Health Organizations' Statements on Circumcision
Newborn Male Circumcision (AAP) [Note: This position statement expired in August 2017. The AAP has no current position statement on infant circumcision.]
"...the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision."
AAP: Newborns, Especially Preemies, Experience Too Much Pain During Routine Procedures (AAP)
"Pain that newborns experience from routine medical procedures can be significant... Research suggests that repeated exposure to pain early in life can create changes in brain development and the body's stress response systems that can last into childhood. Because of this, a new American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement recommends every health facility caring for newborns should use strategies to minimize the number of painful procedures performed..."
Canadian Paediatric Society on Newborn Male Circumcision (2015)
"Neonatal circumcision is a contentious issue in Canada. The procedure often raises ethical and legal considerations, in part because it has lifelong consequences and is performed on a child who cannot give consent… the Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend the routine circumcision of every newborn male."
British Medical Association (2006)
“The BMA does not believe that parental preference alone constitutes sufficient grounds for performing a surgical procedure on a child unable to express his own view. Parental preference must be weighed in terms of the child’s interests. . . . The BMA considers that the evidence concerning health benefit from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it. . . . Some doctors may wish to not perform circumcisions for reasons of conscience. Doctors are under no obligation to comply with a request to circumcise a child.”
The Children's Hospital at Westmead/Sydney Children's Hospital Publication (Sydney, Australia)
"The Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons (ANZAPS), the Australasian Urological Society and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) do not recommend that boys be circumcised routinely."
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians-2010 (RACP)
"Ethical and human rights concerns have been raised regarding elective infant male circumcision because it is recognised that the foreskin has a functional role, the operation is non-therapeutic and the infant is unable to consent. After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand.”
The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG)
"The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications – bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."
Male Circumcision: Global Trends (World Health Organization)
"...we estimate that approximately 30% of the world’s males aged 15 years or older are circumcised (Table 2). Of these, around two thirds (69%) are Muslim (living mainly in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa), 0.8% are Jewish, and 13% are non-Muslim and non-Jewish men living in the United States of America."
Can Penile Cancer Be Prevented? (American Cancer Society)
"...based on the low risk of this cancer in the US, it would take over 900 circumcisions to prevent one case of penile cancer in this country."
Complications of Circumcision (Stanford School of Medicine)
List of complications. "With any procedure, it is important to know what complications are possible... allows for a more informed discussion with parents who are considering circumcision for their son and permits improved recognition of problems if and when they occur."
What Parents Need to Know About Pain in Newborns (Harvard University)
"We certainly need to avoid doing painful procedures in the first place. The policy statement does say that we should be very thoughtful and careful when it comes to choosing to do painful things to babies."
International Physicians Protest Against American Academy of Pediatrics’ Policy on Infant Male Circumcision (KNMG)
"Circumcision conflicts with children’s rights and doctors’ oath and can have serious long-term consequences, state an international group of 38 physicians from 16 European countries in Pediatrics today."
Canadian Medical Pamphlet on Intact Care
"When babies are born the prepuce is fused to the head of the penis much like the fingernail is to the nail bed. As a child grows, the process of separation starts (prepuce separating from the clitoris or penis glans). This process can start shortly after birth, or it may not be until the teenage years, and in some cases even into adulthood."
Danish Doctors Come Out Against Circumcision (The Local)
"In a press release, the group said that when parents have their male children circumcised, it robs the boys of the ability to make decisions about their own bodies and their own cultural and religious beliefs."