Medical Statements on Circumcision

No national medical society in the world recommends newborn circumcision.

The foreskin of an infant boy is healthy tissue. Therefore, in order to justify newborn circumcision, the overall medical benefits sought must outweigh the risks and harms of the procedure, it must be the only reasonable way to obtain these benefits, and the benefits must be necessary to the well-being of the child. Newborn circumcision fails all of these tests. The following medical organizations have reviewed the available scientific evidence and found that circumcision is medically unnecessary and the benefits do not outweigh the risks and harms.

Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG)

Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors (2010)

  • "There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene."
  • "Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child's right to autonomy and physical integrity."
  • "Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications."

Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Genital Integrity Policy Statement (2008)
"We call on healthcare professionals everywhere to make clear to the public that non-therapeutic circumcision of children is unhealthy and injurious to children and should not be performed."

College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia

Policy Manual: Infant Male Circumcision (2004)
"Current understanding of the benefits, risks and potential harm of this procedure... no longer supports this practice for prophylactic health benefit. Routine infant male circumcision performed on a healthy infant is now considered a non-therapeutic and medically unnecessary intervention... Routine infant male circumcision does cause pain and permanent loss of healthy tissue."

Canadian Paediatric Society:

CPS Report on Neonatal Circumcision (1996)
"Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed."

American Academy of Pediatrics:

AAP Circumcision Policy Statement (1999)
"Parents should not be coerced by medical professionals to [choose circumcision]."

Analysis of the AAP Circumcision Policy Statement by the Intactivism Pages

American Medical Association:

AMA Report on Neonatal Circumcision (2000)
"Approximately 100 to 200 circumcisions would need to be performed to prevent 1 UTI."

British Medical Association:

BMA: The law & ethics of male circumcision - guidance for doctors (2006)
"The BMA does not believe that parental preference alone constitutes sufficient grounds for performing a surgical procedure on a child unable to express his own view."

British Association of Paediatric Surgeons:

BAPS: Statement concerning Male Ritual Circumcision (2001)
"The practice [of male circumcision] should be discouraged by education."

A comprehensive list of official medical statements can he found at CIRP's Medical Organization Official Policy Statements pages.