Amid the recent uproar among Jewish communities around the world and in Israel over a recent ruling by a German regional court to outlaw male circumcision, the American Academy of Pediatrics is set to release a new report on Monday validating evidence that indicates the health benefits of newborn circumcision.
According to the academy’s report, the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks and justify access to the procedure for families who choose it.
Specific benefits identified in the report include prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some transmitted infections, including HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed the academy’s findings.
President Shimon Peres on Thursday urged Germany to protect the Jewish custom, joining a chorus of Israeli officials and Jewish groups concerned about the German court’s ruling that the practice amounts to physical abuse.
In a letter to German President Joachim Gauck, Peres said circumcision was an important Jewish custom that had been practiced for thousands of years.
The AAP report is based on systematic evaluation of English-language peer-reviewed literature from 1995 through 2010, and indicates the preventive health benefits of elective circumcision of male newborns.
The procedure, according to the report, “is well tolerated when performed by trained professionals under sterile conditions with appropriate pain management.”
“Complications are infrequent; most are minor, and severe complications are rare,” continued the report.
The report states that “although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns.”
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