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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
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Canadian Doctors to Drop Anti-Circumcision Stance

The anti-circumcision crowd is about to suffer a setback with a “revolutionary” new policy by Canadian pediatricians, who will suggest, “Let the parents decide.”

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Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

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Canadian pediatricians are preparing to reverse a 17-year-old policy that recommends against circumcision and instead will adopt a more balanced view that in effect suggests that the parents decide.

Recent Canadian research shows that approximately half of Canadian parents would consider circumcising their sons, and the most important single factor is whether the father is circumcised, according to a University of Saskatchewan study that was reported by the Vancouver Sun.

The Canadian Pediatric Society in 1996 adopted a clear policy against circumcisions, which is practiced by Muslims as well as Jews, and declared that circumcision is medically unnecessary for the “well-being of the child.”

Many anti-circumcision activists consider the procedure “genital mutilation” and insist that it takes away the human right of a person, even a baby, to decide for himself whether to undergo the procedure.

The new policy puts a bit of sanity back into society by actually implying that parents can decide what is best for their children, at least in terms of circumcision.

“There isn’t going to be a ‘prescription’ for Canadian males in terms of circumcision,” society president Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, told Postmedia News.

He said the pediatricians are trying to adopt a policy, to be announced in June, which will consider the risks and benefits of circumcision and also will respect personal references as well as religious issues.”

The pediatricians have been discussing a new policy for three years, an indication to the controversy that will follow whatever policy it adopts.

“There are very strong opinions on both sides of this issue,” Stanwick said. “We know that we’re wading into something that, no matter what we write, will not be strong enough for probably either side.”

American Academy of Pediatrics last year angered anti-circumcision activists by stating that the health benefits of circumcising newborn baby boys outweigh the risks.

Many African countries have adopted circumcision to prevent diseases, especially HIV, and a recent study by American doctors concluded that circumcision provides protection against urinary tract infections, penile cancer and the transmission of some sexually transmitted infections.

“The organization isn’t recommending universal circumcision. Instead, it says the final decision should be left to parents,” the Sun reported.

Stanwick said that despite the benefits of circumcision, the procedure is a surgery and therefore
not without risk,” such as bleeding and hemorrhage, infection, inflammation and tightening at the end of the penis.

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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43 Responses to “Canadian Doctors to Drop Anti-Circumcision Stance”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    For the Canadian Pediatric Society to say that circumcision is "medically unnecessary" was actually correct. We circumcise for religious reasons, not for medical reasons.

    However, today, we now know that circumcision reduces the rate of heterosexual transmission of HIV. It is now a public health intervention, as seen here:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6147a2.htm

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Baby has the right to have parents that do the right thing for him and that is following G-d's command that the Jewish baby be circumcised. If G-d said to do it then it must be for the good of the baby. Any logic that goes the other way is not logic but ignorance and chutzpah thinking they are smarter than the Creator!

  3. Maxwell Lightstone says:

    "Only cry for mercy"? A baby that's eight days old will cry if its leg is a bit too cold.

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    Your analysis does not address the issues as there are many ways that HIV is transmitted. That is called ignoring an effect modifier, something that invalidates an analysis. Circumcision reduces the rate of HIV transmission through heterosexual sex, but that is not the predominant means of transmission in the United States.

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/malecircumcision/

    I invite you to enroll in my public health classes to learn more.

  5. Ron Low says:

    The Dutch Medical Association has the most thorough policy analysis imaginable. They looked at all the same current evidence as the CPS and concluded infant circumcision has "an absence of medical benefits and danger of complications."

  6. If circumcision reduced the transmission rate of HIV the US with an adult circumcision rate of 90%+ would not have three times the HIV transmission rate as Europe and the Baltic Nations, 90%+ of whose men are intact. Even within Africa there many circumcising tribes and countries that suffer significantly higher rates of HIV transmission then traditionally non-circumcising societies.

  7. Ugh, I just love when religious barbarism is forced upon society. This is one of the largest mistakes the CPS has ever made.

  8. Ron Low says:

    The new CPS policy seems to rely on the two LEAST relevant facts affecting the decision whether to leave the baby intact:

    1) Dad's status.
    2) Sexual diseases.

    Informed adults can decide for themselves.

  9. Ron Low says:

    The new CPS policy seems to rely on the two LEAST relevant facts affecting the decision whether to leave the baby intact:

    1) Dad's status.
    2) Sexual diseases.

    Informed adults can decide for themselves.

  10. David Blum says:

    God doesn't exist and anyone who thinks people in the year 2013 should be living their lives according the the incoherent ramblings of a bunch of superstitious ignorant people who lived thousands of years ago is an idiot.

  11. Roger DesMoulins says:

    The African clinical trials were badly designed and badly executed. Because they were cut short after a mere 18 months, they shed no light on whether risk compensation applies here. I am confident that by 2030, it will be clear that circumcision is useless in the struggle against HIV in Africa. Circumcision does not protect clean women who sleep with infected men, or men who have sex with men, or those who use dirty needles to inject recreational drugs.

  12. Roger DesMoulins says:

    Circumcision is not one of the Noahide laws that apply to gentiles.

  13. Greg Allan says:

    You have just given me good cause to hate your god.

  14. What is with designer penis' and vagina's? Why are babies and children being sexualized?

  15. Cyneva Dalton-Vazquez says:

    Sad day for human rights in Canada.

  16. Cyneva Dalton-Vazquez says:

    Religion isn't a valid reason for such a violation of human rights.

  17. Cyneva Dalton-Vazquez says:

    Religion isn't a valid excuse for such a violation of human rights.

  18. Jeff Cowsert says:

    The bible you follow says to marry a virgin and if you learn she is not, then execute her. It also gives rules for slavery, promotes war, kidnapping, human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, murder, stoning, rape and mutilation. I don't believe any real god had anything to do with writing the bible you follow. The book was written by a bunch of men on self serving missions. It blows my mind how many people conveniently "overlook" the evil writings in the bible while claiming to follow it. Circumcision is the only blood ritual in the bible that is still followed. I wonder if it were performed on adults if it would still be followed or would it be dismissed like all the other disgusting items that God allegedly commanded in "his" writings of your manual of faithful life?

  19. Catherine Schau says:

    Now Canada will join the USA in being the laughingstock of all other civilized countries. Parents do not own their children and there is no reason parents should be allowed to permanently remove a healthy, normal, functional part of the child's penis. The current CPS statement is excellent and should not be altered. Doctors in other countries can see this, why can't Canadian pediatricians? Clearly they have been pressured by the AAP. Shame on them for giving in.

    http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/aap-12-europe.pdf

  20. It is not the parent's choice to cut off the baby's arm. Why should they have to choice to cut off any other healthy body part?
    Think people! Nature put the foreskin there for a particularly good reason. Only humans would be pompous and asinine enough to think they know better how the reproductive organ of man should look and function.

  21. Catherine Schau says:

    Religious reasons do not justify infant circumcision either. Not your body, not your choice.
    Circumcision does not prevent HIV. Condoms do. You should know better but have clearly succumbed to the anti-foreskin bias of the US medical establishment.

  22. Catherine Schau says:

    False. No-one has the right to force their religious beliefs on another person.

  23. Yes Charlie, a medical intervention is most certainly needed since men cannot be trusted to make wise sexual decision or bathe properly. We knock out two big problems for men with one painful cosmetic surgery. Good call.

  24. Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you be circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you. – Galatians 5:2

    And I testify again to every male who receives circumcision that he is in debt to keep the whole Law. You who do so have been severed from Christ…you have fallen from grace. – Galatians 5:3-4

    I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves. – Galatians 5:12

    Watch out for those wicked men – dangerous dogs, I call them – who say you must be circumcised. Beware of the evil doers. Beware of the mutilation. For it isn’t the cutting of our bodies that makes us children of God; it is worshiping him with our spirits. – Philippians 3:2-3

  25. Roze Quartz says:

    Your religious rights end where another body begins.

  26. Jason Maas says:

    Perhaps they'll rethink this all in light of the European condemnation.

  27. Circumcision is barbaric and a violation of Human Rights. Yes 'even a baby' has these rights. They are still humans, aren't they? This horrible practice needs to stop. Especially on children.

  28. Franny Intactivist Lactivist Max says:

    To do that, they would have to get mass mailings….I hope you are all helping! <3

  29. Anyone who has not yet seen a circumcision video should have a look. The title reads: A Crime Against Humanity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQP4PmFUZFc

  30. James Loewen says:

    Ancient blood rituals acted out on the genitals of children is child abuse.

    Many Jews are questioning circumcision forced upon children. I have utmost respect for those who question, look at this issue deeply and then PROTECT their children from this genital abuse many of us have had to endure.

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