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CIRCUMCISION

A Medical or a Human Rights Issue?

Authors

  • Marilyn Fayre Milos RN,

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    • Marilyn Fayre Milos, rn, is the founder and Executive Director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers and the cofounder of the International Symposia on Circumcision. As a human rights advocate of infants and children for more than 12 years, she has spoken widely at conferences including the Birth (Issues in Perinatal Care and Education) Conference, the International Congress on Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, and The National Men and Masculinity Conference. In 1988, the California Nurse's Association Region 9 presented her with its highest honor, the Maureen Ricke Award, “for her dedication and unwavering commitment” on behalf of children. She is frequently featured on radio and television programs across the United States, including ”The Donahue Show” and “Nightline.”

  • Donna Macris CNM, MSN

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    • Donna Macris, cnm, msn. received her master of science in nursing from St. Louis University in 1980 and completed an internship at the University of Southern California. Her master's degree research centered upon issues of informed consent for mothers of circumcised infants. A certified nurse-midwife, she has served as a clinical preceptor and lecturer in Stanford University's Women's Health-Care Training Project and on the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Nurse-Midwifery, Inc. She is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers and is the cofounder of the International Symposia on Circumcision. At both national and international conferences, she has spoken in behalf of the rights of newborns and children.


National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers. PO Box 2512, San Anselmo, CA 94979-2512.

ABSTRACT

American parents and health care professionals are faced with medical/ethical dilemmas regarding whether or not to respect the natural integrity of the male newborn's body. In the English-speaking countries, where circumcision of infants was initially adopted to prevent masturbation, medical “reasons” were postulated to justify a practice most of the world has never considered. This resulted in a spectrum of medical recommendations for surgical removal of normal genital tissue in all male newborns to prevent diseases (foreskin inflammation, urinary tract infections, and sexually transmitted diseases) that could be effectively treated medically without the risks of surgery. Only by denying the existence of excruciating pain, perinatal encoding of the brain with violence, interruption of maternal-infant bonding, betrayal of infant trust, the risks and effects of permanently altering normal genitalia, the right of human beings to sexually intact and functional bodies, and the right to individual religious freedoms can human beings continue this practice.

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