Friday, September 7, 2012
Another perspective on circumcision...
On one hand the first prosecution is underway. A Rabbi in Germany is being prosecuted for performing circumcisions (some are saying this is a civil and not criminal prosecution but I do not know for sure). Apparently, it is being exported to Norway as well.
On the other, we hear this from Johns Hopkins.
A team of disease experts and health economists at Johns Hopkins warns that steadily declining rates of U.S. infant male circumcision could add more than $4.4 billion in avoidable health care costs if rates over the next decade drop to levels now seen in Europe.
In a report to be published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine online Aug. 20, the Johns Hopkins experts say the added expense stems from new cases and higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and related cancers among uncircumcised men and their female partners. They say the study is believed to be the first cost analysis to account for increased rates of multiple infectious diseases associated with lower rates of male circumcision, including HIV/AIDS, herpes and genital warts, as well as cervical and penile cancers.
Apparently Johns Hopkins researchers are looking strictly at the health costs of infections, cancers, etc. more prevalent in uncircumcised males and their sexual partners than uncircumcised. They are warning of about $313 worth of additional health care costs for each decision not to circumcise a baby boy. This is on top of the addition $2Billion already added to health care costs since circumcision rates in the US dropped from hearly 80% to about 55%.
Now the American Academy of Pediatrics has decided he is no longer neutral toward circumcision and is decidedly pro this procedures. A leaked copy of the new American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on circumcision, scheduled to be released on Monday, reveals a change in the prestigious medical body’s previous position (set in 1999) on the medical benefits of the procedure from “neutral” to “pro.” It details how a comprehensive evaluation of research from the last 15 years demonstrates that the medical benefits of circumcision—including “prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections”—outweigh the risks.
It just goes to show you that there are several sides to each argument and consequences of every choice. But, of course, the issue in Germany is not circumcision, per se, but the issue of Jewish persecution and the Nazi atrocities. Some are wondering if newer generations have forgotten the cry post WWII nie wieder. Others are wondering what other religious practices might slip under the watchful eye of jurisprudence and end up being outlawed.
I just thought you might want to know...