumcisions are safer and much less expensive. They also have a lower risk of complications. Circumcising older boys requires general anesthesia to ensure the patient remains still during the procedure. [Yes, a baby can simply be strapped down.]

Florida was one of numerous states to stop Medicaid coverage for routine newborn circumcisions after a 1999 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics said the procedure may not be medically necessary.
[May not be? 2,000,000,000 happily intact males in the world prove it IS not medically necessary.]

Islam explained that circumcisions can increase hygiene in the penis, and some uncircumcised males suffer from recurrent urinary tract or penile infections. Some parents will choose circumcision because of these potential problems or for religious or cultural reasons. Islam said he does not take a firm stance either for or against circumcision, but prefers for parents to decide.

The state cut off Medicaid coverage for the procedure in 2001. Many insurance companies also stopped paying for newborn circumcisions after the report. Funding remains available for circumcisions in older males when the procedure is deemed medically necessary, such as when repeated infections occur.

In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics reversed its stance on routine newborn circumcisions, citing research indicating they may help protect against HIV and provide other benefits. [They did not reverse their stance, nor recommend it, they just shifted their collective bottom on the fence.]

UF Health researchers' study of data from 2003 to 2008 shows publicly funded circumcisions increased at a rate more than six times greater than the increase in privately funded circumcisions. They also cost approximately $111.8 million over the five-year time period, an amount estimated by medical facility charges during the study period. Fees for health care providers were excluded from the study, meaning the actual amount paid for the procedures was probably greater. The study results also showed that circumcisions in boys over age 1 were more common each year than those performed on newborns.
[What's missing here is, what proportions of babies and older boys were circumcised before and after funding was ended? When funding is ended and fewer boys are circumcised, the vast majority never need to be circumcised, saving public funding. (Even fewer are ever circumcised where circumcision has not been customary for more than a generation, doctors or their partners have foreskin asn the know its value, they are taught more about the foreskin than how to cut it off, and their anatomy texts actually show the foreskin.)]

By 2008, yearly Medicaid costs for circumcision in boys through age 17 reached $33.6 million, compared with $14.9 million in 2003. Meanwhile, private charges for circumcisions in Florida rose from $9.3 million to $14.1 million. Circumcisions in 2008 accounted for 30 percent of the estimated total costs for the procedure during the five-year window.

Islam said the increase in circumcisions among older boys likely stemmed from parents, supported by referring physicians, who had hygiene or medical concerns, but were unable or unwilling to pay for the procedure during the newborn period. UF Health pediatric surgeons noted they had talked with some of their own patients' parents about the decision to have an older boy circumcised and found that many parents would have opted for newborn circumcision if public funding were available.
[So what? Doubtless many parents whose son's DIDN'T have issues would have opted to cut them if the taxpayer paid for it.]

The American Academy of Pediatrics' new stance on the issue may lead states and insurance companies to restore funding for the procedure in newborns, a change Islam would welcome.

"It would make a lot of sense to offer it (newborn circumcision) to families who otherwise perhaps may not be able to afford it," he said, "and then say, ‘Here, we are offering it to you when your child is a newborn. You have a choice to make here. If you choose to get it done now, there are a lot of benefits over having it done later.'"
[And he says he's not pro-circumcision....]

LONDON: Gilgal Society's Quaintance faces more serious charges - Brian Morris doesn't quite efface him

The Tablet
11 October, 2013

Knights' former sacristan charged

A former sacristan for the Knights of Malta [and prominent advocate of infant circumcision] has been charged with a dozen counts of sexual offences against children dating from 1966 to 2011.

Vernon Quaintance, of Upper Norwood, south-east London, has been charged with one count of indecent assault against a 10-year-old boy in 1966, the same offence against an 11-year-old in 1976, and a single count of sexual assault against a boy aged 11.

He is further accused of three counts of inciting a boy aged under 16 to commit an act of gross indecency. Charges against him also include the possession of 1,285 indecent images of children.

A police spokesman said Mr Quaintance appeared at West London Magistrates Court in August and a case management hearing was due at the end of this month.

Mr Quaintance, who was made a companion of the Order of Malta, had been serving at the order's weekly Mass at the Church of the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in north London. He was first introduced to the church in 2007 and stopped serving in 2011.

An inquiry this year found that three senior members of the Order of Malta were found to have failed to report alleged concerns about Mr Quaintance. ...

Earlier story

Emeritus Professor Brian Morris recently removed the "circumcision humor" page from his personal website,, including a verse by "Vernon Quantance". He has also removed the links to circumcision fetish sites. A list of "possible circumcisers in Australia and New Zealand" is still prefaced by Vernon Quaintance's Gilgal Society logo. A nearly identical list is published by Professor Morris's "Circumcision Foundation of Australia".

The Gilgal Society has published a sheaf of leaflets by Morris and a fetishistic video of an adult circumcision. Its website continues to advertise his leaflets, though "major computer failure" prevents it from selling them. Soon after Quaintance's conviction, Professor Morris removed the Gilgal logo from his leaflets in English, and later from the French and German versions.

Earlier story

NORWAY: Circumcision to be regulated

November 12, 2013

Norway to introduce new regulations on circumcision

(JTA) — Norway will promote new legislation to “regulate ritual circumcision,” the country’s health minister said.

Bent Hoie said the new legislation on non-medical circumcision of boys under 18 will be introduced before April 20, according to a report by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

“We will review submissions on the matter before we can decide what should be the government’s position. We aim to present a bill before Easter,” Hoie told Aftenposten last week. He did not say whether the regulations would introduce new restrictions.

His announcement follows renewed calls by Norway Children’s Ombudswoman Anne Lindboe to ban non-medical circumcision of minors without their consent, which she says violates their rights.

“This is not due to any lack of understanding of minorities or religious traditions, but because the procedure is irreversible, painful and risky,” Lindboe told Aftenposten.

The Center Party, which won 5.5 percent of the vote in Norway general elections earlier this year, is in favor of banning non-medical circumcision of underage boys. The country’s largest party, Labor, has not yet formulated an official stance but several of its lawmakers support a ban.

Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish community in Oslo, told JTA that he considers the issue “an existential matter” for the Jewish community of about 700 members.

Each year, approximately 2,000 Muslims and seven Jewish newborns undergo non-medical circumcision in Norway, according to Aftenposten.

In France, meanwhile, President Francois Hollande strongly affirmed his support for the protection of Jewish rights to circumcision in an Oct. 30 letter to the Consistoire, which oversees religious services for the Jewish community.

“There is no question whether this practice in Judaism, and other religions, is performed in accordance with existing laws in France,” he wrote. [... but he is happy to regulate what Muslim women may wear...]

NEW YORK: Judge Scalia accepts circumcision restriction

The Jewish Week
12 November, 2013

On Circumcision, Scalia Surprises

by Gabe Kahn
Longest-serving justice and interlocutors agree on most issues at YU conversation between former classmates.

A hero to many in the Orthodox community on matters relating to the separation of church and state, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments on circumcision at a Yeshiva University forum last Wednesday night may have come as an unpleasant surprise to those who think the justice’s opinions flow from his own religious beliefs.

How would he have ruled, he was asked by attorney Nathan Lewin, had a 2011 attempt to criminalize circumcision in San Francisco succeeded and eventually made its way to the high court?

If the practice is something that society does not want, and it’s not intended to discriminate against Jews in particular, I think the law is perfectly valid,” he said to a crowd somewhat mystified by how incongruous the remark seemed in the context of Scalia’s other church-state comments.
[Not just a practice "that society does not want", infant circumcision flies in the face of international conventions on human and children's rights, and international and national law.] ...

Scalia and Lewin did not agree on the legality of a ban on circumcision, however. ...

Shuli Karkowski, a graduate of Harvard Law in attendance, said she was impressed by Scalia’s honesty, especially considering that not all of his opinions were popular with the audience.

“Even when I don’t agree with Justice Scalia, I think he takes both a consistent and principled approach,” she said. “I’m surprised that he said how he would rule in the bris case. Most justices are disinclined to speak on any matter that could possibly come before the court.”

ZIMBABWE: Babies to be circumcised as mothers die

November 10, 2013

Zimbabwe Buys Into Controversial Israeli Style Circumcision

At at time when government is struggling to provide bath and drink water for women in maternity wards across the country, the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has embarked on an expensive and controversial Israeli style pilot programme to circumcise young boys a few days after being born under the hope of stopping the spread of HIV AIDS.

This comes as women were being told to bring their own water to bath soon after giving birth as they were informed the hospitals have no money to drill boreholes; a time when the latest statistics reveal that at least 1000 pregnant women die in every 100 000 pregnant women in Zim hospitals because of inadequate money.

The ministry’s program will see over 500 babies between the ages of 10 and 60 days in Harare being circumcised voluntarily at the government’s own expense.
[There is no evidence that infant circumcision has any effect on HIV. And of course, no baby ever volunteers for anything.]
The state media reports that the programme is meant to assist Government in determining the best age at which to start conducting male circumcision, which is said to reduce the likelihood of contracting HIV by approximately 60percent albeit amid protest from other independent practitioners that this is untrue.

MoHCC male circumcision co-ordinator Dr Sinokuthemba Xaba said ... “Parents are the ones who are giving us the consent to circumcise their boys using the accucirc method,” he said.

“When phase one of the pilot program was initiated last year in December we set a target of circumcising 150 babies using two methods which were the accucirc and morgan clap [Mogen clamp] methods. [Never mind that the Mogen clamp is no longer made in the USA after the Mogen Company went bankrupt, having lost millions in lawsuits to the families of boys who lost parts of the heads of their penises in Mogen clamps.]

“After reaching the target in May this year, the assessment clearly showed that most parents preferred the accucirc method which is why we have embarked on the second phase of our pilot programme.

“We now want to see the strength and weakness of the most preferred method, parents’ responses to the method, their suggestions and also how nurses can handle the procedure.”

Dr Xaba noted that the results of the programme will determine whether the ministry will continue circumcising newborn babies.

“A complete waste of money”
The move by the ministry comes amid criticism from senior practitioners such as Dr Timothy Stamps who says that the very same studies undertaken on circumcision on which the United Nations body relies upon had on the contrary proven that countries such as the US with a higher number of circumcised men had a high HIV prevalence rate.

“Instead of channelling funds towards circumcision, the money must be used to save pregnant mothers who die in huge numbers in this country,” he said.

“When we are losing 960 mothers for every 100 000 pregnancies, should circumcision be a priority?” Stamps added.

Other investigations have have found that circumcised men actually contracted HIV after going through the surgical procedure.

ZIMBABWE: Circumcised men refuse condoms, get HIV

Is anyone surprised?

The Standard (Zimbabwe)
November 10, 2013

Circumcised men indulge in risky sexual behaviour

SOME circumcised men are contracting HIV and Aids after ditching the use of condoms, under a misguided belief that male circumcision (MC) would prevent them from getting infected, The Standard has heard.

This revelation comes at a time when the national programme is battling for recognition and relevance as an effective preventive tool for HIV and Aids in the country.

Sex workers who spoke to The Standard last week said some circumcised men were no longer using preventive methods, including condoms, because they believed that their chances of getting infected were limited after getting circumcised.

One of the sex workers, who only identified herself as Memory told a United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) media training workshop in Bulawayo last week, that most of her circumcised clients were not willing to use condoms.

“I have problems with circumcised men because they do not want to use condoms. They always argue that because they have been circumcised they did not need to use condoms,” said the heavily pregnant Memory, who is also HIV-positive.

Memory said even after disclosing her HIV status, they still insisted on sleeping with her without any form of protection.

“I even take my antiretroviral drugs in their presence but they do not care and because I have a family to feed, I give in to their demands,” said Memory.

But Ministry of Health and Child Care national male circumcision coordinator, Sinokuthemba Xaba maintained that the procedure reduced chances of getting infected by at least 60%, but urged men not to stop using condoms.

He defended the programme saying it was a pity that some people were under the misguided opinion that by being circumcised they would not be infected.
[More than a "pity" - it's a total disaster.]

“MC is still an effective tool and circumcisions avert HIV-infection but circumcised men can still get HIV,” Xaba said.

According to the 2010/2011 Zimbabwe Health Demographic Survey (ZDHS), 14% of circumcised men in the country between the ages of 15 and 49 years contracted HIV as compared to those uncircumcised.

[Was this deliberately garbled? What is missing is “ compared to 12% of those uncircumcised.” A 2005 survey found 16.6% and 14.2%.. In other words, circumcision has conferred no protection whatsoever on the men surveyed.]
Zimbabwe: circumcision fails to protect - graph
Critics have dismissed claims that MC prevents contraction of HIV by at least 60% saying it was “exaggerated”.

Meanwhile, the uptake of the MC remains low with most provinces recording less than 10% uptake.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Another botch, penis cut off

November 7, 2013

Mother claims doctor disfigured son after 'botched' circumcision

by Janice Broach
(WMC-TV) - Circumcision for newborn boys is considered one of the most common medical procedures in the world. [No, it is rare except in the USA and Israel. Most circumcision is done later, and most of the world does not circumcise.] But one Memphis mother says her son was mutilated during the common surgery.

Maggie Rhodes' son Ashton was three months old when she had him circumcised at a local low-cost clinic.

"When he was in the room, he was screaming like life and death like, like there wasn't no tomorrow," she said. "When she pulled back the cloth, like the thing was like gone. She cut up instead of down, instead of cutting around the top of the penis."

Rhodes says her son now screams when he urinates. He will need reconstruction work to correct what she considers a botched procedure.

Ob/Gyn Doctor Kent Lee did not perform Ashton's circumcision nor has he ever met Ashton or his mom. Lee says most circumcisions are safe, but he says mistakes do happen.

"I've been doing this for 20 years, and I have never ever seen anybody with everything completely cut off," said Ob/Gyn Dr. Kent Lee. "Actual penectomy is extraordinarily rare." [Unfortunate choice of words.]

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics 1 in 500 newborn boys experience significant acute complications as a result of circumcision. [Even that figure - wherever they got it - means one significant acute complication of circumcision every 3 hours and 40 minutes in the USA.] The procedure typically takes five to 30 minutes.

Rhodes says her son was in surgery for nearly three hours.

"While he was screaming, I asked her, I kept asking was everything OK?" said Rhodes. "She was like uhh, 'I don't know if he's too large to get did inside the clinic, but I am going to do it anyway.' "

Another Ob/Gyn says some people have their child go through the procedure in the hospital.
"Some people do it within the first week or two," said Dr. Charles Ryan.

Ryan says the sooner a newborn receives the procedure the better, but circumcisions can still be done up to three months after birth with no problems.

Rhodes did not have her son circumcised in the hospital because she was unable to be present for the procedure. Also, her son had a cold during his six-week-checkup. The doctor said wait.

"You try to be the best mom you can be, but it's like the attack of the enemies is always there," said Rhodes. "I feel like I failed my son."

Studies suggest circumcision decreases the likelihood of certain diseases and infant urinary tract infections. but medical opinions vary.

The percentage of newborn boys circumcised in the U.S. dropped to 54 percent last year. Rhodes wishes she had not had her son circumcised and wonders what she will tell him when he gets older.

She is devastated. Rhodes' story is far from over as she is currently talking to a lawyer.

"I feel in my heart, I felt like I couldn't do nothing but cry," she said.

ISRAEL: Court orders boy circumcised against mother's wish

Jewish Press
November 7, 2013

Court Forcing Divorcée to Circumcise Son

by Yori Yanover
A rabbinical court in Netanya this week forced a divorced woman to facilitate the performance of a Jewish circumcision for her son, Behadrei Haredim reported.

During the divorce process, which Israeli Jews contest in rabbinical court, the husband requested that the regional rabbinical court in Netanya, about 20 miles north of Tel Aviv, to compel his wife to give their son a legal circumcision. The court accepted his request.

The woman argued that the rabbinical court does not have jurisdiction over her son, and may not decide on what constitutes a dangerous medical procedure for him, especially since the boy is not a party to the divorce procedure. She argued that the authority to decide on this matter belongs exclusively in family court.

But the rabbinical judges, Rabbis Michael Amos, Sheur Pardes and Ariel Yanai, rejected the woman’s argument and determined that when a couple is in a dispute over the treatment of their son, the dispute may be resolve either in family or in rabbinical court. “The circumcision,” wrote the judges, “is a simple surgery which is conducted on every Jewish baby eight days or older, around the world, for thousands of years. Therefore, when one of the parents demands it, the other party may not prevent it unless a medical danger can be proven.”

The judges added: “The minor’s entire educational construct depends on the performance of the Brit Milah-circumcision; therefore the mother’s claim that the circumcision is unrelated the child’s guardianship and education is refuted and rejected. “The circumcision is the sign, the mark, the distinguishing detail of the Jewish identity of every Jew wherever he may be, and whatever his spiritual state. An uncircumcised Jew’s Jewish identity is incomplete and defective.”

Therefore, the mother’s request was rejected and the court ordered her to have the circumcision be performed within seven days, or suffer a financial penalty.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

PROVIDENCE, RI: Another study finds no circumcision-HIV/HPV link

Another study finds no link

Brown Daily Herald
October 30, 2013

Link between HIV and HPV risk confirmed in men

by Phoebe Draper
While the link between human papillomavirus infection and human immunodeficiency virus has been studied in females in the past, a new study by University researchers in the Department of Epidemiology has found this link in males as well.

Examining data on 2,519 circumcised and uncircumcised men, researchers found HPV infection was associated with increased risk of HIV infection in males. Men who had recently had an HPV infection, or had persistent HPV infection, were at higher risk of HIV. Circumcision status was not found to have an effect.

The findings suggest that HPV should be an integral component of future HIV prevention measures, highlighting the need for future research into the specific mechanism by which HPV augments HIV risk, according to the study’s abstract.

GEORGIA: Early pain changes the brain

Science News
October 30, 2013

Early pain changes the brain

A new study has found that rats subjected to pain soon after birth undergo changes in their brains.
This may permanently alter their reaction to stress and pain in adulthood, Dr Anne Murphy of Georgia State University has found


CANBERRA: Senate committee; "Don't cut intersex without good cause"

Australian Senate/OII
October 30, 2013

Senate Committe: "Avoid unnecessary surgery on children"

An Australian Senate Committee has recommended that medical interventions on intersexed children should wherever possible wait until the person themself can give their informed consent.

The Community Affairs References Committee report on "Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia" has accepted many of the submissions of Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia.

It recommends the terms "intersex" or "differences of sexual development" rather than "disorders of sexual development".
The committee recommends that all medical treatment of intersex people take place under guidelines that ensure treatment is managed by multidisciplinary teams within a human rights framework. The guidelines should favour deferral of normalising treatment until the person can give fully informed consent, and seek to minimise surgical intervention on infants undertaken for primarily psychosocial reasons.

Medical intervention should be deferred wherever possible until the patient is able to freely give full and informed consent; this is known as “Gillick competence”.
OII says the report raises major concerns about medical ethics and the human rights of intersex people in Australia.

"The committee acknowledges that surgeries intend to erase intersex traits from individuals and society, yet the underlying preconceptions are disturbing, and no research has been done to evaluate the benefits of alternatives," OII Australia president Morgan Carpenter said.

TEL AVIV: Knesset Members to lobby Europe: "Let us go on cutting babies!"

Jerusalem Post
October 23, 2013

MKs [Members of the Knesset] to traverse Europe to combat anti-circumcision proposals

by Lahav Harkov
MKs plan to travel through Europe in the coming weeks to battle anti-circumcision legislation.
On Wednesday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called in 15 MKs who head caucuses for relations with different European countries to discuss how to fight a resolution that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed earlier this month.

The resolution called male ritual circumcision “a violation of the physical integrity of children,” and said states should protect children “against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards.”

[And their rebuttal of these almost self-evident facts is...?]
At the meeting, Knesset diplomatic adviser Oded Ben-Hur recommended that the MKs visit European countries and ask their counterparts to sign a new draft resolution written by Israel that would reverse the PACE decision.

In addition, the MKs will check whether there are bills on the dockets of parliaments in Europe that are meant to outlaw circumcision, and work to block them by explaining the importance the ritual has for Jews and Muslims.

“This is a battle that unites religions. [Only religions that want to cut children's genitals...] The PACE decision is scandalous and can set Europe on fire,” Edelstein warned.

The Knesset speaker said that at that moment a European MP could be trying to pass the resolution as law in his or her country, and the MKs must do all they can to stop it.

MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) said that although he did not usually travel with Knesset delegations, he would join this battle.

“I can’t imagine that circumcision will become illegal,” Tibi stated. “We [Jews and Muslims] have a joint interest of the first order, an interest that is supreme and moral. [!] We must fight together.”

DURBAN: Six circumcisions botched - without parents' consent

IoL News
October 20, 2013

R3m claim for six 'botched' circumcisions

by Amanda Khoza
Durban - The parents of six boys from Dassenhoek who were allegedly circumcised without consent are suing New Start clinic for R3 million [$US 305,000] in damages.

The clinic, which is managed by Society for Family Health and Thatenda Health Care, is a partnership with the Department of Health. It runs six male circumcision centres in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

In May, the Sunday Tribune reported that parents of 19 boys, aged 11 to 19, from Dassenhoek, near Mariannhill, laid charges against New Start over circumcisions.

Some of the boys experienced post-operative complications, swelling or bleeding of the penis or infected wounds. A case of assault with grievous bodily harm was opened.


The boys were picked up in groups by a man in a vehicle bearing the New Start logo from April to May.


Busisiwe Ntiga, 29, was at work when her 11-year-son was circumcised. She alleges the KZN Department of Health offered them money for their silence.

“One official told us we can be paid before the matter goes any further. They tried to silence us with money but we refused,” said Ntiga.

The KZN Department of Health has failed to respond.

Attorney Naheem Rehman, for the parents, said: “In terms of the Children’s Act, consent is required by a health practitioner before undertaking any procedure. Circumcision of children under the age of 16 is strictly prohibited unless it is done for medical or religious purposes. Any one who contravenes this law faces a 10-year jail sentence or will be fined.”

He said the Society for Family Health had until this week to respond to the letter of demand or summons would be issued.

Director of the society’s South African branch, Scott Billy, said the organisation had not received the letter and they were not aware of the claim.

However, the Sunday Tribune has seen a copy of a registered letter signed on behalf of New Start clinic acknowledging the letter of demand.


The July edition of the KZN Health Bulletin boasted more than 239 000 KZN men had been successfully circumcised since 2010, with not a single death or botched procedure – even though the Sunday Tribune highlighted the case of the Dassenhoek boys.


Meanwhile, Wentzell Ngidi, 26, the fast food employee from Umlazi whose entire skin was removed from his penis during a botched circumcision on September 21, is recovering at St Aidan’s Hospital and awaiting plastic surgery.

“I am still in a lot of pain,” said Ngidi this week.