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Intact America Launches Campaign to Change How America Thinks About Male Circumcision
Date:6/25/2009

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Chapin was joined by pediatrician Dr. Robert Van Howe, Clinical Professor at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, and his wife, Dr. Michelle Storms, a family practice physician and Assistant Professor at the medical school.

"The child is the patient, not the parent, and neonatal circumcision is definitely not in the patients' best interest," said Dr. Van Howe. "As an adult, I can say yes or no based on informed consent. An infant obviously cannot do that."

Dr. Storms, who is also Research Director in the MSU Family Medicine Residency Program, stopped performing circumcisions in 1988.

"I realized I was cutting off healthy tissue from a baby that couldn't say no," said Dr. Storms. "I wasn't treating or diagnosing disease. It violated everything I was taught in medical school about my obligation to heal the sick and do no harm."

Texas businessman Dean Pisani made a $1 million commitment to Intact America after he and his wife, who did not know their children's gender before their births, were pressured by Illinois doctors to perform a circumcision if they had a son.

"My wife and I did our research and could find no rational or persuasive argument to subject a baby to surgery that had no medical benefit," said Pisani. "No doctor could substantiate the medical necessity to perform the surgery. The pressure was both inappropriate and indefensible."

Male circumcision is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States, the only industrialized nation (other than South Korea) that continues to circumcise a majority of boys for non-religious reasons.

"If circumcision were effective in preventing HIV infection, the U.S.'s high circumcision rate would yield a lower HIV rate," said Chapin. "But America's HIV rate is higher than other industrialized nations with low circumcision rates. The only reliable means of preventing sexual tran
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SOURCE Intact America
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