Circumcision Information Resource Centers
May 22-25, 1994
Thomas Szasz, MD
Routine Neonatal Circumcision: Symbol of the Birth of the Therapeutic State (42 minutes)
"Let me reiterate my appreciation to Ms. Milos because I really think that mounting an organized effort against circumcision in this day and age is heroic and she is going to be remembered ... I agree with your position."Questions and answers (35 minutes)
Awards (Presented by Marilyn F. Milos, RN)
Thomas Ritter, MD (absent); Jim Bigelow, PhD; Soraya Mire; Pat Schroeder and Barbara Rose Collins (absent); Barry Ellsworth; Tim Hammond; Santa Fe Nurses
Marilyn Milos reading letter from Alice Miller
Dancing (25 minutes)
Total length: 2 hours
Informally taped and edited in "cinema verite" style with Sony high-resolution CCD-TR500 Hi8 camcorder.
VHS. NTSC (American) format. Premium quality tape. Standard Play (SP) for maximum clarity.
Video and sound quality: Excellent.
$30 postpaid. Outside U.S. add $4.
Check or money order drawn on U.S. bank payable in U.S. dollars only.
John A. Erickson
1664 Beach Blvd. #216
Biloxi, MS 39531-5351
From the Syllabus of Abstracts of the Third International Symposium on Circumcision (1994):
Routine Neonatal Circumcision: Symbol of the Birth of the Therapeutic State
After briefly reviewing the religious origins of neonatal male circumcision, this presentation analyzes its transformation into a medical-prophylactic intervention. The birth of modern, scientific medicine, during the early decdes of the nineteenth century, set in motion a powerful trend to medicalize many human behaviors previously proscribed or prescribed on religious grounds, especially those involving sexual acts -- for example, masturbation, homosexuality, and abortion. The medicalization of routine neonatal circumcision (RNC) is therefore best understood as part of this larger cultural phenomenon -- that is, as the metamorphosis of sin into sickness, of magical ritual into medical remedy. This view is consistent with the fact that no modern society has cultivted the medicalization of deviance and deterrence as energetically, or embraced RNC as enthusiastically, as our society has.
Thomas Szasz, MD, received his A.B. and M.D. degrees from the University of Cincinnati, his psychiatric training at the University of Chicago and his psychoanalytic training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Since 1956, he has been Professor of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Science Center in Syracuse, where he is now Professor Emeritus. For some forty years, he has been the premiere critic of psychiatric excuses and coercions. He is the author of 22 books, including The Myth of Mental Illness; The Ethics of Psychoanalysis; Sex by Prescription; The Manufacture of Madness; Law, Libery and Psychiatry; and Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted.
[More videos of presentations at the Third International Symposium on Circumcision to follow.]