The Circumcision Decision: Interview with an Obstetrician

By Kevin Leland

A poll on the Guardian, shows that a majority of people think that circumcision should be banned, except for religious reasons. This is a far cry from a few years ago, when a poll on a pregnancy website that published one of my articles, showed that a small majority were in favor of having their babies circumcised shortly after birth. This is due to ‘Intactivism.’

This poll inspired me to research a little further, and start a poll of my own, here on Bangari, and see where people stand all these five years later:

Before I started my research, I wondered if I could come up with any information outside of the typical “how does circumcision affect hygiene?” I thought that if I couldn’t come up with anything more interesting and unique than that, I wouldn’t bother to bore myself or anyone else with a trite article.

Then I found some sites that are on a mission to prevent circumcision. “His body, his choice!!” They say -with an extra exclamation point. Here are a few sites that make it sound like this common practice is a form of child abuse -like most guys don’t have any reason to be mad at their folks, so they got this axe to grind. I don’t want to criticize these people, because anyone who speaks out for others that don’t have the ability to speak for themselves, is a very honorable person in my book. I just want to lighten the mood.

If you would like to write an article about circumcision, comment below, and let us know. Here are some (sarcastic) but informative instructions before you begin:

How to write about Circumcision 

Here are some other Web sites that speak out against it:

50 Reasons to Leave it Alone

“Intactivists” make a good case for leaving it as is. Here on this site: The Active Intactivist. There is even a good article from a Jewish Mom who had a change of heart.

IntactAmerica.org

This site is more organizational, and has links to news stories on the topic of circumcision. You can even sign up to support male babies in their right to keep their bodies whole. You can donate, or become an “Intact America Sustainer.”

CircumcisionDecisionMaker.com

This is an excellent site, packed with information indexed and laid out in a very organized way. It branches off into making the decision for a baby, or as an adult who might be getting this surgery for other reasons, including religious, or sexual.

These sites are about all you need to make a very informed decision before putting scalpel to penis. However, before you jump to one of those Web properties posted above, read this interview I did with a world renowned obstetrician, I found, and contacted immediately. Among all the recent controversy, he graciously agreed to grant me an Internet interview. He is famous among his peers for taking this common, simple procedure to a new level. Below you will find our very informative conversation:

K~ Dr. Abraham, do you consider it a strange coincidence that as a well known practitioner of this elective surgery, that you have the same name as the Old Testament Patriarch who by God’s instruction, instituted this procedure thousands of years ago as a ritual, and a mark of a covenant with God?

Dr. A~ Not really. I drew the parallel myself long before I specialized in obstetrics. It has enticed me to delve a little deeper into this procedure, that is also a well known ceremonial ritual. When performed by a Rabbi, it is referred to as a brisk. This tradition has been carried on by Abraham’s decedents, my family included, since the time of Genesis.

K~ Okay. Well, let me get this asked-a-million-times question out of the way: How does circumcision bear on personal hygiene?

Dr. A~ No doubt that genital hygiene is easier for the circumcised male, especially in his early years, as well as much later in life. Although, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to pull back the foreskin and apply a little soap, water and elbow grease to get the appendage as clean as a whistle. I’m just glad that I was the boy who heard from his mother, “now don’t forget to scrub behind your ears” and not the one who uncomfortably had to listen to –“don’t forget to pull back your foreskin and polish that little helmet.” It’s good for the uncircumcised child to get this instruction early.

K~ Are there any other medical benefits that can be attributed to circumcision?

Dr. A.~ Certainly. There is a markedly lower incidence of urinary tract infections in circumcised males. Also, two medical conditions that only affect the uncircumcised can be all together avoided. The first being painful foreskin infections that can occur throughout childhood. The other is a condition where the foreskin can not be retracted from the head of the penis, called phimosis. The normality or abnormality of phimosis and its treatment is actually a topic of debate surrounding circumcision.

K~ What sets you apart from other obstetricians in matters of the foreskin?

Dr. A ~ I’ve done quite a bit of experimentation with the amputated skins. I’ve developed a method to “quilt” these small specimens of skin together, creating one sheet of viable skin tissue. A small section of this “foreskin cloth” was used to treat a toddler who suffered a burn injury that caused the loss of his eyelids. Because the thickness and texture of foreskin is so similar to the skin that makes up the eyelid, the plastic surgeon was able to perform a successful reconstruction of the boy’s eyelids by grafting in this skin that I developed in the lab.

K~ Quite a story! Is your plan to bank more of this skin for future uses in plastic surgery?

Dr. A~ No. Unfortunately it is too difficult to keep this delicate tissue alive for an extended period of time. The remainder of the specimen that I grew died off, turning into a thin leather, that instead of discarding as medical waste, I subsequently crafted into a very unique wallet.

K~ That’s unbelievable!

Dr. A~ Yes it is. But what I find absolutely amazing is that when I vigorously rub this wallet, it turns into a briefcase.

K~ Very funny Doc. By the way, what is the prognosis on the little boy that had the eyelid transplant?

Dr. A~ As he matures, and with the application of prescription ointments, the scaring will completely disappear, and the surgeon is planning soon to implant some artificial eyelashes. After that, the injury will be virtually undetectable. But until then he will be a little cock-eyed.

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5 responses to “The Circumcision Decision: Interview with an Obstetrician

  1. Hi Kevin… When I was in nursing school a hundred years ago *lol* the doctor I was working under in the operating room told us that the incidence of cervical cancer was higher in women who were partnered or married to uncircumcized men. I was rotating through the operating room and the doctor was doing a hysterectomy… we were observing only… not actually working. We were there to be exposed to how surgery is done and the doctor was teaching us.

    I don’t know if that still holds true… you know how studies are… they are true today and not true tomorrow.

  2. I forgot to mention that this is an amazing interview with Dr. Abraham. I am stunned that he was able to use foreskin for eyelids… that is amazing… and oh.. I just adored that rubbing the wallet joke… hehe.

    Oh… there is something I wanted to talk to you about… I’m planning to change over to veganism in the next months. I imagine it will be a slow process, but I’m thinking it will help my longevity.

    • That is interesting! The cervical cancer could have to do with race, or class…as it is, there are definitely different demographics behind the circumcision decision.

      Good luck with the Veganism…It will definitely lengthen your lifespan and improve your health. I was a vegetarian for 18 years…Now I’m a freegan (If it’s free, I eat it)

      By the way, the eyelid transplant was actually a joke too. Are you so sweet and innocent, that the ‘cock-eyed’ description went over your head? LOL The whole interview was fake. I was trying my hand at writing a parody. I didn’t mean to do such a good job!!

      Here is another ‘sketch’ I wrote…It’s a completely true story:

      What Did the Leper Say to the Prostitute?

  3. I take great offense at the word “uncircumcised”. There is the natural intact penis that all are born with and then there, is the “circumcised” penis, which is a mutilated penis. Most circumcised males were circumcised without their consent, as very few intact males are interested in having their foreskins surgically removed. No two circumcisions are alike. On occasion babies die from infant circumcision surgery. Now how can a cut/wounded/mutilated tissue be cleaner than the one all baby boys are born with, especially when you put the bleeding and now smaller penis stump in a diaper with urine and feces? Circumcising for hygiene is as absurd as removing the eyelid for eye hygiene. I endured traumatic corrective surgery at age 5 due to forced removal of my protective foreskin by an unethical American doctor when a trusting, vulnerable infant. And other complications. As an adult I feel violated and mutilated. I long to confront my circumciser. Intact genitals are a human right. Nobody, especially not a doctor, had the right to cut me without my express consent. Any “doctor” who circumcises healthy children should lose their medical license and be registered as a sex offender.

  4. Thanks for the comment Craig. Yes, I’m seeing the danger in the surgery and the legitimacy in the intactivist movement since I posted this. I actually rewrote it to be more sensitive to those in your camp. Penn and Teller do a really good sketch, that explains really well, in their style, the points you are making. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY5g4fFhxWA

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