Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pediatrics policy

News from pediatricians:
The influential American Academy of Pediatrics is reviewing its neutral stance on circumcision following recent studies showing the procedure may have reduced HIV infection rates in African men.

The organization, which represents 60,000 pediatricians and helps set pediatric policy for the larger American Medical Association, is expected to issue a new policy statement in six to 12 months, academy president Dr. Jay E. Berkelhamer said.

Berkelhamer, a pediatrician in Atlanta, said the organization's researchers are in the "literature review" stage, and that it's too early to know whether they plan to endorse routine circumcision. But he wouldn't go so far as to recommend the surgery to expectant or new parents, noting that he's "not terribly uncomfortable with policy as currently written."
A year for a literature review? The Bible describes recommendations for circumcision dating back 1000s of years, but I doubt that the peds will be reviewing that.

My guess is that the peds are dying to tell everyone what to do, but don't want to admit that it is based on the possibility of African promiscuity. They should admit that personal choice, customs, and circumstances are factors here, and there is no best universal policy. The pediatricians have a long history of making recommendations that are based more on ideology than science.

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