Note, this W/U is limited to first hand knowledge of circumcisions done in hospitals in Maryland. IMO, it is likely similar in other hospitals in the US. IMO, it is likely NOT similar to circumcisions done at home on or around day 8 of life.
Socialist Wolf correctly points out that breastfeeding has a protective effect against urinary tract infection (UTI) and other infant infections. Since small statistical increases in the frequency of UTIs in the first year of life is the most current fatuous justification for routine infant circumcision in the United States one additional fact needs to be pointed out. In the current US hospital based practice of circumcision on day one or two of life the infants' acquisition of breastfeeding skills and mothers' confidence in their ability to succeed in breastfeeding are both seriously undermined due to the circumcision. This leads directly to the loss of the breastfeeding protection from UTIs and other infections.
The timing of the surgery is totally for the doctor's convenience. Often infants are unnecessarily prevented from feeding for hours before the surgery. They are lined up in the hallway awaiting their turn, maybe sleeping, maybe crying with hunger. After being strapped down, awake and spread eagled and operated upon they are returned to their mothers in a stuporous state. Often they are incapable of effectively breastfeeding for many hours. Meanwhile the bottle brigade is all too ready to feed with the other stuff because "the baby has to eat". Once again breastfeeding (as well as the innocent foreskin) is sacrificed upon the altar of ignorance just when it could have prevented the very thing that circumcision is often purported to be done to avoid.
Credit for the phrase "sacrificed upon the altar of ignorance" is given to Dr. Jack Newman
of Toronto who frequently uses it as he teaches the masses about the many, often subtle, ways we are led, as if by a nose ring, into bottle feeding our children.
I find many doctors joke
a lot while performing circumcisions. Perhaps this is to pass the time, perhaps it is to deal with their own feelings. It has been found that dentists have higher blood pressure and suicide rates than the average person, and speculated that this is due to the stress of inflicting of pain. Many doctors when asked by me have expressed distress at the financial need to do this surgery (circumcision). They don't believe in it but their patients want it and if they don't do it the patients may leave their practice. This certainly must stress the doctor.
Recently (2001/2002) there has been an increased interest in DOCUMENTING pain relief in hospitals as it is one of JCAHO
's current topics of interest. In my experience this has resulted in very little EFFECTIVE pain relief for neonate
s subjected to circumcision. Dorsal penile block
s with lidocaine
are seldom performed my hospital where thousands of infants are born annually. Even when a block is done it is also painful itself. Remember, this is a shot at the base of the penis. EMLA
is used occastionally but often without sufficient time to be effective. It is debatable whether EMLA's effect gets through to the inner forskin or the glans which are both injured during the circumcion. Containment (snug wrapping comforts infants) is sacrificed for the convenience of the circumcision board (a stiff piece of plastic the infant is tied to; spread eagled and naked from the waist down). Pacifiers dipped in sucrose
are given with cursory attention to the baby and much more attention to the flirting/joking between doctor and nurse. But in the chart
, pain relief is documented. WE LIE DAILY. Actually not "we". Some of us have refused to participate in this procedure. I do not assist in circumcisions, nor will I obtain the "consent" for them.
See these URLs and books:
- nurses objecting -
doctors objecting -
Doctors Re-examine Circumcision, by Thomas Ritter, M.D. and George Denniston, M.D.
mothers objecting -
Jews objecting -
Questioning Circumcision, A Jewish Perspective, by Ronald Goldman Ph.D.
I don't think mostly mothers make the decision, I think they are just the one who is there to sign the "informed consent". The decision was made earlier.
7 minutes of torture is still torture. There is also pain afterwards, for many hours.