Focus on Women's and Men's Health

The Debate Over Neonatal Circumcision: Arguments Against

June 2, 200915 min
Host: Jennifer Shu, MD Guest: Robert Van Howe, MD, MS Considering what we know about the clinical benefits, medical risks and financial costs of neonatal circumcision, should we continue circumcising our newborn boys, or should we put it off until the infant is old enough to make the decision himself? The United States is one of the only developed countries where the majority of males undergo circumcision in the newborn period. While acknowledging some potential benefits of circumcision, most large medical organizations do not recommend routine neonatal circumcision, but neither do they actively oppose the practice. Dr. Robert Van Howe, clinical professor of pediatrics and human development at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Marquette, Michigan, has written articles arguing against the utility of neonatal circumcision. He provides his perspective on this topic with host Dr. Jennifer Shu.

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