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January 10, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXII(2):92-97. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560270008003

Of late there has been noticeable a decided tendency on the part of some medical men, mostly pediatricians, to condemn the ancient practice of ritual circumcision. This tendency is amply demonstrated in the statement of the late Professor Maas, and apparently approved by Dr. L. Emmett Holt,1 that "it is the duty of the physician to raise his protest against the performance of ritualistic circumcision in every case."

When we examine into the reasons underlying this remarkable dictum of Maas, we find that the opposition is based on the possibility of infections being carried to the infant by careless or ignorant operators, to whom the rite of circumcision is sometimes entrusted.

Holt1 states that after a search through medical literature with the assistance of Drs. Alan Brown and Stafford McLean, he was able to find references or reports of forty cases of circumcision tuberculosis in addition to the case he

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