January 1951

In the Name of Humanity!

Author Affiliations

By Joseph Lewis. Price, $2. Pp. 158, with 6 illustrations. New York: The Eugenics Publishing Company, Inc., 1949.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1951;81(1):168. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1951.02040030175018

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This is a militant book against circumcision as a ritual performance. The author traces the origin of the custom to the primitive belief that the newborn child has been contaminated by contact with the mother's blood and that he must be cleansed by a blood sacrifice represented by circumcision. In the author's opinion, health and hygiene were not associated with circumcision in biblical times and they are used merely as an excuse for its continued practice today. Some of the ancient and unhygienic methods practiced in ritual circumcision are discussed The author pleads that ritual circumcision be abolished and that the operation be limited to those cases in which a medical indication exists.

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