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Posts tagged ‘Circumcision’

Foreskin 419 – The Heaviest Assault On African Men’s Sexual Life Since Colonial Times Remains Uncovered.


By Felix Riedel

In the ages of Muslim, Christian and indigenous slavery, many African men were castrated to serve as eunuchs. In colonial racist regimes African men were forbidden to mate white women. Not few were abused for medical experiments in the twentieth century – even in the USA, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment denied treatment to 399 poor black men until 1972[1]. Racism has always paired with sexual aggression. Today, African men take part in a mass-experiment by the WHO and UNAIDS[2] and African doctors, who all promise to eradicate HIV through circumcision – the force is less brutal but far more effective than ever. Global health agencies and local authoritarian structures pressurize and bribe men into sacrificing a part of their genitals.

Zimbabwe’s circumcision rates had been as low as 10 % until 2009, when a government campaign vowed for the circumcision of at least 1.2 million men.[3] From 1997 to 2007 the HIV-infection rates dropped from 29% to 16% of the population,[4] but the winning team of awareness campaigns was changed in favour of circumcision. This campaign no longer alters the minds of men and women but male genitals. Authoritarian systems don’t want their populace to think, but to obey with their bodies. Similar campaigns are running in Uganda and Swaziland. Discrimination of uncircumcised men has been reported in the course of those campaigns. Uncircumcised Ugandan men were threatened by mobs who blamed them for infecting women. At the same time circumcision rates dropped heavily in Western countries, where individuals have free access to information about circumcision.

The moderate sceptic might ask: To eradicate HIV, wouldn’t it be a small price to sacrifice a tiny part of male skin?

First of all, it is not a tiny part of skin. The external part of the foreskin protects the glans from sunburn and injuries while the interior mucosa keeps the glans moist and sensitive. Both parts together make up to 60 % of the penile skin including the most sensitive areas of the penis at the tip of the foreskin. You would not sacrifice a finger to prevent HIV, but the foreskin underwent decades of heavy discrimination as small, smelly, wizened, ugly and useless – a discrimination strategy well known from the discrimination of female genital organs.

But does circumcision indeed prevent HIV? First of all, circumcision inflicts a wound that needs at least 4 weeks to heal. In the meantime the entire penis remains swollen and is very open to infections of all kind. The scar is vulnerable to unsensitive techniques of masturbation and rough sexual intercourse – it can open up any time and especially in the first year which results in bleedings and itching. In the months after circumcision, the glans skin totally alters into a rather dry, hard skin with sharp transition areas around the external urethral orifice. The peeling of callused skin often creates micro-fissures on the glans. Any of these side-effects increases the risk of infection with HIV. Also consider the fact, that the foreskin provides moisture and enables the penis to perform elastic movements, and that the inflexible state of a circumcised penis creates more friction and fissures on all involved sexual organs.

Therefore, common sense dismisses the claim, that circumcision would decrease the risk of contracting sexual diseases. Anyone can easily compare infection rates in different countries and find not a single hint at any beneficial effect of circumcision. Just the opposite: the HIV-rates in the USA (0.6%) with a majority of circumcised men are six times higher than in Norway (0.1%) with only a small minority of circumcised men.[5] If other factors dominate the infection rates in such a massive way, it is irresponsible to promote the amputation of the foreskin as a cure for HIV.

The most optimistic studies boast 60% of prevention rates for circumcised men. Here we come to methods. Critical medical doctors are very wary against strategies used by pharmaceutical companies to produce bloated figures to sell their products. If you have two cohorts of 1000, then the difference between 4 infected persons in the first cohort and 6 infected persons in the other, the overall insignificant difference can be inflated easily through percentage calculation. Undisputedly, a condom offers up to 99% of protection – subject to the condition of proper use. In the aftermath of circumcision-campaigns, more men and women will pressurize and seduce their partners into unprotected intercourse.

Until more of the affected African men will have the means to question the onslaught carried out on their private sphere by campaigns masked as modern medicine, some will already have died from fatal complications, others will have suffered from severe complications like necrosis of the penis and all will have lost their foreskin. In a far future, cultural anthropology will produce nice volumes discussing the bygone bio-politics of African authoritarian systems. They should rather use their privileges now and today to advise African men against such campaigns and to speak out publicly against one of the most destructive features of Global Health policies in recent times.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

[1] http://blackusa.com/tuskegee-syphilis-experiment/.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision_and_HIV.

[3] See: National AIDS Council Zimbabwe. http://www.nac.org.zw/news/women-also-benefit-male-circumcision

[4] http://www.safaids.net/content/zimbabwe-circumcision-drive-targets-cabin….

[5] http://www.mapsofworld.com/thematic-maps/world-hiv-aids-adult-prevalence….

Writing the Story of Your Life.


Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you,” the LORD instructed the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30:2).

This caught my attention recently, because writing is such an integral part of my devotional life-I have over 25 years of my life documented in journals. While the circumstances and context of God‘s instruction to Jeremiah are very different from our experiences with God, “writing in a book” is a helpful tool for bolstering our devotional lives.

Journaling forces me to linger over a verse longer than I normally would. During my devotions, if a particular verse or phrase catches my eye, I write it down and begin meditating on it. Reading through Jeremiah recently, this phrase jumped out at me: “Their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen” (Jer 6:10 ESV). As I wrote this phrase, I pondered what it meant that they had uncircumcised ears, noting some of the things that came to mind: ears that are covered, blocked, unable to hear God’s voice.

As I wrote out the passage, I remembered that circumcision is also described in God’s Word as a sign of: spiritual rebirth (Romans 2:29), God’s covenant (Genesis 17:11), and spiritual humility (Deuteronomy 10:16). I was reminded of some key spiritual truths I had not considered in a long time. I prayed something like: LORD, circumcise my ears, so I can hear you when you speak. Let me hear your warnings, your instructions, your encouragement, and your assurance. The concept of uncircumcised ears became more meaningful when I incorporated it into my prayers. Suddenly, a passage that seemed only about the history of rebellious Israel had a very practical, personal application.

My journals also serve as a spiritual autobiography. I don’t remember some of the things I prayed about as a fifteen-year-old, but reading through my childhood journals, I see a young girl who earnestly sought God. I can also look back on some of my darkest seasons and see how God was with me, even when I had stopped seeking Him.

Journaling also prepared me for a trial I experienced while serving the LORD in Asia. I was following a Bible-in-a-Year reading plan, and one morning, my reading included Hebrews 10:34, “you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” (ESV). I didn’t know why at the time, but I marked that verse in my Bible and wrote it in my journal. Later that week, my room was plundered, and some of my property was stolen. Normally, I would have been shaken by such a violation, but I thought of what I had written in my journal and had a calm peace-an assurance that God had prepared me for it. I dealt with the situation much more joyfully than I would have otherwise, which served as a powerful testimony to the Muslim students I was working with.

Moving into this New Year, why not make journaling part of how you connect with God? I suspect that, like me, you will be amazed as you read through the pages of old journals and see what God has done. You will see prayers that were answered, problems that were solved, and people who were saved. Keep a record of how God moves in your life, and over time, you will see how intimately God is involved. Then, one day, you will read with awe the testimony God has written on the pages of your life.


Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Logos Bible Software. Each issue of Bible Study Magazine provides tools and methods for Bible study as well as insights from people like John Piper, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, Kay Arthur, Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, Barry Black, and more. More information is available athttp://www.biblestudymagazine.com. Originally published in print: Copyright Bible Study Magazine (Jan–Feb 2010): pg. 8.

Writing the Story of Your Life.


Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you,” the LORD instructed the prophet Jeremiah (30:2).

This caught my attention recently, because writing is such an integral part of my devotional life-I have over 25 years of my life documented in journals. While the circumstances and context of God‘s instruction to Jeremiah are very different from our experiences with God, “writing in a book” is a helpful tool for bolstering our devotional lives.

Journaling forces me to linger over a verse longer than I normally would. During my devotions, if a particular verse or phrase catches my eye, I write it down and begin meditating on it. Reading through Jeremiah recently, this phrase jumped out at me: “Their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen” (Jer 6:10 ESV). As I wrote this phrase, I pondered what it meant that they had uncircumcised ears, noting some of the things that came to mind: ears that are covered, blocked, unable to hear God’s voice.

As I wrote out the passage, I remembered that circumcision is also described in God’s Word as a sign of: spiritual rebirth (Rom 2:29), God’s covenant (Gen 17:11), and spiritual humility (Deut 10:16). I was reminded of some key spiritual truths I had not considered in a long time. I prayed something like: LORD, circumcise my ears, so I can hear you when you speak. Let me hear your warnings, your instructions, your encouragement, and your assurance. The concept of uncircumcised ears became more meaningful when I incorporated it into my prayers. Suddenly, a passage that seemed only about the history of rebellious Israel had a very practical, personal application.

My journals also serve as a spiritual autobiography. I don’t remember some of the things I prayed about as a fifteen-year-old, but reading through my childhood journals, I see a young girl who earnestly sought God. I can also look back on some of my darkest seasons and see how God was with me, even when I had stopped seeking Him.

Journaling also prepared me for a trial I experienced while serving the LORD in Asia. I was following a Bible-in-a-Year reading plan, and one morning, my reading included Hebrews 10:34, “you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” (ESV). I didn’t know why at the time, but I marked that verse in my Bible and wrote it in my journal. Later that week, my room was plundered, and some of my property was stolen. Normally, I would have been shaken by such a violation, but I thought of what I had written in my journal and had a calm peace-an assurance that God had prepared me for it. I dealt with the situation much more joyfully than I would have otherwise, which served as a powerful testimony to the Muslim students I was working with.

Moving into this New Year, why not make journaling part of how you connect with God? I suspect that, like me, you will be amazed as you read through the pages of old journals and see what God has done. You will see prayers that were answered, problems that were solved, and people who were saved. Keep a record of how God moves in your life, and over time, you will see how intimately God is involved. Then, one day, you will read with awe the testimony God has written on the pages of your life.

  • By Christy Tennant
  • Contributor to Bible Study Magazine

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Logos Bible Software. Each issue of Bible Study Magazine provides tools and methods for Bible study as well as insights from people like John Piper, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, Kay Arthur, Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, Barry Black, and more. More information is available athttp://www.biblestudymagazine.com. Originally published in print: Copyright Bible Study Magazine (Jan–Feb 2010): pg. 8.

Germany approves bill to protect male circumcision.


  • FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2012 file picture mohel doctor Yacov Gassinovitch, center, is surround by other Rabbis and relatives as he holds eight days old Jonathan during the boy's circumcision at synagogue in Berlin. German Parliament is expected to vote on legislation clarifying the legality of infant male circumcision for religious reasons. The government drew up the legislation after a court in June ruled the practice could amount to criminal bodily harm — prompting outrage in Germany's Jewish and Muslim communities. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Enlarge Photo

    Associated Press/Markus Schreiber – FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2012 file picture mohel doctor Yacov Gassinovitch, center, is surround by other Rabbis and relatives as he holds eight days old Jonathan during the …more 

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BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that explicitly permits male infant circumcision, ending months of legal uncertainty after a court ruling that the practice amounts to bodily harm led to an outcry from Jewish and Muslim groups.

Germany‘s government moved swiftly to draft a law following the Cologne regional court decision in June. The ruling didn’t amount to a ban but raised fears of possible prosecutions.

The head of Germany’s main Jewish group expressed relief at the vote, which passed with 434 lawmakers in favor, 100 against and 46 abstaining.

“The circumcision law finally restores legal certainty,” said Dieter Graumann, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews. “What’s important for us is the political message of this law, which is that Jewish and Muslim life is still welcome here.”

Restrictions on religiously motivated circumcision would have been particularly sensitive in Germany because of the country’spersecution of Jews and other minorities during the Nazi period.

Proponents of the law, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, noted that failure to protect circumcision would have risked making Germany the only country in the world to ban a practice that Jews and some Muslims consider an ancient and essential part of their religious traditions.

The new law grants parents the right to have their sons circumcised by a trained practitioner. Once the boy reaches six months of age, the procedure needs to be performed by a doctor.

Some critics of circumcision in Germany have argued that the right of the child to bodily integrity trumped a parent’s right to make a decision on his behalf.

A minority of left-wing lawmakers in Parliament proposed that parents should have to wait until the boy is 14 so he can give informed consent, noting the procedure is irreversible.

Such a delay would have contravened Jewish religious law, which requires that boys are circumcised on the eighth day after birth in a ceremony seen as their entrance into a covenant with God. Muslims also usually perform the procedure early in a boy’s life.

Germany, a country of some 82 million people, has a population of about 250,000 Jews and about 4 million Muslims.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By FRANK JORDANS | Associated Press

To circumcise, or not to circumcise?.


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A practice that’s been a religious obligation for millennia is now in dispute. Is circumcision “mutilation?”

How did the practice start?
The Egyptians were removing the foreskins of young boys as early as 2400 B.C., but the origins of circumcision remain a mystery. “It’s like asking the question, ‘Where did religion come from?'” said medical historian David L. Gollaher. Jews have performed the ritual on 8-day-old boys for at least 3,000 years, in accordance with God’s commandment to Abraham that circumcising “the flesh of your foreskins…shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.” Muslims consider circumcision a purification ritual that can be performed on males of any age, and some African societies initiate pubescent boys into manhood through a circumcision ritual that tests their ability to withstand pain. For Americans, starting in the late 19th century, circumcision was touted as a cure for nervousness, masturbation, and imbecility. It remains a routine procedure in the U.S., with more than half of all boys circumcised — far more than in Europe.

 

Does the operation have real health benefits?
Three recent large-scale studies of African men have found that circumcision markedly lowers the risk of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS; it also reduces infection from other sexually transmitted diseases, including the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV). Researchers say that’s because the foreskin can develop microscopic tears during sexual activity, allowing infections to more easily reach the bloodstream. Circumcision has also been found to reduce the risk of urinary-tract infections in a baby’s first year. Citing those studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics in August shifted its previously neutral stance on circumcision and announced that the procedure has “significant” health benefits. For every 909 circumcisions, the pediatricians reported, one man will be spared a diagnosis of penile cancer.

So why do some people oppose it?
Many frame their opposition to circumcision as a human rights issue: They see removing a healthy part of a newborn’s body without his consent as an involuntary form of “mutilation” — a violation of medical ethics. “Babies should be left alone,” said Georganne Chapin of the anti-circumcision group Intact America. “When they become men, they can make their own informed decision about whether they want to remove a part of their own penises.” Chapin and other so-called “intactivists” dispute the evidence of circumcision’s medical benefits — infections can be prevented with proper hygiene and condoms, they claim — and point to the pain involved and the risks of bleeding, infection, and other complications. Some critics also maintain that circumcision makes the penis less sensitive, robbing men of the full range of sexual pleasure. Intactivists seek to change society’s attitudes about the operation, with the goal, according to movement leader Matthew Hess, of “making cutting boys’ foreskin a federal crime.”

Have they made progress?
The procedure is definitely becoming less prevalent. Rates of hospital circumcision in the U.S. have dropped from a high of about 79 percent in the 1970s to 55 percent in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That may be partly because Medicaid has stopped paying for the surgery in 18 states; some insurance companies also have stopped covering it. In addition, Latin American immigrants tend not to circumcise. But another reason for the decline is that the moral argument against circumcision is swaying many American parents. In San Francisco last year, 12,000 citizens supported a ballot initiative that would have made circumcision a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or a year in jail. A judge blocked the referendum on a technicality, but the ban’s sponsor, Lloyd Schofield, claimed victory. “Just getting people to think and discuss this is very rewarding,” he said. And this year in Cologne, Germany, a regional court ruled that the botched ritualcircumcision of a 4-year-old Muslim boy amounted to assault, and the German Medical Association counseled doctors to stop performing the operation.

How have religions responded?
Across Germany, furious protests by religious Jews and Muslims prompted lawmakers to draft a law making circumcision explicitly legal, as long as it is carried out by trained experts and parents are informed of medical risks. A similar clash ignited this summer in New York City, after city health officials found that in the last decade, 11 baby boys there had contracted herpes infections — and two of them had died — through a rare Orthodox Jewish rite called metzitzah b’peh, in which the mohelwho performs ritual circumcision sucks the blood directly from the fresh wound. The city’s Board of Health proposed making parents sign a form laying out the medical risks, but ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders vowed to defy the order and last week won a temporary injunction. New parents not bound by religious custom, meanwhile, are facing the circumcision decision with considerable doubt and confusion. Circumcision “does have a medical benefit,” says Dr. Doug Diekema, who took part in the American Academy of Pediatrics task force on the procedure. “Not everyone would trade that foreskin for that medical benefit. It’s a hard decision, and there are good reasons for almost any decision you want to make.”

The life of a mohel
Max Mintz has circumcised more than 9,700 babies during the past 30 years and expects to hit the 10,000 mark by year’s end. A retired Houston-area pediatrician, he performs the ritual for Jewish families in Texas and across the country, and will happily circumcise non-Jewish babies, too. Mintz, who charges about $350 for his services, says the procedure takes about a minute, involving a deft cut with a ritual knife called an izmel. “If you know how to do something surgically, just changing to another instrument is not so difficult,” Mintz said. “And the ritual method is so much simpler.” An Orthodox Jew, Mintz is gratified to be able to marry his faith with his surgical skills. And performing abris, the Hebrew word for circumcision, is “always a very happy occasion,” he said. “I don’t have to do funerals like a rabbi. Everyone wants to meet you.”

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By The Week’s Editorial Staff | The Week

Germany outlines new law allowing circumcision.


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany‘s Justice Ministry has outlined a planned new law that will allow thecircumcision of infant boys and end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice.

The ruling in June by a district court in Cologne outraged Muslims and Jews and sparked an emotional debate in the country, leaving an embarrassed government to promise legislation by the autumn protecting the right to circumcise.

Although the ban applied only to the Cologne region, doctors across the country refused to carry out operations because of what they saw as a risk of legal action.

The outline draft of a new bill states that the operation should take place “with the most effective pain relief possible” and only if parents have been fully informed about the nature of the procedure, a ministry spokesman said.

Generally doctors would carry out circumcisions but if the baby boy is less than six months old than it can also performed by another qualified person, such as a mohel, a Jewish individual specially trained in circumcising.

The ministry’s outline bill, a first but critical step towards creating the new law, has been sent to Germany’s federal states ahead of a consultation with experts due later this week.

According to the spokesman the outlines were based on parents’ constitutional right to bring up their children and decide on all matters concerning them. The state, however, has a responsibility as watchdog to protect a child’s wellbeing.

The speed with which national lawmakers agreed in July to pass a new law underscored sensitivity to charges of intolerance in a country haunted by its Nazi past. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany risked becoming a laughing stock if Jews were not allowed to practice their rituals.

About 120,000 Jews are registered as living in Germany along with around 4 million Muslims, many of whom are from Turkey.

The Cologne court, ruling in the case of a Muslim boy who suffered bleeding after circumcision, said the practice inflicted bodily harm and should not be carried out on young boys, although it could be practiced on older males with consent. (Reporting by Christian Ruettger; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Stephen Powell)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Circumcision.


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  • Countless studies have shown the health benefits of having newborn boys circumcised, researchers say. Even so the practice is highly debated and rates are dwindling in many areas.Countless studies have shown the …

A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) is likely to throw fuel on the fiery controversy surrounding male infant circumcision.

The AAP’s statement touts the medical benefits of circumcisionwhile stopping short of recommending the procedure, which opponents decry as painful and unnecessary. For instance, new research has found that circumcision lowers the risk of acquiringsexually transmitted infections, including HIV, genital herpes, human papillomavirus and syphilis.

Circumcision seems to be on the decline in the United States (a 2005 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality study put the rate at about 56 percent), but the practice has long religious and cultural roots. Here are five circumcision facts that may come as a surprise.

1. It was once touted as a cure for paralysis

In the late 1800s, doctors turned to circumcision to “cure” an array of ailments, from childhood fevers to brass poisoning to paralysis. This era was a boom time for genital surgery — women were losing their ovaries to the knife in the name of curing hysteria — but it was an 1870 case that shone the spotlight on circumcision.

Writing in the journal Transactions of the American Medical AssociationLewis Sayre, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, told the tale of being called to the bedside of a 5-year-old boy whose knees were flexed and paralyzed, preventing him from walking.

During his examination, Sayre discovered that the boy’s foreskin had contracted, causing the child great pain. Speculating that the foreskin problem could be the source of the boy’s “physical prostration and nervous exhaustion,” Sayre conducted a circumcision the next day. In less than two weeks, Sayre reported, the boy was walking again.

Whatever the cause of the boy’s paralysis and miraculous cure, the foreskin can occasionally become trapped over the head of the penis, a condition called phimosis. Modern cures include circumcision, manual stretching of the foreskin, or preputioplasty, an operation to widen the foreskin. [Macho Man: 10 Wild Facts About His Body]

2. The foreskin is more complex than you might think

The foreskin isn’t just skin. Think of it as more like an eyelid for male genitals. On the inside, the foreskin is made up of mucous membrane, analogous to the inside of the eyelid or the inside of the mouth. It’s this moist environment that seems to be responsible for the foreskin’s association with sexually transmitted infections. The foreskin also contains a large number of Langerhans cells, a type of immune cell targeted by HIV infection.

Women have a foreskin equivalent, too: the clitoral hood, which protects the clitoris much as the foreskin covers the glans. The foreskin and the clitoral hood, known in gender-neutral terms as the prepuce, evolve from the same tissue in the womb. [10 Odd Facts About the Female Body]

3. The first-recorded circumcision happened in Egypt

As far as we know from the historical record, the land of the pharaohs pioneered circumcision. The earliest reference to the procedure dates back to around 2400 B.C. A bas-relief in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara depicts a series of medical scenes, including a flint-knife circumcision and a surgeon explaining, “The ointment is to make it acceptable,” likely referring to some form of topical anaseptic.

Ancient Egyptian circumcisions were not done in infancy, but instead marked the transition from boyhood to adulthood. The Greeks saw their Mediterranean neighbors’ tradition as rather bizarre. In the fifth century, Herodotus made his opinion known in his work “The History of Herodotus.”

“They practice circumcision for the sake of cleanliness,” he wrote of the Egyptians, “considering it better to be cleanly than comely.”

4. It may have caught on as a status symbol

An increase in hospital births and a perception of circumcision as promoting cleanliness certainly contributed to the rise of the procedure in the United States. But the procedure may have been a status symbol as well.

Writing in the University of Cincinnati Law Review in 2003, Seton Hall University law professor Sarah Waldeck points out that Sayre and his circumcision-promoting colleagues came onto the scene just as hospital births were becoming more common. The wealthy were more likely to go to the hospital and have a physician-attended birth; thus, circumcision became a marker of class. The need to circumcise essentially became a social norm, Waldeck writes. It was what “good” parents chose. As more and more parents made the choice, it became odder and odder not to, which then put more pressure on parents to choose circumcision so their child would be “normal.”

5. Circumcisions leave unique marks           

Most circumcisions in the United States are done with one of three devices: the Mogen Clamp, the Plastibell and the Gomco clamp. The Mogen clamp is a scissorlike device consisting of two flat blades used that are clamped over the foreskin, cutting off blood flow. A scalpel is then used to slice away the tip of the foreskin.

The Plastibell is a plastic device that is placed over the head of the penis, under the foreskin. The doctor or nurse then ties a string around the foreskin, cutting off circulation. The string may be used as a guide for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or the Plastibell may be left on for a week or so, after which the dead foreskin will fall off on its own.

The Gomco clamp is also inserted between the head of the penis and the foreskin. Again, the surgeon clamps the device over the foreskin, cutting off circulation. After about five minutes, the blood around the clamp will begin to clot, and the surgeon uses a scalpel to cut away the foreskin. This method sometimes leaves a distinctive light brown scar on the head of the penis.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer | LiveScience.com

Circumcision’s Benefits Outweigh Risks, Doctors Say.


The health benefits of circumcision outweigh the procedure’s risks, and the operation should be covered by insurance, according to new recommendations from an influential group of doctors.

The recommendations, released today (Aug. 27) by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), say the procedure’s benefits include reducing the risks of HIV infectionurinary tract infection and penile cancer.

But the AAP also says the benefits of circumcision are not weighty enough to broadly recommend circumcision for all male infants.

Instead, “parents ultimately should decide whether circumcision is in the best interests of their male child,” the AAP says. “They will need to weigh medical information in the context of their own religious, ethical, and cultural beliefs and practices.”

The new advice is a shift from the Academy’s previous policy on circumcision, released in 1999. Those recommendations acknowledged the potential health benefits of circumcision, but did not did make clear whether the benefits outweighed the risks, and made no mention of insurance.

The previous policy may have influenced the percentage of infants circumcised in the United States — in recent years, it has declined — as well as insurance reimbursement for the procedure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although nearly 80 percent of U.S. boys born in the 1970s and 1980s were circumcised, that number decreased to 62.5 percent in 1999, and 54.7 percent in 2010, according to a recent study. And in recent years, Medicaid policies in 18 states have stopped covering routine infant circumcision.

The new statement “demonstrates a consensus that there are clear medical benefits to circumcision,” said Dr. Marty Ellington, Jr., chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved in writing the policy.

“Hopefully the trend towards state Medicaid programs not covering circumcision will be reversed,” Ellington said.

Health benefits

For the new policy statement, the AAP reviewed studies on circumcision conducted between 1995 and 2010.

Studies from Africa showed that circumcision reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by 40 to 60 percent in men, the AAP says. There is also good evidence to suggest circumcision lowers the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and infection with some strains of genital herpes.

Circumcision may prevent transmission of some sexually transmitted diseases because the region beneath the foreskin is “thought to ‘trap’ pathogens and bodily secretions, and favor their survival,” the AAP says. In addition, the foreskin itself contains a higher proportion of a type of skin cell that is thought to ease the entry of HIV into the body.

Circumcision has also been linked with a threefold to 10-fold reduction in the risk of urinary tract infection in boys age 2 or younger. However, the risk of urinary tract infection in young boys is less than 1 percent; studies show about 100 boys would need to be circumcised to prevent one case of urinary tract infection.

Considerations

Acute complications of circumcision, including infection and bleeding, are rare, and occur in about 1 in every 500 circumcisions, the AAP says.

Circumcision does not appear to affect male sexual function or sexual sensitivity, the AAP says.

“It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of malenewborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner,” the policy statement says.

Circumcision should only be performed on healthy infants by trained practitioners, and using effective pain management, the AAP says.

A study published earlier this week suggested a significant decline in male circumcision rates could lead to millions of extra dollars yearly in health care costs, mainly due to increased infections.

Pass it on: The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, but are not great enough to recommend the procedure for all infants, doctors say.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Rachael Rettner, MyHealthNewsDaily Staff Writer | LiveScience.com

 

Israel chief rabbi in German circumcision talks.


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  • Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger briefs the media at the Federal Press Conference organization in Berlin, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. Israel's chief rabbi is in Germany for talks aimed at smoothing over controversy over the legality of circumcising young boys. German lawmakers have called for the government to draft a law this fall explicitly permitting 'medically correct circumcision'. That call came after a Cologne court concluded in June that circumcision amounts to bodily harm. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel …

BERLIN (AP) — Israel’s chief rabbi is in Germany for talks aimed at smoothing over a controversy over the legality of circumcising young boys.

German lawmakers have called for the government to draft a law this fall explicitly permitting “medically correct circumcision.” That call came after a Cologne court concluded in June that circumcision amounts to bodily harm — a ruling that doesn’t amount to a ban but worried Jewish and Muslim groups.

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who represents Israel’s European-descended Jews, noted Tuesday that Jews are religiously required to circumcise baby boys on the 8th day after birth.

But he suggested after meetings at the Justice Ministry and elsewhere that rabbis could certify mohels, people trained and specialized in the Jewish ritual of circumcision, after they receive additional medical training.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Associated PressAssociated Press 

Doctors Group to Announce New Policy on Circumcision.


An influential group of pediatricians is expected to release a new policy regarding infant circumcisionnext week. The new statement may be a shift towards a greater acknowledgement of circumcision‘shealth benefits, experts said.

The new policy from the American Academy of Pediatricians will be announced on Monday, Aug. 27, according to the media relations manager for the organization.

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics‘ stance on circumcision is that, although some health benefits have been found, the evidence is not sufficient enough to recommend circumcision be done routinely.

This policy, which the AAP adopted in 1999 and reaffirmed in 2005, may have influenced insurance companies’ reimbursement policies on circumcision, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although nearly 80 percent of U.S. boys born in the 1970s and 1980s were circumcised, that number decreased to 62.5 percent in 1999, and 54.7 percent in 2010, according to a recent study. And since 1999, Medicaid policies in 18 states have stopped covering infant circumcision.

Experts expect that Monday’s recommendations from the AAP will announce a change in course.

“The general feeling is that this will be a liberalization from current policy,” which is fairly against circumcision, said Dr. Stephen Moses, a medical microbiology professor at the University of Manitoba in Canada, noting that he has no specific information about what the new policy will say.

The new statement may not make a general recommendation for or against circumcision, but instead, point out the benefits of the procedure that should be used when counseling parents on the decision, Moses said.

Studies conducted in Africa have shown circumcision reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by about 60 percent, and the risk of acquiring human papillomavirus (HPV), by about 50 percent. The procedure also reduces transmission of herpes.

Although rare, the procedure has risks, including minor bleeding and infection, according to the CDC. In the United States, the risk of experiencing complications with circumcision ranges from 0.2 percent to 2 percent, depending on the person operating, surgical instruments used, and other factors.

According to the Washington Post, the AAP’s new policy statement will conclude that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks.

Pass it on: A new policy statement on circumcision will be released on Monday.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.


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By Rachael Rettner, MyHealthNewsDaily Staff Writer | LiveScience.com 

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