In 1942, a woman gave birth to a son (placenta praevia, c-section). A day or so later, the Matron came in.
Matron: Do you want him circumcised?
Mother: Oh, I don't know. I'd better ask my husband.
Father: I don't know about that. There might be some valuable nerves down there.
Mother: No, thank you.
Matron (becoming agitated): It'll swell up to the size of a lemon! He'll be brought in screaming, to have it done!
Mother (to herself): What utter nonsense! (to Matron) No.
Acquaintance: He might have to fight in the desert. He'll get sand under it and it'll get infected and he'll have to have it done.
Mother (a pacifist, to herself): Damned if I'm going to have him cut to turn him into cannon-fodder ...
First-person accounts of babies and children circumcised without even parental consent
My ... son was taken by the hospital while I was asleep the morning after his birth [13 years ago] and circumcised without my permission. I was very upset but I was young and never followed thru with a lawsuit. They even did the circumcision wrong and it was crooked. I won't name the hospital but it is the biggest teaching hospital in Dallas. Whatever you decide, it should be your decision to make.
I have 2 sons. My first boy was born when I was 18 years old in Texas. I never knew that was a choice and so when the doctor came in and whisked him away I didn't bat an eye. When they returned him to me when a swollen and oozing penis, still lightly sobbing, I knew something terrible had been done. ... When my next son ... was born three years later we refused to sign the consent form that was bundled in with my intake papers. Shortly after my sweet son was born he was picked up for "shots and a short evaluation" and returned to me an hour and a half later with a circumsized penis. (Legal matters were taken, but what what good do they do my son?)
I'm among the many men in America who were cut at a young age. Specifically, according to my mom, I was circumcised the day after I was born. From what I recall her telling me (this was a long time ago), it was apparently against her will - the surgeons snuck in to do the dirty deed while she was in the bathroom or something and no one else was around to stop them.
...I have definitely heard men complain about this, including my own father. He was adamant that my brother would not be circumcised, and then the doctor did it anyway even though he had explicitly been told not to. My dad was PISSED.
Ellen, I was talking to a friend of mine, who was raised by a 100% hardcore 1960s hippy. She mentioned that her brother was circumcised and I told her I was very surprised by that. She told me that her mother was coerced into it - they had her sign the permission form and told her it was for something else. ...
I have 5 sons...4 which are intact. My first son was born when I was a very young woman and so shy I was scared to ask questions. I heard my son crying in the nursery, pushed the nurse call button, and waited. When the nurse came she had a permission slip for me to sign. I asked her to please bring me my son. She refused until I signed the piece of paper giving them permission to circ him. I was still debating if I could go through with it. I asked again for my son, and she said that it would be a few because they had already circed him!!!! Without my permission. Crying, I signed the permission slip. When they brought him to me, he was lethargic from screaming for 30 minutes, wouldn't nurse for several hours because they had given him a bottle of sugar water and was damaged. Not only had they not asked permission first, they had botched the job. The tip of his penis has a scar from where too much skin was removed. He is now 21, almost 22. He shyly told me when he was younger that when he gets an erection that it is painful, because the skin pulls so badly. I can honestly say that the woman I am today would have kicked some booty for what was done to my son. My heart was broken, and I was horrified at how they could have taken that decision from me.
... [my son's] Step Dad is a regretful product of a maltreated mother and a trickery of a circumcision-- they assumed she wanted, that caused my poor Mother in law to run screaming and crying down the hospital corridor with my future husband bleeding and mutilated! ...
My mother said she regretted having my brothers cut, and if she could do it again, she would leave them intact. She said that it was done automatically … she didn’t even realize she had a choice. She became a nurse later in life, and came home from the hospital on more than one occasion in tears after witnessing a botched circ…once absolutely beside herself because she didn’t see any way the baby would grow up to live a normal life.
a new father told me he told me he wasn't given an option for circ. he was shocked how much blood and care was required, post op
... When I was young, there were no computers or anti-circumcision groups. Circumcision was just accepted as part of being male. My mother told me that they just came in one day at the hospital, picked me up, and told her that I was scheduled to have my circumcision. No questions asked and no signatures required! But, that was over sixty years ago. ...
Those of you who think this is option or a 'private family matter' as the author writes have not had children and fought with the hospital and physician over whether your son should be circumcised. I fought it with both of my sons and lost because the doctor insisted and actually did it without my approval. I wondered, since I am neither Jewish nor Muslim (I am from France, a country which does not practice routine circumcision) why my sons had to go through this procedure. ...
This was nearly 30 years ago and although I specifically said that I did not want it done, it was done anyway.
... My husband was born in Cincinnati in 1964. He was circumcised with all the other males in the nursery without the consent or knowledge of his parents. Had they been asked, his parents would have said no. His father was intact and their family is Cherokee and had no cultural history of circumcision.
I was born in 1955. My grandparents came from Europe. My father's side were Roman Catholics. My mother's side Russian Orthodox. ...
My father was not circumcised, he was the youngest of his family. My younger maternal uncle was also not circumcised. This knowledge gained from showering together when I was a small boy after going to the beach.
That was when I noticed the difference between me and them. After pondering it for a while and trying to get my "foreskin"to be like theirs I asked my parents why I looked different. I was informed I was circumcised. And I found out my parents had no say one way or the other about it. The first time my mother bathed me she noticed it and asked why I was circumcised. Apparently, it was standard ... procedure to perform this on male babies. No opt out options. No discussion about it or even a passing mention of it. ... So, I was operated on without my approval nor the approval of my parents.
... except for one White boy and all the Black and Latino and Asian boys in my P.E. classes, all the other white boys were circumcised. Seems like it was a pandemic for White boys. Most of the Black, Asian and Latinos were born in the same hospital I was. They were not cut, but the White boys were. Talk about another impact of segregation.
me and my wife were in the delivery room and she was already sedadide and the nurse camed in with a clipboard to my wife and said if you don't want your child circumcised then put a big X across this page, she did. well my son was born without problems once again thank God. Then the next morning we found out about the circumcising and were devestated.
... My father was intact, and was away at the time, and my drugged mother doesn't remember signing the form. Under "reason to operate"? was the indication "live birth," and that's not a disease. It was basically illegal.
My mom ... told me how when she'd had my brother when she was 17 (this was 1971 and in Michigan ) how circumcision wasn't even presented to her as a choice. She felt intimidated by the doctors.
She said that when she heard his screams, her instinct screamed at her to go help him and she started crying. She instantly understood why I was against it now, and said "I've always felt in my gut that it made no sense".
What bullies doctors can be.
... I'm glad to share her story! She would approve.
Courteney Elizabeth Pepper on Facebook, August 25, 2013
They let my grandmother sign the consent form for my son to be circumcised and then took him while I was sleeping without telling me. They woke me up when they brought him back and told me how to care for it. They didn't tell me anything about the surgery beforehand other than telling me "it's necessary, every boy gets it sooner or later." And then they told me he'd have a much higher chance of dying if it was an emergency.
... I asked my dad about it and he said that no one asked him, they just did it. I guess that they could have done it to me without asking and charged my parents for it, back then no one questioned the actions of a doctor.
"Dr. Trim was fortuitously well named, for he was presumably the one responsible for having me circumcised. Obviously, I wasn´t asked for my consent, but it seems my parents weren´t either! My father, away at the war, knew nothing of it. My mother was simply informed as a matter of routine by a nurse that it was time for me to go for my circumcision, and that was that. Apparently it was the default presumption in Dr. Trim´s nursing home -as it may have been in many British hospitals of the time...
My sons are happy and healthy circumcised boys too. That doesn't mean it was my right to make that decision for them. If a single doctor had ever once told me it was not necessary, i never would have done it. Instead, they told me i had no choice, and that it wasn't optional.
... So many years ago, it was just done. I well knew a woman of my mothers age, who had no idea her sons had been circumcised. She was in hospital until after the dressing was removed - more than 14 days. Thought her sons were intact.
... When I was circumcised 56 years ago, the doctor who delivered me poked his head around the door of my mother's ward and said "I'm here to do your boy now." My mother had no idea of what he was talking about. She didn't realise that he was mutilating my penis until after it was all done and I was brought to her. I hate being circumcised and so much wish I had my foreskin and that is why I fight this fight, so baby boys now won't suffer this emotional pain in the future.
When I was in the hospital following my son's birth in Jackson, TN (Jackson-Madison county General Hospital) they FORCED me to allow them to remove my son from my room every night so they could bathe and examine my son. I was tempted to balk and say Absolutely not but I had lost a lot of blood and was still pretty weak.
I had a birth plan that stated "No-circ" I also had written in several places on his paperwork that he was not to be circed. did not give consent or anything.
One night the nursery called me to inform me that my son would be circumcised that night. I flew off of the handle. I said No. I didn't sign consent for that. The nurse says "Well, we'll do it anyway and you can sign consent later." OH HELL NO. I SCREAMED Into the phone that whoever cut my son would be answering to me. I informed them I was coming to get MY baby. I was halfway down the hall to the nursery when my nurse came to "encourage me" to go back to bed. I said no and walked to the nursery and waited for them to bring me my son. The pediatrician that had been caring for him in the hospital told me there was no way she would have cut him against my wishes but i remain unconvinced. I was LIVID. you just DO NOT tell a woman you are going to lop off a piece of her precious baby's body and expect her to take it in stride. I will not ever allow any of my babies out of my sight in the hospital again. It was too close of a call. My son is still whole, no thanks to the hospital.
spaceycasey on September 21, 2011
It was in Spartanburg, SC @ Spartanburg Regional. I had told his pediatrician and 2 different nurses that we didn't want him cut. They took him for whatever bloodwork they do (?) and didn't bring him back. I called 3 x's that I wanted my son back in the room w/ me and they said "ok, soon" but 2 hours went by. My csection butt got up and walked to the nurses station and asked for my son. "All the boys are kept til 11:30 for circumcisions". It was 10:30 and the surgery was to be at 11. I turned to my husband and I said in a calm manner, "Didn't we tell these ******* that I did not want our son cut? You'd think after 3 x's of saying so they would've made a note of it somewhere". You should've seen those nurses scrambling to get my son!
When my oldest was born, I was getting scrubbed up to go see him. I heard a blood curdling scream. I thought someone was being murdered. It was like no sound I had ever heard, there was so much pain. I ran into the room, and could feel the hairs on my neck standing up.
It was a baby being circumcised.
The nurse told me that it was too bad I had soaped up. My boy was next to be circumcised, although we had never requested it, nor had signed any papers. I ran to him, and held him, so no one could do anything violent to him. ... 35 years later, I can still hear that kid's shriek, and it still raises the hairs.
I was scheduled to have an at home birth but my baby boy decided to show up a little too early and I ended up being in the hospital - but still able to do everything with out doctors/nurses there. Just myself and my mid-wife. ...
But he was so small & so early they took him back pretty fast, with me by his side of course and said "we will be right back with your son" I made them stop dead in their tracks and demanded to know WHERE they were taking my son. One nurse said "his circumcision"
I began to panic and tell them "Please bring me my son back now. I was not informed of this nor was I even asked for him to be circumcised or not and I am choosing not to."
She kind of just stood there like I was crazy or something, so I demanded for him back this time and she then came and apologized and handed him back to me. Once he got the health clear[ance] we left that place ...
My son was in the nursery 29 years ago after birth and I came in to find a strange Dr getting ready to cut. I and his father had requested NO CIRCUMCISION and there was a tag on his incubator and written orders. They just took turns doing all the babies. I caught holy hell from a whole lot of the nurses telling me how unclean and unhealthy it was as well as a communicator of disease to women.
Make your wishes very clear to your OB or midwife, have it noted in your chart. Bring paper and a marker and make a sign for your door and/or the bassinet that says NO CIRCUMCISION. When filling out preregistration paperwork, ask if there is a waiver or form for declining circumcision.
I wish I had done all this and more. I had to tell at least 6 different people that my son was not to be circumcised, including waking up to a nurse preparing to remove his bassinet from my room. I screamed at that one.
... I did not have any signs prepared. I wish I had.
(6 narrow escapes)
First-person accounts by parents pressured to circumcise their sons
I was appalled when the nurses at the hospital kept him to get a circumcision after he got shots. I had to ask 4 times for my son back, and finally got up out of the bed (after a csection) and went to the nurses station demanding my son back. "We keep all the boys til noon for their circumcisions" the nurse said. I cursed at them and was furious. I had told them 3 times I did not want my son cut.
My son was born June 1979 at Madison General Hospital, Wisconsin. It was clear to me
that any kind of genital cutting of newborns is not only unnecessary, but
a heinous invasion of personal physical integrity amounting in my mind to
assault. This was clear to my wife and to our pediatrician as well.
Naively I thought everything was taken care of and my healthy new son was
perfectly safe. I hardly realized the critical danger he was running as
regards his genital integrity so long as he and his mother were still in
You can imagine, perhaps, the shock and fear I felt when a rather agitated
nurse accosted me in the hallway on the second day and urgently pressed on
me the information that C--- hadn't been "circ'ed yet":
"Do you know that the baby hasn't been circ'ed yet? What are you going to do about this?
You need to get those papers signed!"
Perhaps not panic, but there was a
definite tone of emergency and high urgency in this woman's voice and
physical manner. Implied was the accusation, why, as father, hadn't I
acted before this. Really alarmed, I exclaimed:
"That's right. He's not
supposed to be circumcised. This is not supposed to happen."
sure?" she asked, "Once he's left the hospital it can't be done so
easily," she went on to explain.
"But he's not supposed to be
circumcised; there is no medical reason for this," says I.
usual," she says. "We don't want it," I insist.
My discomfort and
embarassment in this encounter was only heightened by the fear that this
woman would disturb my wife and create fears in her, fears that I would
somehow have to counter. This never transpired.
My ordeal and anxiety were, however, not over yet: on two other similar
occasions I was confronted by different nurses with virtually the same
"Do you realize your son hasn't been circ'ed yet and time is
running out before you leave."
I was just astounded at the realization of how mindless this force of
hospital procedure actually was. No question about why we do this. It's
just there to be done. No questions are to be asked. And there is a
definite communication of "what's wrong with you?" "why aren't you going
along with what must be called for since everybody does it?"
Truly I have never gotten over the shock of this experience.
My son's godfather told me last year that his younger brother is intact
and that when he confronted his father about it, why he'd been genitally
cut and his brother hadn't been, his father apologized and told him that
neither he nor his wife had wanted or expected this to happen - being Greek
they have no such custom and find it abhorrent - but that to his horror too
late he found that the hospital personnel (in either Racine or Milwaukee, Wisconsin) had simply gone through with the
"procedure" without informing them. Of course this was a prosecutable
offense of unwarranted and unauthorized surgery, but it was also more than
fifty years ago and my friend's parents were uninformed immigrants.
I hope these and many many other stories serve as
so many nails into the coffin of enforced and involuntary genital
mutilation of all kind, but especially in the case of the newborm.
My D[arling] W[ife]'s OB/GYN asked about it several times at pre birth office visits, and we said no. Seemed like it was all resolved.
Then, at the actual birth, just after I had cut the umbilical cord, he began pressuring us big time. My wife was so out of it, she does not even remember, and if I had not been there, probably would have succumed to his pressure. He walked back and forth, tone of voice, posture, practically pleading with me to change my mind. I believe many people would have changed their mind under his assault.
At the hospital, at least 5 people asked if I wanted d[arling ]s[on] circ'd - I said no each time but they kept asking. They were pretty awful there about that - every time I said 'no' they would roll their eyes and say 'are you sure?' - (Yes, I'm sure that I don't want to let anyone cut pieces off my perfect baby....)
As soon as I found out it was a boy, they handed us a bill. Had to be pre-paid. I called & said we didn't want it done, so not to bill us like the paperwork said we'd be billed. The lady on the phone told me to "think it over" & I got the bills. Again, I called & told them not to send them. About 2 weeks later I get ANOTHER letter saying that if I didn't pay my late payment & current payment, they'd want everything paid in advance before seeing me for anything, even my regular OB visits. After a day on the phone & calling several people in that building, I got it taken care of.
A doctor also mentioned it to us, even though it was marked in our chart that it wasn't getting done. When we told the midwife to correct our chart (we were asked when they confirmed my pregnancy, I said we weren't sure because I was still talking to DH about it, but they went ahead & marked circ anyway), she obviously cringed. She also rolled her eyes when she realized I had changed DH's mind (DH said something to that effect, I forget what though) & if she wasn't in a hurry I think she would have given me a lecture about how the dad should choose since he has a penis & I don't.
And my personal favorite circ comment EVER? Right after DS was born, after 24 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing & about 3 minutes away from an emergency c-section if he hadn't come when he did, I hadn't even got to hold DS yet, the doctor is stiching me up, & he asked "So...you want him circ'ed?" I told him no, then he said he remembered that was in my chart. He then said, "I figured if I had to stay here all night for you, I'd go ahead & do it myself instead of letting the weekend on call OB do it so I could get paid for it." That left me pretty speechless.
I gave birth to a DAUGHTER in the only hospital for 25 miles... and they still gave me a Circumcision Release Form in with all the standard birth certificate/picture order form package. No one said anything about it while I was pregnant.
I was pressured to [be] circumcise[d] about a year ago when I was about 18, in the UK. I had some small problem with my penis (some veins appeared swollen), which I went to my doctor for, and he decided to refer me to a urologist.
The urologist examined my penis, found no problem with my veins, but decided that I should be circumcised because my foreskin was tight. I immediately refused, and I tried to explain that it wasn't as tight as it had been a year before, because I had been stretching it. He told me that my stretching loosened the foreskin by giving it small tears [this is not true if the stretching is gentle enough], and that it would soon become even tighter. He also told me that I would get a build up of smegma, which he said could cause cancer.
I refused the operation, and he offered a 'half-circumcision', and I still refused, and he seemed to get a little annoyed. He told me "well, think about it, and if you wait you may later get paraphimosis, and then we'll be operating on an emergency basis".
A year later, and of course my penis is fine. Unfortunately at the time I was a little upset by the whole thing, and I didn't realise that I could actually complain about it, so I didn't file any complaints.
I definitely got pressured by my delivering OB to circumcise, unsuccessfully of course!! The birth and everything went great, my son was born healthy with no problems and im Thankful for that!! Then things went south when he say's to me " o.k. he looks GREAT! we can get him circumcised tomorrow" ( This is literally RIGHT after the birth, i mean he just stitched me up and im still laying there bleeding when he says this to me, nice huh?) I say to him...."oh No we're NOT getting him circumcised!!" Then of course he starts spewing this non-sense about how it's cleaner and healthier and its better to just get it done now....blah blah blah (meanwhile my pro-circ family is in the room eating up every word he say's) and i just told him that we're not changing our minds, and that issue was resolved. After that i really didn't have any other problems, My Lactation Consultant asked me if i was getting him circumcised mainly out of curiosity and I told her "No" and she just said "GOOD!". My son's pediatrician looked him over the next day but didn't say anything regarding circumcision.
The day i was getting discharged one of the recovery nurse's walk in and say's "Oh did you want to get him circumcised??" (This was like an hour before they let me go so it was kind of like they forgot about me, which was nice!) I just said "Nope" and she just turned around and walked out. THEN the Delivering OB (AGAIN) came in just to check on me and see how I was doing, said I looked good and was discharging me and before he walked out he say's "If you change your mind about getting him circumcised, let me know, I can do it"
When my son was born, we were asked about 20 times if we wanted him circumcised, despite the fact that our birth plan stated "NO CIRCUMCISION." Every nurse and doctor kept asking, "He's not circumcised. You don't want him circumcised?"
And then pediatricians feel the need to advise me that my son is "more at risk".
When I gave birth to my son in 1995 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte NC. I informed the pediatrician (the person that does the circumcision) in advance that I did not want my son circumcised. He agreed that there was no medical reason, but still recommended it so he would look like other boys. The day after my son was born (he was born at night) a nurse came in to my hospital room with a number of forms to sign, including a circumcision consent form. I told them that I did not want my son circumcised unless they could give me a valid medical reason for it. The nurse left. A couple of hours later two nurses came back in with only the circumcision consent form and asked me to sign it. I asked them why they were giving me the form again when I had declined earlier. They said, "We just want to make absolutely sure you do not want this." I asked if there was a good medical reason to do so (I knew there wasn't, I just wanted to see what they would say). Suddenly one of the nurses grabbed the form and started to scratch a big red "X" over it. She seemed upset so I asked if she was mad. She replied, "Well, I am just making sure he isn't accidentally circumcised."
Good grief. I was shocked how medicine was being practiced at one of the largest hospitals in Charlotte NC, nurses repeatedly soliciting for unnecessary medical procedures and then suggesting that there's a significant likelihood that the procedure may still be performed without my consent if I do not make it very clear that I do not want the procedure for my son by having a large X crossed over the consent form.
I have no suit but can testify for a plaintiff if anyone has a claim against this hospital for a circumcision performed during this time period...
Dean Pisani says he and his wife were pressured to have their expected baby circumcised by the obstetrician and doctors in Illinois hospitals even before they knew his sex.
The Pisanis researched the topic "and could find no rational or persuasive argument to subject a baby to surgery that had no medical benefit. We came under pressure from doctors prior to the birth of both of our children, but none could substantiate the medical necessity to perform the surgery. The pressure from doctors was both inappropriate and indefensible."
christine mastin of PA posting on
US News.com, September 4, 2009
i was a single mother when my son was born. The nurse came in with instruction for circumcision, i said i didn't sign anything to have him circumcised, she said we'll do that next, i said no we wont he is staying complete, unharmed, not damaged, left in tact. She came back three more times trying to get me to sign the paper work, i demanded to see my son in tact. she scowled at me in disgust.
Isn't it nice that Hugo had a choice? Look across the pond: most men neither need nor want to have part of their penis cut off. When my son was born, our doctor and nurse really pressured us to do it, without any of the "informed consent" mumbo-jumbo. They just wanted to do it. We didn't, even though I'm cut. There's no medical study supporting the belief that an un-circumcised America would suffer - or that Europeans are less healthy - and obviously amputating sexual tissue must diminish sexual sensation, no matter what circumcised "doctors" say. This was all before the HIV/circumcision scare, but I see that HIV rates in uncircumcised Europe are lower than in mostly circumcised America. Duh: if you are having sex with infected people, count on getting infected, cut or not. I think the new push to circumcise is psychological, not medical.
... My son was born at 31 weeks and only 3 lbs. I told them then that I did not want him circumcised. They explained to me that most children [should] keep the same appearance as their father's. I told them that dad was circumcised but that the baby will NOT be. After spending 3 wks in the NICU they said that he was finally strong enough to be circumcised. Do they really believe that a child that has already been struggling, should then have his penis mutilated before coming home? It kind of makes me sick that they were so persistent.
We had to request multiple times and had to confirm with our doctors and nurses that we did NOT want our son circumcised. The pediatrician said "really? I guess it's not that necessary anymore. Here's how you clean it..." The resistance to our decision compared to the blase response of the pediatrician indicates an atrocious knowledge-procedure gap for newborn boys.
I did not have my son circumcised. Its his stuff. He can decide when hes
older. I felt weird making such a personal decision for him. The nurses
were really pushing it though. Circumcision is not neccesary is it?
When my first son was born in 1975 I told the doctor not to circumcise him. He didn't ask us about it; he was just going to do it automatically. He gave me all the stupid reasons, like being different from his friends. I prevailed. I went through the same process with the same doctor with my second son in 1977.
... my son was born in California, and I asked that he not be circumcised. I moved to Kentucky three years later, and my son got a kidney infection. I was told by the doctor that it was because he was uncircumcised, and not knowing any better, I allowed them to perform the procedure. They botched it, and my son was subjected to intense pain and subsequent embarrassment that he still suffers fifteen years later. Now I know it wasn't even necessary.
You know even though my boys penis's are completely healed, I still feel guilty for having them snipped. I wish I would have been provided with more information with my first born. Instead I was pressured by the doctors and family to circumcise.
OH [Other Half] and I have decided NOT to have the baby circumcised when he is born, OH is not and I don't want to subject a newborn to an unecessary (sp?) surgery. My OB [Obstetrician] is being really really pushy about this though! Luckily our pediatrician is supportive.
After the wife of a member of our foreskin restoration group (NORM-Phoenix) suddenly gave birth to a boy six weeks premature (in 2004), he, the husband, felt compelled to stand guard over the child for several weeks prior to the child's discharge from the hospital, as both parents were under constant pressure to have their child's foreskin removed.
Just before the child's release, one obviously exasperated doctor accosted the father, almost demanding that the child be circumcised, saying: "But that's what we do, here!" This in a large hospital located in a tony, northerly section of the seemingly progressive town of Scottsdale, Arizona.
I am uncut and in my 38 years I have NEVER had any problems with my penis, nor have I ever felt awkward about it or been ridiculed by any of the women I have been with. In fact, most didn't even notice and a few who had never seen one told me that they liked it better the natural way. I insisted that our son also be left intact, though the hospital staff must have asked us at least half a dozen times if we wanted to circumcise him. If the AAP changes its policy to recommend circumcision, they will probably make it much harder for parents to opt out of it.
Mike on The Oracle (U of South Florida) March 16, 2010
"It’s not right for the CDC to impose suggestions" -- I have to agree, anyone that has had a son born in the US already knows the constant badgering from the medical profession. They can make money off the procedure, by the CDC making a recommendation it just gives the medical community another form of coercion to place on parents during a stressful time. My son was born back in 2005, we were ask[ed] a total of 3 times before I could get my son safely home (question[s] like "you realize your son hasn't been circumcised yet"). Why were they so interested in my son's penis? I can only think it was the money not the well being of my child.
"That dirty European"
françoise on May 20, 2010
(to my sons: sorry if this embarrasses you)
When i INSISTED that i would NOT sign the medical release decades ago, for the rest of my stay in the ward, nurses pointed me out to each other referring to me in loud whispers as that DIRTY EUROPEAN. I am an old woman now but went around the block a few times in my, too short, heydays and my position hasn’t changed as a mother or as a woman.
i am an imigrant to the states from ukraine. i was born there and therefore am intact. recently i was in the hospital where my brother was being born, and the doctor came in with some papers and handed them to my father. i saw a vein bulge in his neck and looked damn near ready to yell at him. the doctor started explaining that it had "health benefits" and made it sound that every intact person WILL get some sort of disease. my dad told him that he, his family, his friends, and everyone he knows is intact and has never had disease or any problem regarding the foreskin. he also told him that he knows more cut guys who have stds than intact men. after handing the papers back without signiture, the doctor looked suprised that anyone would choose not to.
... When our son was born this past February, we had already decided long before that he would not be circumcised. However, we were probably asked at least a dozen times if we wanted to have it done, to the point that I worried it might happen by accident, if they mixed him up with another baby. ...
Fifty years ago I Had to fight the doctor to keep my son from having that barbaric action taken on him. They told me it was cleaner and I said, then cut the tips of his fingers off to keep the nails clean!! That stopped their arguements
My husband who is circumcised was adamant that his son not be mutilated like he was. He watched him like a hawk in the hospital because it seemed like everyone was ready to cut off our son's foreskin at every turn. No one in the hospital understood our decision. We also had several disagreements with family members who believed that it was medically necessary and thought that our son would have problems later in life.
I gave birth to my son in a small, "baby friendly" hospital with waterbirth tubs in every room. It was a beautiful space, a very unusual hospital that paid close attention to gentle beginnings, didn't have a nursery, and taught safe co-sleeping practices. Yet, despite this attention to a peaceful start, they asked me 4 times if I wanted to have David circumcised. I told them no in 4 creative ways, learning that all of the nurses and most of the doctors didn't approve of the practice. THEY STILL DID IT [to other babies]. I will never forget resting in my beautiful room with my perfect son in my arms, listening to the screams of baby boys being cut in a little room next to the nurses' station. I cried and held David close - but those screams still haunt my nightmares. I wanted to run in and stand in front of that knife. I wanted to run to their parents rooms and shout, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOUR PERFECT BABY? I know it probably wouldn't have done any good, but I still feel like I didn't do enough. So, I'm speaking out....
i was pregnant when i posted on here last. my son is now 6 months old. they asked us 10 times before we left the hospital if we wanted him circumsized. i completely left it up to my husband and he told them no everytime they asked. i sent my husband all kinds of emails and information and even though we never actually spoke to each other about it my point got through and hes told me several times how happy he is we left our son intact. dad calls baby george anteater sometimes lol
We had our baby boy 7 years ago at the "baby factory" (St Johns Mercy) and they put lots of pressure on us to circ our son. They tried to make us feel we were making a big mistake by not having it done.
They actually slipped the circ order in with other forms they asked my wife to sign such that she signed the circ order without realizing it. When I told the nurse that we would not circ she said well your wife agreed to the procedure. My wife told me that she never saw the form. After that we were labled difficult patients. My son was NOT circumcised.
I have a newborn son - less than 4 weeks old. We did not circumcise him as my husband and I had previously decided not to. I was asked three different times if we wanted it done and each time we declined. One of the reasons offered for it was that it is covered by insurance in our state. As if that's a reason!
To be honest, when my son was born in 1978, he was circumcized. The doctor acted like this was something that was routine and really never even gave me a choice about it. Now, I know that he should have given me more information about how the procedure was done and made sure I was making an educated choice....
25 yrs ago I refused circumcision for my newborn. Even his doctor tried to humiliate me. I couldn't care less back then and now I see I was on the right side of history. Feel sorry for all the boys that can't get it back now.
... with my first child they didn't even really ask me if I wanted my son circumcised, its all so "assumed". They shove a consent in your face and being only 20yrs old then, thinking they have my best interests at heart right? Wrong! My son was scarred in such a way he had to be "redone" at about the age of 2. After that I decided my second son could make the choice for himself.
When my mother viewed her first grandson, she noted that we had decided to leave him intact. She said that is fine; that my father had been intact and that I was probably the first in our family's line for whom circumcision at birth had been chosen. I thought no more about it. It was the rule when I was a boy.
A decade later, moments before she passed away, I held her hand. She whispered something. I bent closer to hear. "I am sorry," she said. "I wanted you to know."
She was sorry that she had chosen for me something that she really did not want; something the lying[-]in hospital thought was essential. This had haunted her for years. I did not know.
To this day I regret that she felt the need to express regret as her last words to me. I wish I had never had this done for me for that reason alone, if for no other. I hope not one of my male descendents ever have it imposed upon them. It will be their choice, and their choice alone.
RD on February 16, 2012
I’m an American male and was really hurt to find out what my mother had consented to. I hate what was done to me because of some pushy ... doctor. My mother said no twice.
Thors Hammer (@ThorsHammerr) on Twitter February 20, 2012
Pedetrician tried a 6th time to convince my wife to do a #circumcision on my baby. Fucking predation, not informed consent. #i2
When did circumcision come back in fashion again for Christians? It's not seen as a religious thing any more, but we had to tell the hospital several times we didn't want it done, and then they charged us for the procedure they didn't perform.
It has always puzzled me that parents who buy baby shampoo, to prevent hurting their baby's eyes, see no issue when it comes to cutting off the foreskin without a pain killer. When my son was born, in an military hospital in Germany, I practically had to fight the doctor to prevent him from circumcising him.
What kinda made sure for me that it was a definite "No way, nohow" was the pressures I got from the doctors. The pressure from the doctors came a couple of days after you gave birth, in that timeframe, and "Why aren't you doin' it?" "Everyone on the hospital is doin' it." It just kind of shoved me over, it was like, a procedure. No respect for humans at all. Male or female, that's irrelevant. And the other issue that came to me, while I was in hospital was, it weighed very heavy on me, why should a woman make a decision for a man that has no voice? I just, something along that line, I couldn't live with myself. So I said "No way, nohow, I am not mutilatiing my child." ...
In 1993, 1995, 1997 & 1999 I gave birth to a son in each year, so I had 4 sons.
I would not allow them to be mutilated.
In one case, a doctor ranted for half an hour in my hospital room, a day after I had given birth, about how I was doing my baby a bad thing not to make sure he was 'kept clean' & I was mute with astonishment at this doctors anger at me. But I did not budge. My sons are now ages 19, 17, 15 & 12 are intact & happy & healthy.
I had a son in November 2010. I had him circumcised. ... However, I gave birth to another boy in September 2012. Before I even knew he was a boy, I decided to leave my baby whole. He was born with a heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and despite that, the doctors still asked if I was having him circumcised over and over. The answer was and always will be NO! He is 3 and a half months old now, still intact and has endured 2 open heart surgeries. No one will lay a hand...or a scalpel...on my son's penis. He is perfect the way he is....
While working as a maternity nurse in the 1960?s, I knew of at least one male infant who bled to death following circumcision carried out in the hospital where he was born. I can still see his parents’ faces when they were told their beautiful baby was dead. Because of that experience I did not allow my son to be circumcised in spite of the social pressure on all parents to consent to it at the time. We were practically forced to agree and it took a strong parent to say ‘no’ to the pressure to consent ... My son is very grateful I refused to be bullied by the so called ‘medical experts’ or religious nutters, and he would never allow his sons to be circumcised.either. ... How many deaths have there actually been? Is anyone taking responsibility for them? If not, why not?
We had our oldest circumcised and, at 3 year old, he has a skin bridge that will have to be taken care of later in his life. Welcome to the world buddy, We are cutting your penis and it is going to cause you problems later in life.
We didn't cut our second son and the doctor went a little nuts! He told me over and over again (before I left the hospital) that my son would have increased risk of UTI, that if I waited he would have to be under anesthesia. He implored my husband. We like this guy a lot, he does a great job with the kids, but hey man...I said keep your hands off my kids c*ck, I understand that there is a risk, but its not like I don't bathe the kid!
40+ years ago when my brother was born the hospital refused to admit my Mom until she signed the papers giving them permission to circumcise him. My Dad is not circumcised and had no intention of having it done to his children.
My son is was born 15 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Because of his fast arrival he was admitted into the NICU and was kept there for 7 days because he "might" get jaundice, even though jaundice can easily be treated at home! FOUR times while going for feedings and visits, there were circumcision consent forms laid out for us to sign. Each time we put a BIG X across the paper and it was filed in his folder. I honestly felt like they were trying to "trick" us into signing it knowing that we had to leave him there. On the last attempt I made it very clear to the neonatologist that if he was to be circumcised, we would sue! Circumcision was never mentioned again.
... When I had my oldest, we repeatedly declined circ but they were so keen on circumcising him that when I went to the bathroom, I took him with me to keep them from taking him against my will. My husband and I had to take turns staying awake and watching him because they tried to get him in the middle of the night when we were asleep. That's hardly leaving it up to parental preference.
Caitie - personal communication, July 8, 2013
... I am a retired science teacher with a Master's Degree in human physiology and PhD course completion credits in cardiology, so I know quite a bit about the human body and how it works.
My son ... was born in April of 1984. I had been in labor for 32 hours (natural childbirth), so I was starving and tired ... I hadn't eaten since Sunday and this was Tuesday morning.
We didn't know ahead of time whether we were having a boy or a girl... As I passed the baby's shoulders and he was officially born, I heard one of the nurses say in enthusiasm, “What do we have? Oh, it's a boy!” and my heart soared. I had a son. A beautiful, perfect son. I was thrilled.
My OBGYN put this beautiful newborn baby boy on my stomach and the very first thing he said, while I was still marveling at the fact that I'd just become the mother of this absolutely gorgeous child, was “Are you going to have him circumcised?” ... My son hadn't even had his umbilical cord cut yet!
I hesitated, because I don't think circumcision is necessary and I didn't want to subject my newborn son to such a procedure. However, I was overruled by both the doctor, who said, “I recommend it!” and my husband, who said, “YES!” very definitively. He is, as you can imagine, circumcised as well.
I gave in, largely because I was so tired and hungry, but I had misgivings. ... I did have the thought flash through my mind that I didn't want to subject [him] to ridicule or feeling “different” by being perhaps the only kid he knew who had a foreskin, but I still had doubts ...
The day after ... , a nurse brought him in to me to show me now to bathe him, and he was still intact. The thought crossed my mind, “I could still put a stop to this,” and I mentioned to the nurse, “I see they still haven't done the circumcision. I'm really not sold on the idea,” and she said, “I know, but it's for the best.” I looked at my perfect, intact son and thought, “I hope it doesn't hurt him too much” and it was breaking my heart. How I wish I could go back to that day again! I'd never have allowed it now, and I'd have told my husband so. I didn't care what the doctor thought, it was really because my husband wanted it so that I let it happen.
... To this day, 29 years later, I regret not fighting harder against the procedure. ... I don't buy into all of the traditional arguments for it, and if so many of the world's males are intact and have none of the problems we're told will happen to uncircumcised males, I have to question the validity of the arguments and assume that they come from a place of prejudiced brain-washing of both doctors and lay people.
... I support the movement to allow newborn boys remain the way nature intended; with an intact foreskin....
... My room happened to be directly across from the nurses’ station. When it came time for us to go home, I overheard our midwife tell the nurse on duty that she was going to start the discharge paperwork.
Nurse: You can’t discharge them! They haven’t had him circumcised yet!
Our midwife informed her that we’d declined both on paper and verbally. Then the nurse proceeded to argue with the midwife that there MUST have been a misunderstanding. I guess having “no circumcision” in our birth plan, actively declining in our admissions paperwork, and reiterating “no” at every single shift change somehow did not preclude any ambiguity for her.
To be fair, all three midwives and all three pediatricians we had seen up to this point were either openly supportive of our (non)decision or never mentioned circumcision at all. It was the nurses who just would not. stop. asking. Our impression was that they believed we would “come to our senses” eventually, although I suppose some of them could have just been functioning on autopilot rather than passing judgment. Still, it was the one blight on what was an otherwise very positive experience.
The silver lining to this particular incident was that after our obviously irritated midwife stuck her head in to verify that my husband and I honestly, truly, really meant what we said, we also got to overhear her giving the nurse an earful–not just for her lack of professionalism, but for acting as though taking home a perfectly normal, healthy male baby as-is would be something to avoid at all costs.
Wow. This sounds like one of the 5 nurses I had with my last. We medically could NOT circumcise our son and she followed us to the parking lot demanding we "make him normal." I hope the OP had a slightly saner nurse on her hands.
sounds like when i took my son home! two whole days of nurses coming in, going “oh, and you’re not circumcising him” and then moving on became a FREAK OUT 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave as i was finishing the discharge paperwork, three nurses came in and said “You can’t leave yet, we didnt circumcise him!” and then looked at me kinda deadpan when i said “we’re not going to” and the nurse that was already there with me just showed them the paper where i had already declined it….. ...
Dee Resnick Forlano on Omaha.com December 18, 2013
Doctors continually solicit and push parents into offering up thier sons for this mutilation. My sister in law was asked 3 times per day if she wanted her son cut while she was in the hospital recovering from his birth, Each shift of nurses, every day checked to be sure she hadn't changed her mind. There is a financial motive for health care practitioners and hospitals to solicit this unnecessary surgery.
Five mothers coerced to circumcise - one a daughter, too, by mistake. Facebook, January 12, 2014
Sigh. This happened to me too, homebirth transfer that ended with a cesarean, Rhogam, pushy nurses. No less than five people asked if I wanted him circumcised.
Sara MacFarlane, your experience sounds very similar to mine. We only had one nurse repeatedly bring up circumcision. She even approached my husband when I wasn't around. I guess she thought he'd be sympathetic to her cause- but he's intact too, and shut her right down
I've noticed it's really regional too. When I had my first son we said once that we weren't circumcising and that was it. We've moved since then and when I had DS2 we were asked multiple times if we needed to schedule the circumsion. It was almost like they thought it was forgotten. That said, regional or not, I've never felt judged in either place.
We didn't with either of our boys. The hospital asked a thousand times, so we assume it is the norm here, but frankly- I don't care what anyone else is doing, these are my kids. When my ODS was born the first thing my BIL asked was "so you had him cut, right?" And then went off on my DH about how he's going to be the laughing stock of the school when he gets to high school. My theory is any teenage boy who is that concerned with whether his peers are cut or intact during gym class has some personal issues of his own to work out.
I was adamant that I would not be having my son circumcised but when he was born he ended up in the NICU for a week, during which time, I was asked 6 or so times whether I was having a circumcision and had I forgotten to sign the paper to get it done - as though I might have forgotten something like that!?
I couldn't possibly have decided to keep my child "in tact", could I? - I couldn't believe it! I knew that circumcision in America was almost just the done thing but I didn't realize how abnormal SOME places seem to see the process of just leaving it alone!!
Marissa, friend of Brother K on Facebook May 29, 2014
When I had my son they wrote on the board a list of things to do before discharge, every time a new nurse came in they would say "Oh we still need to perform the circumcision." I told each nurse over and over it was NOT to be done. Finally after 5 nurses I spoke up and said, "Can you please write NO next to circumcision. I'm sick of getting asked, my son will not be circumcised." After that I was thanked by my dr for being an educated and informed momma :)
Even death gives no respite:
Brian Herrity on YouTube at Kaiser Permanante Hospital, Walnut Creek CA, July 6, 2014 (starts at 0:49)
"When I was boothing at a Bay Area Intactivist event once, a man told me that his son was born at this hospital, Kaiser Walnut Creek, and he had to tell five different nurses "No, I don't want to circumcise my son." When they sent the sixth nurse in - different person - again, trying to shove the consent-form down his throat, he said "No - if you send someone else in here, I will call my lawyer." And so he was just like "No, they pushed on me and felt I was lucky I made it out with my son in one piece."