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December 10, 1982


JAMA. 1982;248(22):2969. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330220015006

To the Editor.—  I am writing to object to a statement in the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS section by Dr Kempe entitled "Neonatal Ear Piercing" (1982; 247:3261).Dr Kempe's reply is a subtle demonstration of how personal bias can influence a physician's thinking. For a man of his stature, I hope it was unintentional.In response to a simple question whether piercing the ear of a neonate constitutes child abuse, Dr Kempe suddenly and without logic brings up the subject of circumcision. He equates the two as both being of no value, with ear piercing as more favorable, since it causes less pain.For his edification, I would like to point out that circumcision is a fundamental religious belief and practice of two of the world's great religions— Judaism and Mohammedanism. Its origin is directly described in the Bible, which is sacred to three religions, when Abraham circumcised his son Isaac.