CONCORD, Calif., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Although one of the world’s oldest medical procedures, male circumcision has become a hotly-contested topic amongst lawmakers, influential groups and the general public across the globe from San Francisco to sub-Saharan Africa.
On November 8, San Francisco residents will vote on the so-called Male Mutilation Bill, potentially outlawing the procedure. But for parents of infant boys, circumcision offers both pros and cons, says Dr. Jeremy Lieb, a urologist who has done hundreds of circumcisions at the six-doctor Pacific Urology, in the east San Francisco Bay area.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly stated that there is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn. Regardless, “Currently, there isn’t enough medical research to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a medical procedure to be regulated by a governmental body,” said Dr. Lieb.
U.S. Circumcision Controversy and the Global Perspective:
- The San Francisco bill would ban circumcision of male children and make it a misdemeanor punishable by $1,000 fine or up to one year in jail for physicians to perform. A group of Muslims and Jews have sued to block the measure, claiming infringement of religious freedom.
- Medicaid reimbursement for circumcision is now no longer funded in 18 states.
- In Great Britain, a men’s support group claiming to have suffered harm from circumcision recently held a public demonstration against the practice.
- In Africa there are calls for compulsory circumcision to help stop the spread of AIDS and HIV.
Pros: Five Health Benefits-
- Decreased risk of urinary tract infections
- Prevention of penile problems
- Decreased risk of penile cancer
- Decreased risk of sexually transmitted diseases
Cons: Physical and Psychological Arguments-
- Health benefits are exaggerated or possibly even untrue, say some opponents.
- Circumcision can be painful and traumatic, changing infant behavior and disrupting the mother-son relationship.
- Potential interference with sexual function in adulthood
“In the United States, most men are circumcised,” said Dr. Lieb, “while outside the U.S., there is much less debate and the vast majority of males are not. In the end, every parent needs do careful research and make a well-informed decision.”
About Pacific Urology
With clinics in Concord, Walnut Creek, Antioch, Brentwood, San Ramon, and Livermore, Pacific Urology is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest urology practices. Pacific Urology was formed in 1995 by six urologists in solo practice joining into one group.
SOURCE Pacific Urology