If This Stained Circumstraint Could Talk...



This antiseptic stained circumstraint is currently in use in a large U.S. hospital and looks very typical of those used daily. The photograph was taken by a nurse and advocate with Saving Our Sons. This morning, as you gaze upon its image, there will be 5-6 baby boys strapped to it as their penis is cut apart for no medical reason. Every day it is the same - sealing the tragic fate of another handful of perfect, newborn babies who were born the previous day.

Between uses, it is stored in the nursery closet - far out of the sight of new parents. 'Nurse SOS' writes:

Parents don't see this sickening thing and I wish they could - it is like something out of a horror movie. Parents are told that the babies barely notice and sometimes don't cry at all - this is an absolute blatant lie. They are also told that pain relief will be provided, but are never informed that all the 'pain relief' babies receive is an infant's Tylenol and a pacifier dipped in sugar water. 


An hour before circumcision, babies are denied any breastfeeding (or formula) so they do not vomit and choke when they scream. So sometimes they are already crying and upset before they are taken to be cut because they are so hungry. Babies are returned to their parents when they have passed out and they will not wake up to eat for many hours after circumcision. When they do wake, they are immensely hungry and in terrible pain. 


I could go on and on... It is the worst part of my job as a pediatric nurse by far. And it happens every single morning.


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43 comments:

  1. If I was a nurse I would refuse to perform the procedure. It's genital mutilation with a complicated name to distract you from what it really is.

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    1. Easy to say... hard to follow through on. I know... I'm a Certified Pediatric Nurse and I currently work in the newborn nursery and NICU. I make sure my views on circumcision are well known when I am hired on because I refuse to participate in this barbaric practice (my husband and all 3 of my sons are intact.)

      I know of other nurses (not where I work, thank heavens) who have been threatened with the loss of their job and a report to the state board of nursing if they refuse. (And the state board of nursing is NOT like the state board of medicine. The state board of medicine exists to protect the doctors. If an accusation is made against a doctor it will be investigated thoroughly and unless it is egregious and very well documented, nothing will happen to him. The state board of nursing exists to protect the public from the nurses. If an accusation is made against a nurse, her license gets marked as being under investigation and she may even lose the right to practice as a nurse until the investigation is concluded. In addition, the nurse must prove her innocence... the accusers do not have to prove anything.)

      I was thrilled when I got my job and found out that while yes, a lot of our boys get circ'd... they do it later at the doctor's office when they are a couple of weeks old NOT in the newborn nursery at the hospital. Gives me a chance to do education on care of the intact penis and hopefully, time for the parents to decide it isn't worth doing!

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    2. I praise you as a nurse and a mother..keep up saying NO ..Keep all boys INTACT!!! back in 74 when I had my son Dr said well your son is done being circumcised ..I said Ok,, well I did not know.,, when we got home a few days later I noticed while cleaning him that the hole he pee pee's out of was alot smaller his skin tried to grow back ( my sons body was trying to fix what the Dr had ruined)and it was so painful! I took my son back to the same Dr and he right in his office took my sons diaper off and slit the skin with a knife I about fainted,, he was drunk and all...Yes drunk I smelled it on his breath:(. I felt so helpless for my son.. if I could go back and do it all over again..my son would BE IN TACT!!!!!

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  2. That is beyond disgusting!

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  3. I just want to vomit, from shock, disgust, outrage, and the vile nature of this industry. Because it is an industry, one that is taking bodily integrity, one that is taking lives, one that is profiting from the needless infliction of pain and suffering.

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  4. In 50 years, I hope people are as horrified of this as the old methods for treating the mentally ill. The image is just as creepy.

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  5. that makes my stomach churn. barf.

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  6. I refused to have my first sin circumcised especially for stupid reasons like; it's cleaner, or they won't feel anything etc... Or I was circumcised so my kids should be. I refused with the first son because I knew he'd already suffer enough having to go through all his surgeries for a cleft lip and palate. I wasn't going to have him go through this torture too. And for out second son of course that was a no brainer! Very happy with our decision. :-)

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    1. Aww, you did great! :D

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    2. So happy you were well informed! I, on the other hand, was not so well informed, and had a LOT of pressure from the doctors, nurses, and family to have it done... I heard my son screaming when they circumcised him, and I immediately regretted it... I will never do the same to another child.

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  7. So glad our birth center didn't do circumcisions, other wise our oldest would be as I didn't have internet access during my first pregnancy and didn't know anything else. But I talked to my neighbor before my first son was born, she didn't circumcise her son, saying it wasn't medically necessary etc, but I didn't really listen until I saw his sweet face, saw how normal his penis was, and I heard his reaction to having his heal pricked for blood work and realized what circumcision would be like, esp if they refused to use pain relievers like some do.
    By the time he was 5 days old we were headed to his pediatrician, I had been planning on asking about circing with pain relief, but on the way I just became overwhelmed with the idea of putting my son through that when it was no longer necessary, I told hubby that I couldn't put him through a circumcision. He saw the look on my face and didn't say a word just nodded. I'm thankful to this day that our birth center doesn't offer circing like some do.

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    1. it was NEVER necessary

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  8. This makes me sick to my stomach.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. poor babies that had to go through this horible procedure.. =(

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  11. More of us men need to come forward and speak out against this barbaric practice. I was luckily spared as a baby, and have made the choice to spare my son as well. I will share a few stories though of men I have known in my life who have deformed penises because of an improper circumcision. These deformed penises range from extreme curvature to super short, super wide penises as too much was cut off which restricted lengthwise growth in later years. The mental self esteem damages from this are huge! Also, another thing I will mention as a man with foreskin, is that the mainstream media often makes jokes about foreskin, thereby subliminally teaching us that it is "cooler" to be circumcised and foreskin is "weird-looking". Every time I hear these jokes, I cringe.

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RESPONSE :) I love the man's perspective!

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  12. This just makes me dizzy and sick......I am so sad for these babies.

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    1. Just reading that made me feel the same way. I got my older son done and he keeps telling me that he doesn't remember anything which, yeah, is probably true but he still went through something horrible AND he started a nursing strike when he was 4 months old! I didn't realize that due to the fact he was circumcised he did that nursing strike! Now, I got to redeem myself and didn't get my youngest boy done! Thankfully here in Canada if you want a circumcision done you have to pay $300 as it's not deemed medically necessary so I didn't do it! I'm so glad and he was my little piggy when it came to nursing! He nursed until he was about 17 months! So, I saw the difference in my own eyes and now I HOPE more parents catch on to this!!

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  13. It's not like that at our hospital, but different places, different procedures. We let them eat, just beforehand if they need to, and the pain relief is a lidocaine nerve block that is injected 5 minutes prior. Then topical lidocane jelly is also applied afterward. Yes they get the sugar water as well, but obviously that's not pain relief. Parents are allowed to watch, which does happen intermittently. (And I'm not saying this method is perfect or painless, because it is not. However, it's a hell of a lot better than tylenol, that's barbaric).

    I would file an ethics complaint, it is neither AAP or ACOG compliant to do a circumcision without a nerve block. That is a serious ethics violation and is not evidence based care. Do you provide information to the parents ahead of time? Do you document this awareness? I would not take an infant back if the parents were not informed of how their infants pain would be managed. That is no informed consent. We would not tolerate this at out hospital, glad I work here and not there!

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    1. Actually slicing up infant's genitals is barbaric, no matter how "Humane" you try to make it out to be.

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    2. If they aren't your genitals to alter, they should be left alone. You shouldn't cut little girls or boys. It is unnecessary and barbaric procedure and that's the truth.

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    3. Anonymous... it is not, unfortunately, an ethics violation. It is precisely how circumcision is still done in many hospitals.

      Even IF a block is applied, it is very ineffective AND the process of applying the block itself is extremely painful! You may lie to yourself and say that this "helps" the process, but don't lie to others and expect to get away with it. Circumcision is a completely unnecessary trauma that robs a man of many thousands of nerve endings, the ability to enjoy the full length and width of his penis, and leaves an open wound in a diaper (yeah, because THAT is sanitary!) and a bare glans that will be keritanized by exposure to urine, feces, diapers and eventually clothing.

      What do you DO at your hospital? (I always love people who cite that they work "in medicine" or "in a hospital" because they are rarely RNs. They are usually CNAs, techs, or unit secretaries... heck, I've even had housekeepers cite that they know best because they work in a hospital. I love the people I work with who perform these roles and I couldn't do my job as an RN without them. To claim that they have medical expertise, however, would be incorrect.)

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    4. Frankly I find that RNs and MDs talk outside their expertise as well. Both will cite to me research which is tenuous, old or wrong. More RNs than MDs, no offense. There's a completely understandable reason for this too. It's hard to be current. Textbooks for Nursing are not kept up-to-date and are usually full of "facts" i.e. drug interactions as well as, in an attempt to be current information which isn't well supported by the evidence. I guess the idea is that it will be better validated by later studies...always a bad bet. :D

      Docs in my experience make more of an effort to read studies. However evaluating studies is also hard. Ask ten med students to define a P-value and you'll usually get ten different answers.

      I'd never give a doc advice on how to perform a procedure, I'd never give my pharmacist advice on drug compounding. But there needs to be more education, all over about how evidence is evaluated, and perhaps biostatistics and hypothesis modeling as a whole.

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    5. This person is trying to provide information on how to get this hospital to, at the very least, make this awful procedure more comfortable for the newborn. It is, at the very least, a step in the right direction. And yet, she is attacked for it. This is why our movement can't make progress. Yes, it is still painful, but I would certainly rather have a block and then the skin around my clitoris cut off than no block and then the skin around my clitoris cut off. If you can't entirely stop the procedure, make it marginally better for the baby.

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    6. But that logic is so flawed. You could say, "If you can't entirely stop rape, make it marginally better for the victim." Would pain relief during rape make it "better"? I am not directly comparing circumcision to rape (although I do not think it would be out of line to do so), but trying to illustrate how faulty this line of thinking is. Circumcision is wrong, and should be criminalized. Period.

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    7. Isnt it the parents choice if they want there kid circumsized?

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    8. No because the parent is not the one that has to live with that decision. Even if circumcision was painless, which it isn't, we still don't have the right to make that decision about another person's body. Your son will be the one to live with the decision his parent's made. He will live with that decision every day of his life, whenever he pees, has an erection, masturbates,or has a sexual encounter! That alone should make you pause, do you want to make a decision that will alter that man's personal, professional and sexual life forever because you did not give him the choice about his own body?
      Circumcision removes the most sexually sensitive part of a man's body. Don't you wish for your son to have a better life than you, one where he has the most satisfactory sexual life that he can? I would want that for both my son and daughter. Women benefit from men being left intact also.

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    9. Even if circumcision was painless, which it isn't, we still don't have the right to make that decision about another person's body. Your son will be the one to live with the decision his parent's made. He will live with that decision every day of his life, whenever he pees, has an erection, masturbates,or has a sexual encounter! That alone should make you pause, do you want to make a decision that will alter that man's personal, professional and sexual life forever because you did not give him the choice about his own body?

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    10. I agree with all of the other responses. LEAVE the poor kids whole. They are perfect just the way that they are and it is not a fair decision for you to make about another persons body.

      In addition, the needle that they insert into the penis to numb it hurts like hell too. The whole thing sucks no matter how it is done.

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  14. Jeez don't be so snarky people. Elisabeth. If you can't let someone tell their point of view, especially when they do it calmly and rationally as Anonymous did then you need to check yourself. Yes it's a practice that should be changed but it's not going to end tomorrow. And there will still be parents who will have it done to their kids as long as it's legal. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have someone that advocates pain and comfort care for the babies rather than someone who thinks sugar water does the trick on your side.

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  15. This makes me so sick and so so sad. When my son was born, I, unfortunately, did not listen to my gut and did listen to the lies. One thing though, the hospital my son was born at allows parents to go with their sons, so my husband was right there with him the whole time. so, sometimes parents *do* see these things. I hope other fathers, that witness their babies go through such horror, can think twice about circumcision.

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  16. I was tortured 3 times at a doctor's hands and now require surgery as a 40 year old adult because they amputated all of my shaft skin. My scrotum now serves as "shaft skin" and sex is impossible. I had night horrors as a child, sharp horrible pain when trying to urinate, and extreme pain when the stiches from the third "correction" tore loose. As an adult I trust no one, abhor doctors and authority figures, and have bouts of rage combined with low self esteem, depression, and biopolar disorder. I wasn't born like this. Doctors and ignorant parents made me this way. Go ahead - keep torturing babies and see how they turn out...

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  17. My son was circumcised as an infant. They waited till he was 2 days old. They DID NOT cut him! They simply pulled back the skin, cleaned him good and placed a plastic ring to hold the foreskin back in place. His doctor said the ring would come off in his diaper like the naval skin, in 3 to 4 weeks. His doctor and nurse did this in front of me, in my room, on my bed. Explained and keep me informed through the 4 min process and asked if I had questions. I was able to feed him before and immediately after. He never cried or seemed uncomfortable.

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    1. Anon - all circumcision involves tearing the prepuce from the glans, and cutting it off, no matter if the bell placed was plastic or metal, and no matter where the cutting took place (in front of you, or before he was brought into your room). Please look into the Plastibell method of circumcision. It's a lie that your hospital must be dishing out to parents. There is no such thing as a 'cut-free' 'blood-free' circumcision.

      The Plastibell Lie: http://www.savingsons.org/2012/03/plastibell-lie.html

      The Plastibell Procedure: http://www.savingsons.org/2009/08/plastibell-infant-circumcision.html

      Gomco and Plastibell circumcision surgeries are the two most common in the U.S. and Canada today. Almost all boys cut in the hospital or clinic are done so through one of these two methods.

      The Gomco Procedure: http://www.savingsons.org/2011/01/neonatal-circumcision-video-for.html

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    2. your son had his foreskin forcefully retracted

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  18. Claire Intactivist1/06/2013 12:22 PM

    Anon: your son had his foreskin forcefully retracted which is the same as having your fingernail ripped off. He had a Plastibell, which clamps the foreskin until it dies. Imagine you having your clitoris clamped until it dies and drops off. And what, pray tell did your newborn son do exactly to warrant such brutality? To tell yourself, and us, that he felt no pain is shockingly ignorant. He felt immense pain and terror. Why? Because the US can't get their head around how to wash a whole penis. The US kids itself its the cure-all for a whole array of diseases inc. Aids and HIV (wear a condom or don't sleep around maybe?) Or it apparently just looks 'normal'. Normal is whole, intact, undamaged. How come Europe manages fine with their intact whole penises? Yet the US, that professes to be at the forefront of civilised society STILL insists that amputating a perfectly functioning healthy organ from a newborn with little to no anaesthetic is the right and acceptable thing to do. How is that right? Aside from the fact it is a huge Cash Cow, obviously. A woman on average pays $1500 per pregnancy to her doctor so why wouldn't the doctor rub his hands together in glee at the prospect of being paid $300 for 15 mins work in circing your newborn. He doesn't give a crap about your son. He's only motivation is his pay check.

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  19. Unless there is a medical problem, there really is no need for a circumcision. My first son was snatched away from me and one was performed without my consent stating it was a state health requirement, which is a blatant lie by the way. My second son faired better because I told them I would sue them for it if they did it and it didn't happen. However, unfortunately my second son developed a condition, that even with diligent care of him being intact, required him to have a circumcision after he was 3 months old.He couldn't empty his bladder because the foreskin got so very tight. And yes it was painful to him and don't let those insensitive medical people tell you otherwise. Babies don't automatically start screaming and crying just because they are restrained to one of these instruments of torture. It is after they have sliced on that infant that they scream out in pain. Unfortunately though for my son, he didn't do well with the circumcision and almost bled to death even after he was 3 months old. There are medical statistics that I read after the fact that showed approximately 3,000 infants die every year because of circumcisions and bleeding to death. In this case there wasn't a clotting time done on him even after I had informed the medical staff of clotting problems running in my family. I had requested one and they ignored me saying it wasn't necessary. Then they had the nerve to turn right around and want to give him a blood transfusion fully aware of the fact that tainted blood had been discovered in the local blood supplies. I said NO! My son survived by the grace of God but if it weren't for the fact that he developed the condition that requires the foreskin to be removed because it is so contracted he couldn't empty his bladder, it would have been left intact. My husband is intact without problems and he is 56 years old. Unless there is a bonafide medical necessity such as my son's, this barbaric procedure should be left out.

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  20. Hi,
    When I was born I was premature. It was a 6 month pregnancy. That may be no-big-deal today, but 60 years ago it was. So I was not circumcised until 2 1/2 years old. Why it was done? My late father was in the military and there was a military physican that always recomended (actually cocerced) the men into getting circumcised whenever this doctor observed an uncircumcised guy. According to him the adult circumcision was painful and could take several days to heal - putting the guy "out of action" during that time. My mom told me that was what he said. I asked her "is that worse than a bullet in the gut?" She had no answer. But they took off too much skin and so I look like a peeled banana.

    My brother had his first born circumcised and then he had to take his week-old son in for "corrective surgery." To fix something that should never have been done in the first place. I have never seen my nephew's penis so I don't know what they did during the circumcision or what they did to correct the botched-up circumcision. My sister-in-law told me that my brother told the hospital that he was going to throw the doctor in the river if the problem was not corrected. I did not read anything about a doctor drowning in the river, nor my brother in jail for it, so I guess it was corrected. But.... he did say "NO!!" to his other 2 sons being circumcised. They retained their 4skins.
    When my son was born, I also said "NO!!" to him being circumcised. But the medical facilities were always "recommending" that my son be circumcised, but I always refused. One of my son's care-givers was always trying to get me to have my son circumcised. But I always said "NO!!" to her also. She had 5 children. 4 boys and a girl. The girl got to keep her 4skin but the boys' 4skins were removed. With the first boy, like me too much skin was removed so like me he looked like a peeled banana. With the 2nd son the glans got infected and it ate holes in it. They filled in but the glans has a marbled effect. The 3rd son they had a problems with bleeding. So they had to give this 4-day-old baby blood.
    With the last son he screamed and screamed screamed because of the pain and puked. Choked on his puke and had to be resusitated.

    I got so tired of doctors and nurses about getting my son circumcised I told them about me. In the exam room I even showed them my penis. I related about my brother and then told them about the caregiver's children and then told them to put on my son's records that I was refusing the circumcision and not to ask me or my my wife anymore. So they stopped - finally.

    I do not understand it really. Why does a parent have to be so aggressive about saying "NO!" to having their sons circumcised.

    Best Wishes, Bill Bristol

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    1. Wow! That's some story! So sorry you went through all that. Look at it this way, maybe if that hadn't happened, you wouldn't know what you do and your sons would have been Circ'ed? Maybe you sacrificed to save them. God Bless!

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  21. and don't forget that the foreskin is not only protection for the glans, but also a sourse of pleasure.

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  22. i was mutilated too. July 27th 1990 by dr. jay epstein. I suffer everyday from this nightmare

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