Circumcision: What Your Baby Can't Tell You

"Deaths Do Occur As a Result of Circumcision ...

No One Knows How Many"

And Other Authoritative Statements
About Infant Circumcision Deaths

"The simple facts are that deaths do occur as a result of circumcision, and that no one knows how many." (Circumcision: What Every Parent Should Know, by Anne Briggs, p. 90)

"The editors of Family Health commented (1972) that deaths due to circumcision may be attributed to other causes -- pneumonia, blood poisoning, liver or kidney failure, etc." (Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy, by Edward Wallerstein, p. 148)

"[T]here are more deaths each year from complications of circumcision than from cancer of the penis." (Sydney S. Gellis, MD, quoted by Wallerstein, p.148)

"[I]f circumcision were made compulsory, the circumciser would be protected whenever he happens to cripple or kill the little boy he operates on-- a complication that is not so very uncommon ... In 1951, I witnessed the autopsy of an infant who had died from an infected circumcision--a death rendered even more tragic because the mother had tried to persuade the obstetrician to spare her infant this ordeal." ("The Unkindest Cut of All," by John M. Foley, MD, Fact, July 1966)

"If morbidity data are frequently not entered in the chart, presumably to avoid malpractice suits, then it is even less likely that a death will be attributed to circumcision, for the same reason." (Wallerstein, p. 149)

"Babies have died from post-circumcision hemorrhage. Since Biblical times the Jews have had a law that if two sons of the same mother bled to death following circumcision, any future sons were exempt from the ritual." (Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma, by Rosemary Romberg, p. 207)

"Over the period 1942-1947 in England there were 16 deaths per year related to anesthetics used for circumcision." (George W. Kaplan, MD, quoted by Romberg, p. 224)

"About 1,350,000 newborn American males are circumcised annually, and about 230 of them die as a result of this operation." (Sex by Prescription, by Thomas S. Szasz, MD, Syracuse University Press, 1990)

[How many almost die?]

"Could the trauma of circumcision as remembered in the infant brain, be the reason, or a contributing factor, that would make a small percentage of babies give up and stop living?" (Romberg, p. 299)

"That it is necessary to speculate wildly about the frequency of significant complications [of infant circumcision] is nothing less than scandalous. Risk estimates range from 0 to 1 in 100; deaths from 0 to more than 225 annually. A nationwide study of this question is obviously in order. If the risk is very low, this should be proved. If the risk is high, it should be exposed. That such a study has not been conducted suggests that the issue may be too hot to handle." (Wallerstein, p. 153)