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November 1980


Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics College of Physicians and Surgeons Columbia University New York, NY 10032

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(11):1098. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130230076029

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Sir.—In his article in the Journal (134:301-302, 1980), Woodside describes one of the many complications of male circumcision. I applaud his effort to bring it to our attention but I disagree with his conclusion. After detailing the course of fasciitis and sepsis depicting scarified abdomen and genitalia in an infant circumcised on the sixth day of life, he criticizes the technique used and advises a "safer" one.

The Committee on Fetus and the Newborn of the American Academy of Pediatrics, quoted by Woodside, declares that there is no medical indication for routine circumcision in the neonatal period. I submit, therefore, that performance of this procedure—an acknowledged hazard to health—constitutes child abuse. Physicians should prevent, not abet, unhealthful practices.

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