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Medical Rationalizations
Immediate and Long-Term Harm--2

Medical Concerns   Anatomy   Here's What's Lost   Episiotomies   >AAP & Medical Associations   >CIRP Complications  >Myths Exploded    >Old Medical  Journal Quotations  HIV Statement  
       The use of the term "medical" for this page is used loosely to refer both  (1) to conditions that are truly of concern to medical doctors and (2) to trumped up medical excuses for mistreating the genitals of children. These excuses are not acceptable when it comes to protecting females, but BOYS TOO deserve to be spared the genital damage resulting from quackery parading as medical therapy. For example: >

Circumcision is not a trivial procedure. It always causes harm, and the harm can be very serious, including death. Check out >circumcision complications. The harm is physical and psychological as recent research is discovering (though common sense could have easily predicted). Those who claim no harm is done, have never had to prove the point. Since no studies were done, circumcisers have blindly claimed there is no harm. "I'm cut, and I'm OK," is often heard. What does this mean? We hope it means he is so OK that he lets others make up their own mind as to whether they want to live with a scaled-down penis. Remember, this is a human rights issue, and many have claimed that the reason to amputate the foreskin is to deliberately do physical and psychological harm to the person in order that the he will be >spiritually benefited. This is contrary to the principles that govern this country.


Ashley Montagu, Ph.D, Anthropologist (1995):  "I, as an anatomist and a neuro-anatomist can tell you that that foreskin is very highly innervated. And, when separated, that is a serious injury!"

Check out >Historical Medical Quotes on Circumcision for reasons physicians have given in the past for compromising a child's genital integrity.
>Video online of a circumcision.

On this page:
Letter to Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp during her campaign to understand and cut down on violence by children.
Research links birth trauma and later suicide (North Dakota has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the U.S.)
Death from Circumcision and Penile Cancer
Penis or glans penis amputation during circumcision.
Harvard research links early childhood trauma with mental illness
The Foreskins-Cause-Aids Myth
The Foreskins-Cause-Cancer Myth

Birth Complications and Maternal Rejection

1002 N 8th St.
Bismarck, ND 58501

Heidi Heitkamp
Attorney General of North Dakota
State Capitol Building
Bismarck, ND 58505

Dear Attorney General Heitkamp:

In your efforts to get “upstream” for the causes of violent children, I offer the following summary quotation from:

ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY, “Birth Complications Combined with Early Maternal Rejection at Age One Year Predispose to Violent Crime at Age 18 Years,” Adrian Raine, DPhil; Patricia Brennan, PhD; Sarnoff A. Mednik, PhD, Vol. 51. No. 12. Dec. 1994, pp. 984-988:

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that birth complications in combination with early child rejection predispose to violent crime. The findings illustrate the critical importance of integrating biological with social measures to fully understand how violence develops and also suggest that prenatal, perinatal, and early postnatal health care interventions could significantly reduce violence....While only 4.5% of the subjects had both risk factors [rejection and complications], they accounted for 18% of all violent crimes.”

The study found that baby boys who suffered birth complications were more prone to commit murders, rapes and armed robberies when they became adults. The birth complications listed are: forceps extraction, breech delivery, umbilical cord prolapse, preclempsia, and long birth duration. Anyone who has watched a routine circumcision, where the infant is taken from the mother and subjected to severe physical and mental pain, knows it is as traumatic as any of these.


Duane Voskuil, PhD

Copy: Senator Jim Yockim; Gladys Cairns, Director, Child Protection Services; Rhonda Ketterling, Chair, NDBME.


Birth Trauma and Suicide Linked

Bellingham Herald
13 November 1998
The Associated Press

LONDON -- Male infants who experience a traumatic birth may be more likely to commit suicide by violent means as adults than other baby boys whose births went smoothly, according to a new study.

Researchers in Sweden who studied the birth records of men who killed themselves violently found that they were roughly twice as likely to have been exposed to birth-related trauma, such as an emergency Caesarean section or forceps delivery.

Some researchers, however, voiced caution about the conclusions of the study of 645 babies, published today in this week's issue of the British Medical Journal.

Dr. Chester Schmidt, chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University's Bayview Medical Center, said the findings were "interesting" but needed to be replicated by other researchers with larger numbers of subjects and in different environments.

The researchers, Dr. Bertil Jacobson and colleagues at Huddinge University Hospital, theorize that the suicide risk is linked to pain. In committing suicide, some people subconsciously want to recreate the painful sensation of their birth, the study suggests.

But Dr. Louis Appleby, a professor of psychiatry at England's Manchester University, questioned whether birth complications are a valid indicator of infant pain and whether babies can remember the experience, let alone recreate it in adulthood.

"Any link between obstetric care and violent suicide is more likely to occur through mental illness," Appleby wrote in an editorial in the journal. "However, even an indirect link between ... trauma and suicide may be important."

Jacobson studied the birth records of 242 people -- 175 men and 67 women -- who were born between 1945 and 1980 and committed suicide by shooting themselves or other violent means. He compared their records with those of their 403 siblings born around the same time.


Deaths from Circumcision
Exceed those from Penile Cancer

Sydney S. Gellis, M.D., in "Circumcision" (Am J Dis Child 1978; 132:1168-9), said, "It is an incontestable fact...there are more deaths from circumcision [of children] each year than from cancer of the penis [of old men]."


Penis or glans penis amputation during circumcision
Some medical journal references (compliled by John D. Dalton)-
Not so rare as many would have us believe..

1.  Coskunfirat OK, Sayiklkan S, Velidedeoglu H.. Glans and penile skin amputation as a complication of circumcision (letter).. Ann Plast Surg. 1999;43(4):457.

2.      Glucknman GR Stoller ML, Jacobs MM and Kogan BA. Newborn penile glans amputation during circumcision and successful reattachment. J Urol. 1995;153:778.

3.  Hanash KA. Plastic reconstruction of partially amputated penis at circumcision. Urology. 1976;18:291-293.

4.   Izzidien AY. Succesful replantation of a traumatically amputated penis in a neonate. J Pediatr Surg. 1981;16:202-3.

5.  Menahem S. Complications arising from ritual circumcision: Pathogenesis and possible prevention.. Isr J Med Sci. 1981;17(1):45-8.

6.  Neulander E, Walfisch S and Kaneti J. Amputation Of The Distal Penile Glans During Ritual Circumcision - A Rare Complication (Case Report). BJ Urol. 1996;77:924-925.

7.  Park JK, Min JK, Kim HJ. Reimplantation of an amputated penis in prepubertal boys. J Urol. 2001;165:586-7.

8.  Sherman J, Borer JG, Horowitz M, Glassberg KI. Circumcision: Successful glanular reconstruction following traumatic amputation. J Urol. 1996;156:842-4.

  9.  Strimling BS. Partial amputation of the glans penis during Mogen clamp circumcision. Pediatrics. 1996;97:906-7.

10. Van How RS. Re: circumcision: successful glanular reconstruction and survival following traumatic amputation (Letter). J Urol. 1997;158:550.


McLean Researchers at Harvard
Document Brain Damage
Linked to Child Abuse and Neglect

December 14, 2000 -- Belmont, MA -- McLean Hospital researchers have identified four types of brain abnormalities linked to child abuse and neglect, providing the first comprehensive review about the multiple ways in which abuse can damage the developing brain. In the Fall 2000 issue of Cerebrum, the researchers also review evidence that suggests this early damage to the developing brain may subsequently cause disorders like anxiety and depression in adulthood.

"The science shows that childhood maltreatment may produce changes in both brain function and structure," says Martin Teicher, MD, PhD, director of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean, and author of the paper. Although a baby is born with almost all the brain cells (neurons) he will ever have, the brain continues to develop actively throughout childhood and adolescence. "A child's interactions with the outside environment causes connections to form between brain cells," Teicher explains. "Then these connections are pruned during puberty and adulthood. So whatever a child experiences, for good or bad, helps determine how his brain is wired."

The McLean team identifies four types of abnormalities caused by abuse and neglect. "These changes are permanent," says Teicher. "This is not something people can just get over and get on with their lives."

Limbic irritability: The limbic system is a network of brain cells sometimes called the "emotional brain." It controls many of the most fundamental emotions and drives important for survival. The McLean researchers found evidence that abuse may cause disturbances in electrical impulses as limbic nerve cells communicate, resulting in seizures or significant abnormalities on an EEG, a diagnostic test that measures brain waves. The researchers studied 253 adults who came to an outpatient mental health clinic for psychiatric assessment. A little more than half reported being physically and/or sexually abused as children. The researchers developed a checklist (the Limbic System Checklist-33 or LSCL-33) to determine how often the patients experienced symptoms similar to those that occur in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. They found that patients who experienced abuse scored much higher suggesting an underlying disturbance in the limbic system. Follow-up studies of 115 children admitted to McLean were conducted to measure EEG disturbances. Patients with a history of abuse were twice as likely as non-abused patients to have an abnormal EEG. Interestingly, all of the extra EEG abnormalities affected the left hemisphere of the brain. EEG abnormalities were associated with more self-destructive behavior and more aggression.

Arrested development of the left hemisphere: The brain is divided into two hemispheres, with the left controlling language and the right responsible for visual-spatial ability, perception and expression of negative affect. In six separate studies and analyses, the smallest involving 20 people and the largest involving 115, the researchers reviewed medical records, conducted neuropsychological tests to measure left- and right-brain abilities, examined the results of MRI scans to provide pictures of the brain at work, and studied the results of sophisticated EEG coherence tests, which provided information on brain structure as well as function. These studies provide evidence of deficient development of the left brain hemisphere in abused patients, so that the right hemisphere may be more active than in healthy individuals. The researchers speculate that the left hemisphere deficits seen in abused patients may contribute to the development of depression and increase the risk of memory impairments.

Deficient integration between the left and right hemispheres: The corpus callosum is a major information pathway connecting the two hemispheres of the brain. The researchers reviewed MRI brain scans from 51 patients admitted to McLean's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program, and compared them to 97 MRIs of healthy children obtained from the National Institute of

Mental Health. In abused children, the corpus callosum was smaller than in healthy children. After reviewing the medical records, the researchers found that neglect was associated with a 24 percent to 42 percent reduction in the size of various regions of the corpus callosum in boys, but sexual abuse had no effect. In girls, sexual abuse was associated with an 18 percent to 30 percent smaller size in the corpus callosum, but neglect had no effect. They also found that abused patients shifted degree of activity between their two hemispheres to a much greater extent than normal. They theorize that a smaller corpus callosum leads to less integration of the hemispheres. This in turn can result in dramatic shifts in mood or personality.

Increased vermal activity: The cerebellar vermis is a part of the brain that is involved in emotion, attention and the regulation of the limbic system. The McLean researchers used a new functional MRI technique known as T2 relaxometry, which provides information about blood flow to the brain during a resting state, to measure vermal activity in both abused and healthy individuals. Thirty-two adults participated, including 15 with a history of sexual or intense verbal childhood trauma but no physical trauma. The higher a participant's LSCL-33 score, the greater the degree of vermal activity or blood flow. The researchers theorize that the abused patients had higher vermal activity in order to quell electrical irritability within the limbic system. They hypothesize that the cerebellar vermis helps to maintain emotional balance, but that trauma may impair this ability.

After documenting these four types of brain abnormalities, the McLean researchers examined animal studies to determine how such damage might occur. Such studies show that neglect and trauma increase production of cortisol and decrease production of the thyroid hormone, which affect development of neurochemical and neurotransmitter receptors in the hippocampus, amygdala and locus coeruleus, parts of the brain that regulate fear and anxiety. Based on these studies, the McLean team theorizes that the stress caused by child abuse and neglect may also trigger the release of some hormones and neurotransmitters while inhibiting others, in effect remolding the brain so that the individual is "wired" to respond to a hostile environment.

"We know that an animal exposed to stress and neglect early in life develops a brain that is wired to experience fear, anxiety and stress," says Teicher. "We think the same is true of people."

McLean Hospital established the nation's first laboratory dedicated to studying the role of biological factors in mental illness. Today, the hospital is listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as among the most commonly cited sources of publications on neuroscience. McLean is the largest psychiatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.


More Medical Excuses
October 11, 2000
Judge Orders Tot's Circumcision
By Neil Sherman

HealthSCOUT Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 [2000] (HealthSCOUT) -- A New Jersey father today is fighting an order by a judge that would force him to have his son circumcised.

Two months ago, Judge Paul Armstrong ordered that the 3-year-old undergo the minor surgery -- scheduled for this Thursday at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick. In doing so, the judge ruled in favor of the boy's mother, agreeing with two medical reports that say the surgery will correct the boy's repeated penile inflammations.

"The child had an infection on two separate occasions," says Ron Heymann, the Mt. Freedom, N.J., attorney for the boy's mother, Jennifer Price. "He was seen by a family physician on one occasion and another doctor who is a specialist on the other. And both doctors concluded that it was in the best interest of the little boy to have the surgery. Better to do it now than wait."

But Jim Price, the boy's father in Raritan, N.J., is appealing, claiming the judge missed opposing medical information. He claims the boy's doctor said the boy had phimosis, a condition that clears up naturally.

Phimosis happens when the foreskin is so tight that it cannot be easily pulled back over the tip of the penis. At birth, the foreskin and tip of the penis are joined together with separation of the two parts occurring gradually during the first three to four years of life.

According to Price, the baby has never had an infection, but was diagnosed with balanitis, an inflammation of the end of the penis caused when the organ is not kept clean. The condition is common among uncircumcised men and boys [who are prematurely retracted].

To correct the problem, Price says the baby's pediatrician "recommended that we manually retract the foreskin forcibly to keep the penis clean and healthy," Price explains. "The babysitter did it one day, and it popped. From that day forward we had a problem."

Price said his son is healthy and "not having a problem now. The [circumcision] surgery is elective."

"Today we know that circumcision is not necessary," Price argues. "Ninety-seven percent of all males in Europe are not circumcised while circumcision is performed on 87 percent of all males in this country. That is, it was done until 1999, when the American Academy of Pediatrician's (AAP) changed their position."

But "that was a position created for newborns only," says Dr. Craig Shoemaker, director of neonatology at MeritCare Children's Hospital in Fargo, N.D., and a member of the AAP task force that created the circumcision policy. "It essentially takes the position that for healthy new born male infants circumcision is up to the parents." [The AAP said it would produce a statement that was based on medical evidence. This statement on the ETHICS of foreskin amputation is a pronouncement out of the AAP's field of competence, is based on no medical evidence and is wrong. No one has the right to mutilate another for their own reasons. This is clearly seen in the state and national FGM laws.ed.]

Circumcising newborns may have some medical benefits [like cutting off newborn breasts to stop possible future breast cancer], but the scientific evidence bolstering that view isn't enough to make the procedure routine, says the AAP's March 1999 report. "In the case of circumcision, in which there are potential benefits and risks, the procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interests of the child," the report says [but if the parents don't do what is best, sometimes laws must step in to protect the child].

But for conditions like phimosis or balanitis, "which is an infection of the space between the foreskin of the foreskin itself, circumcision is an accepted form of therapy, to prevent the infections from reoccurring." The infections are "very painful," Shoemaker adds. [Surgery is only a standard of practice if less invasive procedures are tried first, and with newborns, this never is the case. ed.]


The Foreskins-Cause-Aids Myth

First objective study in a first-world population.

Grulich AE, Hendry O, Clark E, Kippax S, Kaldor JM.
Circumcision and male-to-male sexual transmission of HIV.
AIDS 2001 Jun 15;15(9):1188-1189.
National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney, Australia.

"Our finding that 17% of homosexual men with newly acquired HIV infection reported insertive unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) is an important means of HIV transmission in this population. However, we found no association between circumcision status and infection by insertive UAI. In addition, mean who had seroconverted despite no reported event of UAI were also no more likely to be uncircumcised. These data strongly suggest that the foreskin is not the main source of HIV infection in homosexual men who become infected by insertive UAI, and that other sites, such as the distal urethra, must be important in HIV infection

"Our data showing that there is no difference in the circumcision status of men infected by receptive or insertive UAI, in a population with a circumcision prevalence of approximately 75%, suggests that circumcision is not strongly protective against HIV infection in homosexual men. Larger studies, preferably of prospective design, are needed to confirm the absence of a relationship between circumcision and HIV infection risk in gay men. In the meantime, educational messages to homosexual men should continue to emphasize that insertive anal sex is a high-risk activity for HIV transmission whether or not the insertive partner is circumcised."


Refutation of the Forskins-Cause-Penile-Cancer Myth

Tsen HF, Morgenstern H, Mack T, Peters RK.
Risk factors for penile cancer: results of a population-based case-control study in Los Angeles County (United States).
Cancer Causes Control 2001 Apr;12(3):267-277.

"One interesting finding in our study is that phimosis did not appear to increase the risk of carcinoma in situ (CIS). This negative result is consistent with clinical observations that CIS is commonly found on the penile shaft and patients who have CIS are often circumcised. Among the six CIS cases with phimosis, only one was specified on the pathology report as occurring on the glans; the pathology reports for the other five tumors did not specify their locations on the penis.

"Circumcision has been established as a prophylactic measure that reduces the risk of penile cancer [1,20 a reference to a Schoen opinion piece]. In our study, circumcision appeared to be protective, but this protective effect was present only for invasive carcinoma and only when the circumcision was performed during infancy....Thus, we would expect phimosis to confound the effect of circumcision later in life but no the effect of neonatal circumcision on the occurrence of penile cancer. However, when we adjusted circumcision for phimosis in this study, either by including it in the logistic regression (analysis not shown) or by limiting the analysis to men who never experienced phimosis (Table 3), the odds ratios (OR) for circumcision after infancy remained unchanged while the protective effect of infantile circumcision essentially disappeared.

"We found no evidence that uncircumcised men are particularly susceptible to clinical infections with sexually transmitted diseases, such as HPV or herpes. Circumcised cases in our study were more likely than uncircumcised cases ro report a history of genital warts (20.5% vx. 8.2%); and among controls there was little difference in the history of warts by circumcision status (5.9% vx 6.3%). These findings are consistent with those of Aynaud et al. [21], who observed similar proportions of HPV-associated lesions in circumcised and uncircumcised men."



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