Parents have to make decision about circumcision for baby boys

12:27 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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AUBURN, CA - In Brian and Lisa Keating's Auburn home, little Elijah's nursery is ready for his arrival. What his parents didn't know was that the countless hours spent prepping, painting and decorating was the easy part.

With Elijah expected in less than two weeks, the Keatings still had one important decision to agree upon - whether or not to circumcise their son. 

Lisa was for it. Brian wasn't sure.

"Twelve years ago, when I had my first son, it was a no-brainer," he said. "Not even a decision to be made about it."

But then everything changed.

"And then he says, 'Hey, I'm thinking we shouldn't do it. And I was surprised by that, thinking, 'oh, I have to make a decision,'" Lisa said.

In August, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its position on circumcision. Now, the governing board supports the procedure, but wants parents to make their own decisions.

American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision [PDF]

Dr. Karanbir Gill of Sutter's Medical Group said the change has sparked lots of conversation and the debate stretches far beyond the confines of the doctor's office.

In the recently released movie, "What to Expect When you're Expecting", the choice was a main plotline of the characters played by Cameron Diaz and Matthew Morrison.

On YouTube, there are hundreds of videos for and against the procedure.

On social media sites, the debate draws regular, heated debates on both sides of the issue.

GALLERY: News10 Facebook friends argue for and against circumcision

On the pro side of the argument, Gill said a circumcised penis can prevent the transmission of STD's. There's also a smaller chance of getting a urinary tract infection in the first year of life for boy's with an uncircumcised penis.

FACT SHEET: Center for Disease Control on Circumcision

On the con side, Gill said there is a chance of infection or excessive bleeding at the cut.

Proponents of rejecting male circumcision, such as Intact America, argue there is no medical justification for painful "routine" circumcision of baby boys. It was a similar thought process that brought about a proposal to ban the procedure altogether in San Francisco.

STORY: Male circumcision ban proposed in San Francisco

STORY: Circumcision ban to be stricken from SF ballot

Lisa's main concern for Elijah was perspective.

When asked if she thought about what her son's future wife might want she said, "Absolutely! Believe me, because I think from a woman's perspective, it seems cleaner."

And it was a woman's perspective that helped Brian to make his final decision on whether or not to circumcise Elijah.

"It was after we were at a friend's party, and it got brought up amongst a bunch of ladies, and that changed his mind," Lisa said.

"What I heard at that party was an overwhelming majority of the women who preferred the circumcision," Brian said. "I was surprised by that."

The Keating's chose circumcision.


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