Friday, August 28, 2009

CDC pledges to not recommend infant circumcision, but probably didn't mean it

The CDC has released a statement in which they pledge to not recommend infant circumcision.

Responding to media reports of what their future determination will be, they responded:
"Whatever the content may include, CDC’s final circumcision recommendations will be completely voluntary."
This statement clearly excludes the potential recommendation of infant male circumcision. Infant circumcision does not involve a volunteer. Even in cases of medically indicated and necessary surgery on an infant, that surgery is performed on an infant who has not volunteered. By excluding involuntary circumcision, the CDC has committed to not recommending infant male circumcision.

Sadly, it is more likely that the CDC failed to express their intentions accurately. They go on to contradict themselves, saying:
"While CDC has not yet determined if male circumcision should be recommended for any population, ultimately the decision will rest with individuals and parents."
That, however, is impossible. The choice of circumcision is made by an individual, or by his parents, but not both. Parents do not confer with their son to arrive at a decision between the three of them. The CDC must have meant "the decision will rest with individuals or parents".

But by saying they may recommend parents chose circumcision for their infants, they indicate the potential to recommend involuntary circumcision for those boys whose parents elect it.

The CDC's failure to express itself accurately indicates that it is affected by the blind-spot in American culture where individual rights and infant circumcision are concerned. Only strong commentary from the public is likely call attention to the ethical implications of their potential recommendations.

Tell CDC how you feel:

Petition to CDC

And tell the editor of you local newspapers, too:

Letter to the editor

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