More Skewering of the AAPby Vincent Bach
I am endlessly patient toward parents who believe circumcision to be a valid choice for their sons due to being misled by medical authorities for over a century. However, I extend no such patience toward professional medical groups such as the AAP. Having said that, on with the skewering :-).
The following link will take you to a September 2001 policy statement by the AAP regarding assessment and management of acute pain in children.AAP Statement on Assessment and Management of Pain in Children
Apparently they are now just getting around to figuring out that pain can be permanently harmful for kids and are suggesting that doctors try to do a better job of minimizing and managing it. Kudos to them! But, I digress. I'm not here to pat the AAP on the back. I'm here to point out their inconsistencies (expose their deceit?) to parents who may otherwise assume they have nothing but the interests of children at heart.
The very first sentence in the abstract to the above policy statement reads as follows:
"Acute pain is one of the most common adverse stimuli experienced by children, occurring as a result of injury, illness, and necessary medical procedures."
Hmm...the AAP has already stated in their March 1999 policy statement on infant male circumcision that circumcision is acutely painful to infants. O.K., then how should we classify the cause of that pain? They clearly indicate in that very same statement that infant male circumcision is NOT medically necessary. I'll begrudgingly give the AAP enough credit that they do not consider circumcision to be an illness.
By process of elimination they are telling us that they consider circumcision to be an injury. So let us review. They are telling us that it is perfectly acceptable for parents to choose to inflict this injury upon their sons (March 1999). They are acknowledging that it is painful (March 1999). They are acknowledging that the pain itself can be harmful (September 2001). And finally, given all that, they are telling us that it is perfectly reasonable for their members to painfully injure infants in this particular way based on parents' cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions (March 1999).
Does anyone really still believe the AAP is unbiased in its public policy concerning infant male circumcision? My only struggle is in trying to determine if their failing is purely ethical or partially intellectual. I'll leave that for others to decide. I was leaning toward the former, but as Napoleon once said, "Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence."
for more original articles by vincent bach, return to regarding circumcision and intactness.
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