Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy

By Edward Wallerstein

Springer Publishing Co., 1980

ISBN 0-8261-3240-5 hardcover. ISBN 0-8261-3241-3 softcover.
Bibliography contains 899 entries.
Recipient of the 1981 American Medical Writers Association award.

"[T]he definitive book on circumcision." Imprints [About 1980]
Out of print. Available on IBM or MAC 3½" disk from NOCIRC, POB 2512, San Anselmo, CA 94979-2512. $10 ppd.
From publisher's flyer:
Do you know that:
The United States is the only country to practice nonreligious circumcision.
About 85% of all American newborns undergo this surgery without anesthesia.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reported in 1975 that "There is no valid medical indication for circumcision in the newborn."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorsed the pediatrician's position in 1978.
Many of the nation's leading pediatricians have spoken out against routine newborn circumcision.
And yet the practice continues almost unabated only in the U.S.
This book addresses the question of why this is so. The author, in the most comprehensive study of circumcision ever undertaken, traces its history and examines each alleged benefit. He demonstrates that none is supported by empirical or epidemiological evidence. In addition, the potential deficits of circumcision are explored. Circumcision problems are minimally documented in the medical literature. Hemorrhage and infection are well known; so too are surgical mishaps which can result in permanent injury and (fortunately rarely) in mutilation and death.

Pain and trauma have been dismissed as irrelevant by most physicians. Recently, some physicians and psychiatrists have called for a reevaluation of these factors.

Most people believe that Jewish ritual circumcision is primarily a health measure. This is vehemently denied by Jewish theologians: circumcision is purely a religious rite a Covenant between God and Abraham. Most physicians and most lay people have little knowledge of circumcision. Parents are often unaware that they have the option to choose or reject circumcision for their sons.

Here, at last, detailed information is collected and summarized in a forceful book which is of vital importance in clarifying the facts about circumcision.