Monday, September 20, 2010
Our main priorities (probably in order of importance) as we make decisions related to our child are:
1) The child's long-term health & well-being
2) Minimize the stress & pain inflicted on the baby
3) Take a natural approach
While this shouldn't be something to consider, you wouldn't want to child to be the 'odd ball' without a good reason. That being said, I was really surpised to learn there has recently been a big decline in United States with the number of circumcision's performed. Many European countries have a less than 20% rate.
"Just 32.5 percent in 2009 from 56 percent in 2006" - http://nyti.ms/CircumcisionRates
Another great resource with tons of information is Wikipedia (obviously, take it with a grain of salt and check the resources). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision
With regards to the health and well being of the child, all of my reading leads to believe that the impact of not having versus having a circumcision are fairly negligible. There is either contradictory evidence or the risk factor is very minimal and there are other, more effective means of control which do not require the procedure. Complications of the procedure did sound minimal as well though.
That leads us to the "hippie" viewpoint of remaining natural. There are lots of ethical questions about the child not having a choice, inflicting pain on the child for what appears to be trivial or ritual reasons, etc. The fact is though it's a part of their body and without a good reason to remove it, it seems that it should stay a part of their body. There are other parts of our bodies which have more sound scientific evidence supporting the lack of necessity for that part or the higher health risks which warrants removing the body part. A great example, though not the only, of this is the Tonsils (though even that has opposing viewpoints and evidence).
While this will ultimately boil down to a personal decision that my wife and I make, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic or what decision you made and why. This is a topic people shouldn't be bashful about discussing. There's a lot of you who's input I highly value and respect, and hopefully the responses from the rest of you will be amusing. =)