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.
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.
- 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.
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.