Ethics and pediatric medicine practices

First, a study recently published in Pediatrics, the academy’s journal, suggests that using “cry it out” sleep training with infants does not harm them. The authors actually say “Behavioral sleep techniques have no marked long-lasting effects (positive or negative).” They actual draw this very strong non-scientific conclusion even though they did not look at all possible effects AND they did not examine what the control group families were doing AND even though there are decades of studies on mammals showing the long term harm that distressing young offspring can have on mammalian brains. The great ignorance and disdain for babies shown here is alarming.By allowing this irresponsible and unethical conclusion the editors are encouraging parents to do great harm to their children and our fellow citizens..

The second piece of evidence calling into question the ethics of leaders in pediatric medicine is a statement that was published in August, again in the academy’s journal, Pediatrics. This was the American Academy of Pediatrics’ statement on circumcision that ‘leaves it to parents to decide’ whether to circumcise their infant, instead of condemning it like medical bodies around the world. The statement says:




Fruit Infused Alcohol

I did this with an empty spaghetti jar, a couple single serve of cups of canned tropical fruit, 1 of single serving peaces, sugar and vodka.
Let it sit for 2-3 weeks in a cupboard, strained it and bottled it. Delicious!

Side note: I did fill too much in the initial stage and it did over flow a bit during fermentation. Good thing I put it Inside a gallon sized freezer.

Edit: since then I made more- yum
I also have in the work a cranberry, apple,cinnamon infused vodka
A coco powder, coconut, almond infused vodka


How does anyone think this is right

You can tell by watching the baby’s stomach that he’s in pain

Obgyn instructional video

how can anyone think causing I rant genitals to bleed is a good idea

Listen to this baby scream. This is not a normal newborn cry. This is a baby in pain and being tortured

Don’t divide the issue. Cutting a minor. Male or female is wrong

Elephant in the hospital

This is torture

Female infant circumcision

Whose body whose rights?

Mario Lopez : there are certain things you compromise about but with that there is no going back

Today’s parents are saying no


One woman’s journey to Intactivism

I can’t watch any more….












below is a link to pictures of a circumcision…. Look at it and realize this torture is happening to a child

Clitoral Hood Amputation Bad, but Glans Hood Amputation Good? ByBecomeInformed

YouTube video. CNN years ago

side note: not all Africans are for FGM just like not all Americans are for MGM.

Clitoral Hood Amputation Bad, but Glans Hood Amputation Good?
ByBecomeInformedFeb 2, 2009
64 likes, 7 dislikes
Would you ever cut off your infant’s clitoral hood? Even if it is considered healthier and more sexually attractive to do so by the culture you live in? How can we in the US alternately condemn or sanction the cutting off of the exact same body part with the only difference being the child’s gender?

Compare Cultural Rationales by pioneering FGM researcher Hanny Lightfoot-Klein:

In Africa they say:

“She loses only a little piece of the clitoris, just the part that protrudes. The girl does not miss it. She can still feel, after all. There is hardly any pain. Women’s pain thresholds are so much higher than men’s.”

In the USA we say:

“It’s only a little piece of skin. The baby does not feel any pain because his nervous system is not developed yet.”


In Africa they say:

“The parts that are cut away are disgusting and hideous to look at. It is done for the beauty of the suture.”

In the USA we say:

“An uncircumcised penis is a real turn-off. Its disgusting. It looks like the penis of an animal.”


In Africa they say:

“Female circumcision protects the health of a woman. Infibulation prevents the uterus from falling out [uterine prolapse]. It keeps her smelling so sweet that her husband will be pleased. If it is not done, she will stink and get worms in her vagina.”

In the USA we say:

“An uncircumcised penis causes urinary infections and penile cancer. It generates smegma and smegma stinks. A circumcised penis is more hygienic and oral sex with an uncircumcised penis is disgusting to women.”


In Africa they say:

“An uncircumcised vulva is unclean and only the lowest prostitute would leave her daughter uncircumcised. No man would dream of marrying an unclean woman. He would be laughed at by everyone.”

In the USA we say:

“An uncircumcised penis is dirty and only the lowest class of people with no concept of hygiene leave their boys uncircumcised.”


In Africa they say:

“Leaving a girl uncircumcised endangers both her husband and her baby. If the baby’s head touches the uncut clitoris during birth, the baby will be born hydrocephalic [excess cranial fluid]. The milk of the mother will become poisonous. If a man’s penis touches a woman’s clitoris he will become impotent.”

In the USA we say:

“Men have an obligation to their wives to give up their foreskin. An uncircumcised penis will cause cervical cancer in women. It also spreads disease.”


In Africa they say:

“A circumcised woman is sexually more pleasing to her husband. The tighter she is sewn, the more pleasure he has.”

In the USA we say:

“Circumcised men make better lovers because they have more staying power[becaues they lose sensitivity] than uncircumcised men.”


In Africa they say:

“All the women in the world are circumcised. It is something that must be done. If there is pain, then that is part of a woman’s lot in life.”

In the USA we say:

“Men in all the ‘civilized’ world are circumcised.”


In Africa they say:

“Doctors do it, so it must be a good thing.”

In the USA we say:

“Doctors do it, so it must be a good thing.”


In Africa they say:

Sudanese grandmother: “In some countries they only cut out the clitoris, but here we do it properly. We scrape our girls clean. If it is properly done, nothing is left, other than a scar. Everything has to be cut away.”

In the USA we say:

My own father, a physician, speaking of ritual circumcision inflicted upon my son: “It is a good thing that I was here to preside. He had quite a long foreskin. I made sure that we gave him a good tight circumcision.”


In Africa they say:

35 year old Sudanese woman: “Yes, I have suffered from chronic pelvic infections and terrible pain for years now. You say that all if this is the result of my circumcision? But I was circumcised over 30 years ago! How can something that was done for me when I was four years old have anything to do with my health now?”

In the USA we say:

35 years old American male: “I have lost nearly all interest in sex. You might say that I’m becoming impotent. I don’t seem to have much sensation in my penis anymore, and it is becoming more and more difficult for me to reach orgasm. You say that this is the result of my circumcision? That doesn’t make any sense. I was circumcised 35 years ago, when I was a little boy. How can that affect me in any way now?”



Wow… Shockingly powerful. Photos included in link

Even if you don’t read the linked article word for word skim the pictures they tell a very compelling story.
Leave your boys whole! Don’t chop up genitals. Period.


Not related to the above link. Taken from soggy mamas on Facebook



below is a link to pictures of a circumcision…. Look at it and realize this torture is happening to a child

Copy/paste My Body, My Choice: Ban Non-Consensual Circumcision by Matthew A. Taylor November 22, 2011

My Body, My Choice: Ban Non-Consensual Circumcision
by Matthew A. Taylor
November 22, 2011

Like countless men who have been circumcised, I’m angry about what was taken from me. If I could go back in time to the moment before this was done to me, I would use any means necessary to stop it. I wish there’d been a law against it. I’ve spent many nights ruminating in grief. I know other men like me who have sunk into deep depression while wrestling with the pain of this violation.

“Circumcision is a matter of individual choice,” Lerner told the Jewish Week newspaper.

What about my choice? Shouldn’t my right to an intact body matter? Lerner doesn’t address the possibility that a man should have the right to make the choice for himself. Advocates of circumcision evidently believe the feelings of the human who is being cut are irrelevant. Anyone with an open heart who listens to the screams of a baby being circumcised cannot honestly believe that babies want to be circumcised.

While parents have to make tough decisions about many things concerning the health of their children, this is the only routinely made choice that involves an irreversible amputation that is not medically necessary. Why is this one body part of newborns of this one gender OK to forcibly amputate?

The United States has high rates of HIV and the highest rate of circumcision in the West. The “experiment” of using circumcision to stem HIV infection has been running here for decades. It has failed miserably. Why do countries such as New Zealand, where they abandoned infant circumcision 50 years ago, or European countries, where circumcision is rare, have such low rates of HIV?

Even if circumcision really did lower the rates of STD transmission, shouldn’t educated adults make their own decisions about their sex lives? Condoms and responsible sexual relationships prevent STDs, not circumcision.

Lerner refers to allegedly feminist arguments in favor of circumcision, lines of thought that strike me as misandry masquerading as feminism. For example, feminist-identified Rabbi Elyse Goldstein argues that men’s “phallic-centered power” must be decreased in order to teach men to respect and become more like women. “In ‘sacrificing’ a piece of the penis, in uncovering and revealing themselves in their most vulnerable part, in making themselves more like women, men can be made more whole,” Goldstein claims.

From where I sit, arguments like Goldstein’s sound like hate speech. If a man said he needed to cut off part of a woman’s genitals in order to make her “more like a man,” he’d rightly be ostracized. Why do we, as a progressive community, let this kind of dehumanization of men go unchallenged? Yes, male violence against women is a huge social problem and must be addressed. Inflicting irreversible harm onto our innocent sons’ genitals is not the answer.

Which part of your daughter’s body would you cut off to prevent a disease? Which part of her genitals would you cut off because you believe that God commanded you to do so? Well if you wouldn’t cut your daughter, why is it OK to cut your son?

Lerner argues that banning circumcision against nonconsenting minors undermines “the First Amendment rights of Jews” and creates “a slippery slope toward the abolition of all religious practices.” Such claims are unfounded. The First Amendment’s protections of speech and expression do not apply to harming other people. The First Amendment does not give you the right to sacrifice a virgin, punch someone in the face, or even cut off a tip of someone else’s finger because it’s part of a religion. Simply put, the First Amendment ends where someone else’s body begins.

Anti-circumcision protesters march in San Francisco Credit: Creative Commons/Mik Scheper
As for the supposed slippery slope, if circumcision is banned, will that lead to the outlawing of Passover Seders? Not in a million years. Not in this country. Let’s give the United States the credit it deserves for being a relatively free, open society.

As a corollary to his slippery slope argument, Lerner claims, “It’s not hard to imagine some who were sexually abused by Catholic priests as children attempting to ban Catholic educational institutions or even the Church itself, attacking the entire institution as sexually perverted or violently patriarchic.” This is as misguided as saying those of us who wish to abolish the U.S. imperial war machine seek to abolish the entire country, and yet another tactic to silence the voices of the abused. And what an eyebrow-raising Freudian slip! Doesn’t Lerner’s comparison point out that when we strip away the emotional tug of religious tradition, infant circumcision lands in the same ethical boat as institutionally shielded sexual molestation?

Speaking of the slippery slope, what if—God forbid—the Supreme Court one day were to rule that the First Amendment permits nonconsensual circumcision as a form of protected religious expression? Wouldn’t that create a slippery slope in which even more extreme forms of religious violence against defenseless children become legalized? Federal law prohibits all forms of genital cutting performed on nonconsenting minor girls. This includes female circumcision variants that are far less harmful than the typical male circumcision, for example, a small ceremonial nick of the clitoral hood (the female analogue of a foreskin). The U.S. Constitution provides for equal protection, and it’s hard to imagine a law that protects only girls from genital cutting withstanding a legal challenge that sought to extend such protection to boys.

To be clear, I have no objection to circumcision or any other form of body modification when it’s freely chosen by a consenting adult. Sensibly, the proposed San Francisco ban only applies to circumcision of nonconsenting minors.

rebuttal to the above clips

Taylor makes much of “the traumatizing event that takes place in early infancy” when the baby is “most vulnerable and sensitive to pain.” Granted there is pain, and granted that the baby does not like that feeling, as would no one, but how does Taylor know that infancy is the moment when humans are “the most” vulnerable and sensitive to pain? How would one measure this? Anyone who has attended such events (I have been to at least one hundred) will testify to the baby’s almost immediate pacification when some sweet wine is dipped on his lips after the brit. A good mohel (traditional circumciser) is very efficient, so the period of discomfort — judging from when the infant’s crying, which usually begins with the discomfort of his having his legs held firmly apart by the sandek (godfather) — is very short.

Rabbi Boruch Mozes, a certified mohel, writes on his website that “Jewish Mohelim take 10 seconds, with 1 second for excision, and 60 seconds on average for crying.”

For an observer, it is not easy to decide that the baby has intolerable “traumatizing” pain at the moment of the actual procedure. If one is nevertheless deeply concerned about this pain, one might even investigate the current halachic (Jewish law) discussion on the use of local anesthetics. More information on this is also available on Mozes’s website.

Taylor asks a very good question in his tirade against circumcision: “Which part of your daughter’s genitals would you cut off to prevent a disease?” If I had a daughter (I have a granddaughter) and I were told that she was at risk without a medical intervention on her genitals, I am sure that I would take this option very seriously. Fortunately, that is not the case.

I respect Taylor’s views but wish to offer these alternative perspectives, seeking to invite his reciprocal respect instead of the tone of his ad hominem response to Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, whose feminist argument he characterized as “hate speech” masquerading as feminism.

Taylor expresses the deepest objection at the heart of his vehement tirade against infant brit milah when he writes that “when freely chosen” he has “no objection to circumcision,” even if it were to entail substantively the issues that he rejected. The central problem for him is the imposition upon a completely dependent infant (or for that matter a relatively dependent teenage Muslim boy) of a permanent and irreversible mark. This he rejects as “a human rights violation.”

Were I to agree to his reasoning, I would have to conclude that not only should circumcision not be imposed upon a helpless infant, but even circumcision-free, his very Jewish identity, as subscribed to by Jewish law should not be imposed upon him. In the current world, being Jewish is a very dangerous state of being. We have only to take note of Jewish institutions worldwide that have had to implement special security measures to protect the lives of Jewish men and women. Jews are a target of hatred for a variety of reasons (no reason to go into this well-trodden arena) by millions of people who would dance with glee if even a “harmless” Jewish place of worship were blown up, or if a bomb were to go off in a shopping center filled with Jews. A reasonable person following Taylor’s concern might ask: Why not let children wait until they have grown into adults to decide whether or not to take on this identity? Why impose it upon them by providing a Jewish home with Jewish practices, “forcing” them to attend an expensive Jewish day school or summer camp, or even participate in a trip to Israel. Becoming a Jew is very dangerous and has been for thousands of years.

In Vught, the city where I live in the Netherlands, there was in 1943-1944 a work-oriented concentration camp, which today serves as a documentation and education center National Monument Kamp Vught. In 1944 there was a notorious child transport of all children up to the age of sixteen to the death camps: around 1,400 children. A memoriam is held every year to commemorate this infamy. On one occasion, I met a survivor of this transport who was able very shortly before departure to convince the SS officer in charge that he was mistakenly taken into that group because he was not even Jewish. He was asked to let his pants fall to check his alleged Jewish “passport.” To the dismay of the SS, he was indeed uncircumcised, his foreskin visible, and was allowed to return to the main barrack. He survived the camp, the war, and today has grandchildren.

So central is the precept of circumcision that the other key marker of Jewish practice — the eating of the pascal lamb at Passover — is dependent on it: “No uncircumcised person may eat of it” (Exodus 12:47). Nevertheless the Hebrew Bible says the practice was suspended during the forty years of wandering in the desert due to health risks. Credit: Creative Commons/Dauster.
I must confess that upon hearing this tale of fate and fortune, I was struck with a double feeling: happy for this Jew who survived the slaughter to thrive, and angry that he had gotten away by his parents copping out. His parents, communist devotees, disowned their Jewish heritage so radically that they gave up even the most fundamental Jewish tribal observance of belonging to this people.

It is that kind of feeling that is aroused by being part of the covenant ceremony of circumcision. Of course one could bring a child up as a Jew, even if the child is uncircumcised. This would not be the only precept that many Jews do not observe. There are, after all, 613 precepts from which to choose. Jews who only observe some precepts are Jews nevertheless. Some choose to emphasize the ethical precepts, some the moral, the social, the national (Israel), the liturgical (synagogue), or the family occasions. Some emphasize the intellectual while others the mystical (kabbalah). All are Jews.

But there are some symbols that have become tokens (not unconditional prerequisites) of basic belonging. Circumcision is one of them. By this we go public, so to speak. Our child is “openly” (even though his zipper is zipped) Jewish. Just as parents pierce their young children’s ears before they are of the age of consent, so do Jewish parents proudly pierce their male children with the covenant of Abraham to be signed in as bearers of this legacy, a monotheistic heritage that taught the world that all human beings without exception are created equal, having been “created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27; 9:6).

rebuttal of the rebuttal in the comments

Matthew A. Taylor November 23, 2011 at 10:43 am

Tzvi Marx’s rebuttal to my critique of non-consensual infant circumcision is problematic. Following are 12 problems with his piece:

1. Dismisses men’s feelings of violation. Marx uses the fact that I’m angry about circumcision to imply that my logic is flawed. In so doing, he sidesteps the significance of my feelings, as well as the feelings of thousands of men like me. See:

2. Ignores a man’s right to make choices over his own body. Marx writes, “In a free society, freedom of choice includes the freedom of parents to choose how to raise their children.” Nowhere does Marx respond to my claim that I should have had the right to make this choice for myself, and that thousands of men like me say they should have had the choice, too:
Apparently, my right to choose – and the right of other men to choose — is irrelevant to Marx, just like it’s irrelevant to Rabbi Lerner.

3. Ignores those who have been disfigured and killed by circumcision. In my article, I referenced the fact that over 100 babies die every year in the U.S. in both religious and non-religious circumcisions. I also referred to David Reimer, who committed suicide as a result of a botched circumcision. Marx neither acknowledges nor responds to these inconvenient truths.

4. Dismisses circumcision as a “minor surgery” and the foreskin as a “defect.” To call a normal, healthy part of the male body a defect seems rather odd. In case you want to learn what a foreskin is and what its purpose is, please watch:

5. Ignores the impact of circumcision on a grown man’s sexual pleasure. My article referenced the fact that circumcision removes the most sexually sensitive parts of the male genitalia. I added that men who were circumcised as adults report substantial decreases in their capacity for sexual pleasure. Marx does not acknowledge the significance of these facts:

6. Conflates circumcision with other parental choices that do not involve irreparable amputation of a healthy body part. Marx argues, “Language, culture, religion, ideology, philosophy, literature, customs, and traditional diet are all irreversibly imposed upon children before they are capable of choosing.” Yes parents make these choices, but Marx is wrong about them being irreversible. Grown-up adults can leave behind their childhood diets, ideologies, religious dogmas, and so on, and make new choices. However, circumcision is different from all of these, as it involves the irreversible amputation of a healthy body part in a demonstrably harmful act.

7. Implies that if circumcision is relatively less traumatic for some babies, that makes it okay for all babies. Marx talks about the Mohels who use wine to pacify the victims of circumcision. How helpful is the wine for the over 100 babies who die every year as a result of circumcision? Marx is silent about these deaths. Furthermore, anyone who watches a video of a typical circumcision can see how traumatic it can be — check out:


Even if circumcision could be performed without the risk of death or trauma to the baby, which I don’t think it can, there still remains the ethical question of amputating a healthy body part that contributes to the grown man’s sexual fulfillment.

8. Selectively cites medical sources in favor of circumcision while ignoring all the Western medical organizations that actively oppose circumcision or do not recommend it. In my article, I wrote, “Most Western medical associations recommend against circumcision. For example, the Royal Dutch Medical Association released the world’s most up-to-date national policy statement on circumcision in 2010. Their well-footnoted policy recommended that doctors aggressively counsel families against circumcising due to the ‘absence of medical benefits and danger of complications.’” Marx’s response is to dig up one Canadian doctor (whose last name is Schoen) who claims that circumcision’s advantages outweigh the surgical risks. If this were true, why is it that no Western medical association in the world recommends the procedure?

9. Ignores the question of whether educated adults should make decisions about STD prevention for themselves, as opposed to their parents amputating a healthy body part at birth without the consent of the amputee. In my article, I wrote, “Even if circumcision really did lower the rates of STD transmission, shouldn’t educated adults make their own decisions about their sex lives? Condoms and responsible sexual relationships prevent STDs, not circumcision.” Marx offers no response.

10. Claims I ignored studies showing a health benefit of circumcision, when in fact I both acknowledged and rebutted those studies. Marx wrote: “Were [Taylor] less personally angry over his having been circumcised, he would have to admit the existence of arguments by responsible health authorities in support of circumcision, as well.” But in fact I both acknowledged those studies and rebutted them in my piece: “Reputable members of the medical community have argued that the studies that show any such benefit [of circumcision] are flawed and suffer from selection bias. According to Doctors Opposing Circumcision, all claims that circumcision provides any protective benefit against sexually transmitted diseases, male and female cancers, and urinary tract infection have been disproved.”

11. Claims that circumcision both is and is not a requirement to be Jewish. On one hand, Marx says: “[Circumcision is] the most fundamental Jewish tribal observance of belonging to this people.” But then Marx contradicts himself and admits, “Of course one could bring a child up as a Jew, even if the child is uncircumcised. This would not be the only precept that many Jews do not observe. There are, after all, 613 precepts from which to choose. Jews who only observe some precepts are Jews nevertheless.” So which is it? Really what Marx is saying here is, “Circumcision is not a requirement to be Jewish, however, I strongly recommend it.” My rebuttal to Marx: Instead, parents can choose Brit Shalom, a Jewish baby-welcoming ceremony without the irreversible body part amputation and ritualized child abuse:
As I mentioned in my article, over 50% of Swedish Jewish parents leave their baby boys intact –– and they’re still Jews!

12. Uses a Nazi Holocaust story as a justification to harm baby boys. Why should Marx’s anecdote be a rationalization to continue to harm infants, put them at risk of death, and permanently diminish the sexual functioning of grown men? The lesson to be learned from the Nazi Holocaust in this context is: protect the innocent and defenseless!


a commentor

The second sentence of Matthew’s original article beautifully states that one of the holes of Rabbi Michael Lerner’s pro-circumcision arguments is the hole in his heart. Here a man bravely has offered as evidence his own experience, his personal truth. To have done this is not without risks, given the social stigma against men showing emotions, the fierce cultural pressure not to question b’rit milah, and the deplorable tendency in our society to snicker at the mere mention of anything penile (which, combined with the profound discomfort surrounding the topic, sophomorically impedes constructive discourse about circumcision). And yet, Rabbi Marx says that Matthew is too emotional about this subject for his commentary to be useful or valid. To say that the intensity and pain of Matthew’s experience renders his contribution unreliable is to miss the point entirely. Matthew’s experience is the heart of the case against ritual mutilation: it is because many circumcised men feel similarly to Matthew (and, because of the stigma and ridicule described above, one may be certain that there are many more such men than those who have come forward) that the practice must be abandoned. There are other reasons as well, such as the inherent misogyny of inscribing the covenant in a body part unique to males, but the pain inflicted by circumcision, both of the cutting itself and of its lasting impact, is the primary reason.

Rabbi Marx’s statement that he would be concerned by Matthew’s pain in “a pastoral situation” sadly rings hollow, and from the perspective of one being told that his feelings are irrational and insignificant may even have a ring of condescension. By implying that Matthew’s essay belongs in a therapeutic session and not in serious and “learned” discourse, Rabbi Marx insidiously dismisses the legitimacy of the voices of all circumcised men who wish to be intact. Clearly, he is uncomfortable with the admirable candor with which Matthew articulates his feelings. His words at least suggest greater sensitivity than those of the ghoulish Edgar Schoen, the putative medical authority whom he cites, who has stated that stories like Matthew’s are balanced out by stories of positive experiences relating to circumcision in some sort of zero-sum game. This calls to mind Merrell Markoe’s recent observation that there are “so many socially acceptable ways to exhibit a pathological lack of empathy.” Alas, the only way for circumcision advocates to maintain their position in light of testimony such as Matthew’s is to minimize or dismiss as unimportant that which it is impossible to refute or deny. Compassion and respect for the individual’s subjectivity must be sacrificed: how ironic for a Jew to be adopting this line of reasoning, which is the philosophy the anti-Dreyfusards and their fellow authoritarians. In his excellent Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective, Dr. Ronald Goldman eloquently writes that the sacrifice made in circumcision is not just to the baby who is being harmed, but to the humanity of the Jewish community.

Rabbi Marx demonstrates the concede-and-minimize tactic of the pro-circumcision advocates when he admits that circumcision constitutes disfigurement, but so is the removal a child’s molar. Does Rabbi Marx really believe that it is remotely acceptable to remove a healthy molar from a child’s mouth!? Such are the lengths to which one must go to justify circumcision. (A more common analogy is having babies’ ears pierced, which is fair enough: that too is an unethical encroachment upon a child’s bodily integrity.) The rabbinical justification he cites is intellectually tortured: the only way for these scholars to reconcile the circumcision covenant with Jewish laws against bodily modification was to declare that the foreskin is not part of the body, and that the male body must be perfected through subtraction. This absurd statement is echoed today by those who consider the foreskin “extra skin” or compare circumcision to cutting the umbilical cord (a dreadful analogy given that the umbilical cord is not a part of the body and the foreskin is). No one can expect that the risible and observably false claim that the foreskin is not a part of the body will allay the concerns of any man experiencing dysphoria about his circumcision. As the intactivist bumper sticker reads, “The foreskin is not a birth defect,” and this the Midrash cannot change.

How Rabbi Marx considers the Abrahamic covenant a declaration of human equality is a mystery to me given the unequivocal misogyny (as noted above, only males are inducted into the covenant) and egregious tribalism of the Hebrew Bible. In Genesis 15:18–21 (a mere two chapters before the circumcision covenant, which again involves promising land to the People of Israel), God promises to give Abraham the land presently inhabited by ten different tribes, which is only equality in the sense of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. I highly value my Jewish heritage in many ways, especially the intellectual tradition, but even if I did not believe that the Abrahamic covenant is entirely fictive, still I would reject it. It unfairly confers privilege upon one tribe of people, and this is not an idea I want anywhere on my body. Certainly I agree with teaching children about their Jewish heritage, but to mark it upon their bodies goes too far. What about the child’s religious freedom? Ultimately, when children of Jewish heritage grow up it is their prerogative to decide what to do with their Jewish identities, and this is a matter over which their parents have no control. A culture only has validity if its members are all willing participants.

I have heard the bizarre claim that circumcision is essential to the survival of Judaism, as though one will forget one’s identity without its being branded onto one’s body. Miriam Pollack has astutely observed the cruel irony, which is attested by the story Rabbi Marx includes in his article, that circumcision has made it far easier for Jewish men to be identified by their persecutors. To say that circumcision is a unique marker of Judaism is astoundingly false, given its prevalence, in various forms, in a large number of other cultures (including among American gentiles!). To assume that circumcising a man will make him take his Jewish heritage seriously is fatuous (especially as those of us who abhor the practice may feel alienated from Jewish culture as a result). Could this irrationality be a sign that this custom is being perpetuated, even as more and more Jews eat shrimp and cheeseburgers and ignore the Sabbath, as a cycle of abuse? Whatever the reason, it is an insult to Judaism to say that it can only survive through a barbaric, misogynist Bronze Age ritual: the survival of Jewish culture through so many centuries of persecution is a testament to the strength of our people, not the mutilation of our penises. As we go forward, the only way for Judaism to maintain its relevance is to recognize the dignity, autonomy, and inherent rights of the individual. This involves actually listening to what the Matthew Taylors have to say, and acknowledging that the bodies of children belong only to themselves, not to their parents, their communities, or anyone’s holy book.


YouTube: A Question For Circumcised Men ByLatumWay

I have not a rurally watched this video yet but other recommended it.

A Question For Circumcised Men

A long read. Slightly anti-religious but makes valid points

A bit if a rant but has a lot of links


KENYA: Plea to ICC over forced male circumcision

Dean wrote: When a child is held down forcibly and genitally mutilated he (or she) experiences a sense of powerlessness and a complete lack of control that is unimaginable. Worse still, there is no way for them to rationalise the procedure into a positive experience, like many of the men who are circumcised as young adults or teens within cultural settings. The whole process of torture removes any concept of being able to exert control over ones body.

When the child is so young that they can’t rationalise, nor ultimately remember the experience, the lack of control registers deeply within the unconscious. It is for that reason that I believe men circumcised as infants can often aptly be described as ‘control-freaks.’ And if you look at the consciousness of the nations that circumcise as infants there is often an underlying obsession with control – a way to balance out the complete lack of control experienced during the mutilation and never fully processed in order to allow for healing. When we feel powerless as children we seem to grow into adults that once in a position to exert control and power do so with a great ferocity

Bride fattening and female circumcision fgm


Circumcision- time to cut it out

These tragic examples are more than unfortunate, isolated episodes. For every extreme case that gets reported in the media and debated in the courts, hundreds of nasty little incidents sink without a trace. For certain hospitals in Britain, the practice of patching up circumcision botch jobs is said to be appallingly routine. Largely, these interventions go unrecorded. The infant is simply stitched up and sent home. The perpetrator is not reported. Censure is not issued. Cultural sensitivity trumps child protection. One wonders if, say, the parents of a newborn suffering from skin lesions following a clumsily administered home tattoo would get off the hook so lightly.




Circumcision complications

HISTORY OF PRESENT ILLNESS: A 16-month-old with history of penile swelling for 4 days. The patient was transferred for higher level of care. This 16-month-old had circumcision 1 week ago and this is the third circumcision this patient underwent. Apparently, the patient developed adhesions and the patient had surgery for 2 more occasions for removal of the adhesions. This time, the patient developed fevers 3 days after the surgery with edema and erythema around the circumcision and it has spread to the pubic area. The patient became febrile with 102 to 103 fever, treated with Tylenol with Codeine and topical antibiotics. The patient was transferred to Children’s Hospital for higher level of care.

Complications Of Circumcision
All medical procedures, especially those involving surgery, can and do result in complications. Circumcision is certainly no exception.

It is difficult to accurately document the precise rates of circumcision complications because some difficulties are either never reported or are never attributed to circumcision.

Meatal Ulceration
Many infants and toddlers in diapers develop “urine burns” from contact with ammonia in urine-soaked diapers. The destruction of the foreskin creates an abnormal state in which the glans is exposed and in constant contact with outer clothing, and for the infant, with urine soaked diapers. Ammonia burns on the glans, especially around the meatus, can be a particularly troublesome problem for the circumcised male infant.

Meatal Stricture
Meatal stricture results from prolonged or repeated episodes of meatal ulceration. The repeatedly irritated meatus becomes narrowed. This results in pain and difficulty with urination. In extreme cases this can result in infections and kidney problems.The most common treatment for the condition is “meatotomy”-a snipping of the urinary meatus to enlarge the opening.

Hemorrhage is defined as excessive bleeding. It can result from any event that ruptures blood vessels, including any cut or surgical procedure. Hemorrhage is a fairly common complication of circumcision.

Infection of the fresh circumcision wound has been a fairly common complication. Infection has occasionally been accompanied with disastrous results, including death. Any open area of skin is a potential avenue for infection. Because the freshly circumcised infant penis is in constant contact with wet and/or soiled diapers, this area cannot be kept sterile.

Retention of Plastic Bell Ring
If a Plasti-bell device is used to circumcise a baby, the remaining foreskin should dry up and fall off with the ring within about 10 days after the operation. A complication peculiar to this device occurs when the ring fails to fall off and instead becomes buried under the skin along the shaft of the penis.

Concealed Penis
An unusual complication occurs when the penile shaft, following circumcision, retreats into the surrounding skin and fatty area and cannot be seen. This problem must be corrected by surgery, and often skin grafting, to produce a normal penis.

Urethral Fistula
A urethral fistula is a hole going from the side of the male urethra to the outside of the penis. Usually the fistula occurs on the underside. This can develop as a result of circumcision. It results either from accidental crushing of the urethra by the circumcision clamp, an abnormality in the urethra, or from a stitch placed in the underside of the penis to control excessive bleeding at the site of the frenulum.

Phimosis of Remaining Foreskin
Phimosis refers to any condition in which the foreskin cannot be retracted. This condition is normal in the intact infant, and is not true phimosis. Occasionally the older intact male may have a tight foreskin that is difficult to retract. This condition can usually be resolved by simple methods, and does not need to be corrected by circumcision. One of the purported arguments in favor of routine neonatal circumcision is that the operation will supposedly prevent phimosis. This is proven untrue, for occasionally the remaining piece of foreskin becomes tightly attached to the sides of the glans and the infant then must undergo a painful loosening procedure or possibly a second circumcision.

Urinary Retention
Occasionally a baby will not urinate for several hours following circumcision. Sometimes the cause is an overly tight bandage wrapped around the wound. In other instances the cause is less clear.

Glans Necrosis
Necrosis refers to the death of body tissue. This has happened to the glans following circumcision due to an overly tight bandage or a Plasti-bell ring that is too small.

Injury and Loss of Glans
Occasionally the glans can be injured or entirely cut off during circumcision. Usually a permanent deformity results.

Excessive Skin Loss
Excessive skin loss can result from the operator severing too much foreskin, from infection of the wound resulting in tissue death, or from a burn caused by an electrocautery device. Sometimes the entire penile shaft becomes denuded and skin grafting is necessary. Other times the results are less drastic and the wound heals, but as the individual grows older his penile skin becomes too tight, causing discomfort on erection.

Skin Bridge
“Skin bridge” can result from circumcision. It is a complication in healing of the wound, by which a piece of skin from the shaft of the penis has become attached to the glans, or another point along the shaft, forming a “bridge” that must be surgically corrected.

Sewing of Penile Skin to the Glans
Stitches are not normally required following neonatal circumcision, so presumably this bizarre complication has resulted from circumcision performed on older individuals.

Laceration of Penile or Scrotal Skin
Undetected Hypospadias
Hypospadias is a congenital deformity in which a fistula naturally occurs in the underside of the penis. This is corrected by plastic surgery. The foreskin provides an easily available piece of tissue for use in skin grafting. (Thereafter, the individual is essentially circumcised, but at least the foreskin has provided a correction for the defect.) If an infant with hypospadias is routinely circumcised, this potentially useful piece of skin has been destroyed and the operator must resort to more complicated types of skin grafts to reconstruct the penis.

Preputial Cysts
Occasionally cysts develop along the remaining edge of foreskin at the site where the skin was severed.

Tuberculosis and other Diseases from Mezizah
Mezizah is the third step of the Jewish ritual circumcision ceremony, in which the mohel applies his mouth to the fresh circumcision wound. Diseases have been spread due to this practice. Today, few ritual circumcisors practice it.

Keloid Formation
A keloid is an abnormal development consisting of a raised, firm, thickened, red piece of scar tissue. Such a formation at the site of circumcision creates a grotesque deformation of the organ, with obstruction of its function.

Lymphedema or Elephantiasis of Skin
These terms refer to the swelling or obstruction of the lymph vessels. This can result from circumcision

Cosmetic Problems
Removal of only a tiny bit of foreskin can cause dissatisfaction on the part of parents who are conditioned to believe that the denuded state is preferable. Sometimes such parents will take their babies back to the doctor to have more foreskin cut off because they believe that his penis does not look circumcised enough.

Complications of Anesthesia
Complications can ensue from use of any type of anesthesia for any medical procedure, including circumcision.

Critics of infant circumcision frequently express outrage that newborn infants are usually given no anesthesia for an operation considered painful enough to warrant anesthesia for an older child or an adult. However, administration of such drugs to newborn infants is riskier than anesthetizing an older individual. Certainly if all newborn infants undergoing circumcision were being given general anesthesia for the operation we would see many more cases of death or difficulty from the anesthetic.

Loss of Penis
There have been cases in which the penis has been lost due to circumcision, caused by mishandling of the operation, as a result of an infection, or by a burn from electrocautery technique. In some cases enough penile shaft remained so that after extensive operations a functional penis could be reconstructed.

Rare complications of sutures
Some of the problems associated with sutures have been:

Granulomas (suture granulomas) – This is a reaction to the stitches not dissolving as intended. It appears as bumps under the skin around the wound as your skin creates a tiny wall of scar tissue around the suture to separate it from the body.

Spitting Sutures – This occurs weeks to months after surgery if your body rejects the suture (again, from the stitches not absorbing as intended) and attempts to remove them by pushing the stitches out to the surface of the skin. Sutures that migrate in this way have been known to be the source of additional problems.

Suture Abscess (commonly known as a stitch abscess) – This is caused when the suture inhibits healthy tissue growth. This results in the appearance of miniature “mole tunnels” at or about the incision site where the sutures were used.

Elevated Rate of Infection – This occurs when bacteria enter the area around the suture and cause a small scale infection. This usually manifest as tenderness, redness of the skin, and pus around the suture. If left untreated, the infection may spread through the skin. Sutures have been documented to remain in the body causing infections well beyond the one (1) to two and half (2.5) years.

What are the contraindications to circumcision (the reasons against doing it)?

Unstable or sick infant: Circumcision is contraindicated if the baby is unstable or sick. Circumcision is elective surgery and, as with other medically elective procedures, it should be delayed until the baby is well. Signs of stability include normal feeding, waste elimination, and maintenance of normal body temperature without an incubator or radiant warmer. A period of observation after the infant’s birth may allow for recognition of abnormalities or illnesses (for example, serious jaundice, infection, or manifest bleeding disorder) that should be addressed before this elective surgery.

Prematurity: It is usually best to wait until a premature infant meets the criteria for discharge from the hospital before performing circumcision.

Genital anomalies: Infants born with genital anomalies (including one called hypospadias) should not be circumcised. The foreskin may be needed for the surgical correction of the anomalies.

Bleeding problems: Whenever there is a family history of bleeding disorders, appropriate laboratory studies should be performed to make certain the baby himself has not inherited the bleeding disorder.

Recent trend
Some authors present a technique during circumcision, using the carbon dioxide laser to excise the prepuce and weld the cut edges together, thus providing a completely bloodless operation. Suturing is optional as the laser can also be used to unite the cut edges. The technique allows exact proportions of skin and mucous membrane to be removed. In one study,this method was used in a total of 1,154 patients ranging in age from infancy to 10 years 9 . A detailed analysis of postooperative recovery and follow-up indicated that minor complications occurred in only 4 patients, none of whom required hospital admission.

– See more at:

A death

Added: April 14, 2013

Another baby hemorrhaging… Lucky to be alive and yet supposedly the risks are worth it? How is almost dying worth it? How is almost dying because of a medically unnecessary surgery being performed on a healthy infant worth it?



Emma Bonino: FGM op piece in NYTimes

Another disturbing trend has been the medicalization of female genital mutilation, following campaigns that focused on its health implications rather than the fact that it is a violation of human rights regardless of the degree of hygiene with which it is perpetrated.

Far from being a first step toward the elimination of female genital mutilation, this trend has only served to legitimize it, by suggesting that the problem lies in the undesirable “side effects” rather than in the violation of the bodily integrity of girls and women. The resolution firmly refutes this, unequivocally condemning any medicalization.

sounds familiar…. I feel sorry for all the children (female and male) subject to genital cutting and mutilation

Praise God, one survived….

Lone survivor in Connecticut classroom: ‘Mommy, I’m OK, but all of my friends are dead’
By NBC News staff
Only one child made it out alive of a first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week — by fooling the gunman into thinking she was dead, the family’s pastor says.


Mental illness- a must read

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Click the above link to read entire article

Lives lost at Sandy Hook Elem


Attempting undistilled “brandy”

Remember, earlier this week I posted a link about how to make peach/apple brandy…
So I’m trying it out.
One jar is apples, mandarin oranges and sugar
Another is mandarin oranges, peeled lemon and sugar

(Not brandy)And finally the last one is canned fruit “tropical medley with papyua, pineapple and mango” and a “tin of peaches” mixed with sugar and vodka…. (Update: when mixed with vodka already- only takes about 2 weeks)

Should be fun….6 months from now….

2 months in:





The brown dots are vanilla bean particles from my homemade vanilla

Victims of newtown

These are what have come across my fb news feed








Nursery crimes

In April of 2012, Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Amardeep Kaleka, and his team at Neverending Light Productions (NEL) began developing a documentary film entitled Nursery Crimes.

They noticed that developmental factors in our society are leading us to be one of the most criminally violent nations in the world. At the time, a rash of school shootings, hate crimes and other senseless acts of violence were sweeping the nation.

NEL sensed this was a critical time to shed light on the roots of violent, sociopathic behavior in America. The nation, stirring with hatred, was ripe for another violent outburst.