Viewing non-therapeutic circumcision of children as ethically dubious (at best) and a violation of one's right to bodily integrity is increasingly mainstream, and policy statements from medical organizations have begun to reflect this attitude. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, Canada released in September 2009 a statement including:
Until recently, only public health and religious views were taken into consideration in the debate over infant male circumcision. However, our understanding of medical practice must change as research findings become available.
Infant male circumcision was once considered a preventive health measure and was therefore adopted extensively in Western countries. Current understanding of the benefits, risks and potential harm of this procedure, however, no longer supports this practice for prophylactic health benefit. Routine infant male circumcision performed on a healthy infant is now considered a nontherapeutic and medically unnecessary intervention.
Routine infant male circumcision is an unnecessary and irreversible procedure. Therefore, many consider it to be “unwarranted mutilating surgery”.
Many adult men are increasingly concerned about whether their parents had the right to give consent for infant male circumcision. They claim that an infant’s rights should take priority over any parental rights to make such a decision. This procedure should be delayed to a later date when the child can make his own informed decision. Parental preference alone does not justify a non‐therapeutic procedure.
This physicians group is not alone. In August 2009 The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Paediatrics & Child Health Division released a statement expressing substantially similar medical findings and ethical concerns.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is said to be reviewing its policy. Supporters of #i2 hope they will shift their policy in the same direction as their Canadian and Australia/New Zealand counterparts. We're also asking they do that by sending a "call to conscience" facilitated by the non-profit group Intact America.
The Centers for Disease Control have also stated they will issue a statement, and many thousands have petitioned them to continue our national trend away from this painful, unnecessary, and costly surgery performed on children unable to consent.
Using Twitter we are able to organize our #i2 campaign for freedom from non-therapeutic circumcision, reach potential supporters, and get their simple and public statement that they are with us. We've established a vibrant community working to bring the change we know American boys deserve: The right to be free from an invasive, unnecessary surgery.
We're hopeful that new #i2 tweeters we'll see in the future will include Penn Jillette and Mr. Teller who have their own way of making a statement on non-therapeutic circumcision of children.
Search #i2 on Twitter.