Pediatricians: Benefits of circumcision outweigh risks

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Philadelphia social worker Shannon Coyne examined medical research on circumcision before her son was born last September and had a tough time making a decision. She learned that a relative’s boy needed reconstructive surgery after a botched circumcision and that another’s son who wasn’t circumcised developed urinary infections.

Mrs. Coyne said she and her husband ultimately decided against circumcision because she didn’t want her baby to have what she considers cosmetic surgery without being able to consent.

Her advice to other parents is “just make an informed decision. Do your research, be open-minded.”

Some 18 states have eliminated Medicaid coverage for circumcision, a trend that could contribute to rising health care costs to treat infections if circumcision rates continue to decline, according to a study published Aug. 20 in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Dr. Aaron Tobian, a Johns Hopkins University assistant professor who co-authored the study, said the academy’s updated policy “is a very good step.”

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