Circumcision From the Perspective of Protecting Children

By Eran Sadeh © 2013
More from Sadeh at his website, Gonnen.org (Protect the Child)


My name is Eran Sadeh. I am Israeli. I am Jewish.

I was born 43 years ago in Tel Aviv, a healthy baby with a perfect body. 8 days after I was born one man held my tiny legs down while another man cut a part of my penis off with a knife.

I was in pain, I screamed, I bled. It’s over. But the part that was cut off from my penis is forever gone.

36 years later my son was born. Two days before his planned circumcision, while searching online for recommendations on the doctor-mohel we chose, I stumbled upon the following paragraph from The Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher:
As regards circumcision, I think that one of its objects is to limit sexual intercourse, and to weaken the organ of generation as far as possible, and thus cause man to be moderate. Some people believe that circumcision is to remove a defect in man’s formation; but every one can easily reply: How can products of nature be deficient so as to require external completion, especially as the use of the foreskin to that organ is evident. The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired; This is, as I believe, the best reason for the commandment concerning circumcision.
I was shocked. I realized that the Jewish motivation for circumcision was diminishing sexual pleasure, the same motivation as the one behind female genital cutting.

I was so amazed by this text, so I went on to read every piece of information I could find about the part that was cut off from my penis. The more I read and understood the anatomy and functions of the foreskin, the more it became impossible to escape the painful and enraging realization that my body was violated, that my penis was damaged and diminished in its capacity to sense pleasure, and that I will never be able to experience and enjoy sex as nature intended it.

The amputation of the foreskin removes a highly erogenous tissue the size of an index card on a male adult. A man who is missing that covering tissue of the penile shaft, feels less pleasure, because he does not have the thousands of nerve endings that went with the tissue that was amputated. The foreskin serves as a protective sleeve that slides up and down the penile shaft, reduces friction and stimulates the specialized nerve endings and the head of the penis and so it makes for more comfortable and pleasurable sex for both partners.

I found reports showing that in Israel alone hundreds of baby boys are rushed every year to emergency rooms and operating rooms to treat complications following the amputation of the foreskin.

I learned that studies show that the pain suffered by the baby during circumcision is traumatic and adversely affects his reactions to pain later in life, and I read testimonies by mothers about the screaming of their boys during the healing period, when the open circumcision wound comes in contact with urine.

Thanks to all the information that was revealed to me that day, my wife and I also decided to leave our son intact, so I called the doctor-mohel and cancelled the scheduled circumcision.

As you can see, circumcision is nothing but a euphemism for forcibly amputating a healthy body part of a helpless child, causing irreversible bodily damage and pain and putting the child at risk. All this in the name of religion and tradition.

This will not do in a country that protects children’s human rights, especially the right to bodily integrity and the right to equal protection by the law.

A note to doctors: you have no business performing religiously motivated circumcisions. It is a violation of the first rule of your code of ethics, which is: Do No Harm. A forcible amputation of a healthy body part of a non-consenting minor without medical indication is an assault that causes bodily damage and this bodily damage gives rise to both a criminal liability and a civil liability, which cannot be waived. A consent by the parents to circumcision is invalid, because parents cannot authorize an amputation of a healthy body part of their child without medical necessity. Doctors, you are not cutting machines. Your professional obligation is to heal and treat a patient. If the child before you is healthy, whether a boy or a girl, you do not cut anything from his or her body.

Postponing circumcision to an age when a person can legally consent to amputate a part of his penis is the only legal and ethical way out of this conflict of rights. My body – My choice. This solution does limit the freedom of religion. But it is only temporary. If, however, you forcibly amputate the foreskin of a child when he is a minor and cannot give consent, you trump his right to bodily integrity for ever.

I am happy to be a part of a global movement to eradicate forced circumcision of minors. All over the world, men like myself who are hurt by the amputation of their foreskin, are speaking up and letting their voices be heard.

Mothers and fathers – learn about the advantages of a normal intact penis, learn about the disadvantages of a cut penis, and join the 80% of the sane world where parents welcome their sons to life without violating their bodily integrity, without hurting them, and without putting them at risk.


The images (above, below) are from a press conference held in Berlin on September 12th 2012 by the Deutche Kinderhilfe, a German children’s aid organization, under the title: Circumcision from the perspective of protecting children. 



You can view my statement here:


Find further resources by and for Jews on the subject of circumcision at the Judaism & Brit Milah resource page.


Healthy Newborn Dies Post Circumcision Hemorrhage



Jayvas Carson
Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics (CDA)

• Jayvas was born naturally on November 15th 2008, a very healthy baby boy. He was full term.

• On 11-28-2008 he was circumcised by Dr. Beth Martin of Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics. While in the office he bled excessively. It took about fifteen minutes of constant pressure to the sight to get Jayvas to stop bleeding. He was sent home from the doctor's office with instruction to have his blood checked the following week as it was a Friday. Dr. Beth Martin thought he may have a bleeding disorder because of the excessive bleeding, but did not think it needed to be checked until the following week.

• When home and beginning to change his diaper, about an hour and half after leaving doctor's office, he was again bleeding.

• Jayvas was taken to Kootenai emergency room, where he saw Dr. Henry Amon Jr. When Jayvas arrived his diaper was full of blood. Dr. Amon examined Jayvas and said that it is normal for babies to bleed after they have been circumcised. He said there was nothing he could do - that Jayvas was not 'bleeding enough.' He was told about the visit with Dr. Martin and that she thought Jayvas may have a bleeding disorder. He ordered for Jayvas' blood to be drawn. While at the hospital, Jayvas filled two diapers with blood. Dr. Amon saw the diapers and again said it was normal. Jayvas was sent home after Dr. Amon said that there was nothing that could be done and that it was completely normal.

• Jayvas was taken home where he continued to bleed.

• He was rushed backed back to the emergency room a couple hours later, with blood soaked through his diaper and onto his clothes. He was lethargic and very pale. Jayvas was examined by Dr. Jeffrey Zurosky. Dr. Zurosky immediately put SurgiSeal on the circumcision site. The bleeding stopped immediately. Dr. Zurosky contacted Dr. Neff from CDA pediatrics to find out what treatment he would like done with Jayvas. Dr. Terrence Neff said to give Jayvas a vitamin K shot and ordered more blood tests to be done and wanted to see Jayvas the following morning. Dr. Neff said that Jayvas did not need a blood transfusion.


• The following morning, Saturday, Jayvas was seen by Dr. Terrence Neff at CDA Pediatrics. He said that Jayvas lost over 30 percent of his blood. He was still waiting for the results of the blood tests. He again said Jayvas did not need a blood transfusion, and that he would replace the blood volume on his own. He said he wanted Jayvas to take an iron supplement, and that he would recheck him on Monday.

• Jayvas did not bleed anymore following the SurgiSeal application.

• Jayvas was seen again by Dr. Terrence Neff on Monday. At this appointment Dr. Neff rechecked Jayvas' blood and said that Jayvas lost over 40% of his blood. Dr. Neff said that Jayvas lost a lot of blood, but again said that Jayvas did not need a blood transfusion. He said that babies are miraculous creatures and he would replace the blood in no time. He said that Jayvas was fine and would not need to be rechecked until his next well baby exam. Jayvas was still pale at this time. Dr. Neff repeated that it was normal for the blood he lost with circumcision, but that he would replace the blood on his own.

• Jayvas' blood tests came back. Jayvas did not have any kind of bleeding disorders, yet he bled excessively from the circumcision that was performed by Dr. Beth Martin of Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics.

• On Christmas night Jayvas began coughing a little bit. He also had a very small amount of blood under his nose and in his mouth. It was thought to come from his nose.

• Jayvas was seen by Dr. Terrence Neff on the 26th of December for the cough. Dr. Neff admitted Jayvas to Kootenai Hospital for pneumonia.

• When Jayvas arrived at the hospital he was breathing just over 100 breaths a minute. It was ordered for him to be put on oxygen and they started antibiotics for the pneumonia. His breathing rate immediately slowed when he was given oxygen. He stayed on the oxygen until the 29th. He was taken off the antibiotics after it was discovered Jayvas did not have bacterial pneumonia. When Jayvas' blood was checked, his blood count was still low. Jayvas stayed at the hospital until the 30th of December when Dr. Neff discharged him. Dr. Neff said there was nothing more they could do and that Jayvas would continue to get better at home. Jayvas still had a cough and a low blood count.

• The evening Jayvas was discharged he began taking longer pauses in his breathing followed by a few fast breaths. Jayvas was taken back to Kootenai hospital. While on the way, CDA Pediatrics was called to see if he could be brought back to the pediatrics unit without going through emergency. Dr. Beth Martin advised that Jayvas was fine. She said Jayvas just got out of the hospital - he had to be okay after just being released. She said that it probably seems worse than it really is from parents being paranoid from the hospital stay. She said that she would see Jayvas at the office if he was still having problems in the morning.

• Jayvas was taken to see Dr. Beth Martin at CDA Pediatrics on December 31st. She examined Jayvas and said he was doing good. Jayvas was still breathing fast with longer pauses. He was also making grunting noises while breathing. Dr. Martin agreed to monitor Jayvas' oxygen stats for twenty minutes. During this time Dr. Martin was never in the room, she had the nurse come in a couple times to read the monitor. The nurse noted that Jayvas was making "funny" noises while breathing. Jayvas' oxygen readings ranged from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties. Dr. Martin came back into the room after twenty minutes. Dr. Martin said that his oxygen saturation was fine and that he was doing good. She said Jayvas did not need to be seen until his next well baby exam. Dr. Martin then agreed that she would check Jayvas' weight, but if he had not lost any weight that there would be nothing she could do. Jayvas had not lost any weight since at the hospital, nor had he gained any. Dr. Martin said there was nothing more she could do and that Jayvas was doing well.

• About an hour after leaving Dr. Martin's office Jayvas began making even more grunting noises and was breathing even faster. Jayvas was taken to see Dr. Terrence Neff at CDA pediatrics. While bringing Jayvas into the office blood was noticed in his mouth. Jayvas was brought in emergently without an appointment. Dr. Neff saw Jayvas. Dr. Neff saw the blood in Jayvas' mouth. Dr. Neff noted that Jayvas was breathing ninety breaths per minute. Dr. Neff noted that Jayvas was making grunting noises while breathing. Dr. Neff said Jayvas was back to the same condition as he was when he was admitted to Kootenai Hospital. Dr. Neff said he did not know what was wrong with Jayvas. Dr. Neff went and made a phone call and came back to the room, saying he did not know what was wrong with Jayvas. Dr. Neff said that he wanted Jayvas to be admitted and seen by a specialist in Spokane at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. Dr. Neff said to drive Jayvas to the hospital. When asked about having Jayvas transported by ambulance Dr. Neff said it was not necessary, that he would be fine if he was driven there in a private car. When asked about the blood present, he could not explain where it came from or why he would have blood in his mouth. Dr. Neff was asked again if he was sure it was okay for Jayvas to be driven by private car to Spokane in the condition that Jayvas was in. Dr. Terrence Neff of Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics chuckled and again said yes, 'as long as you don't stop for burgers and shakes along the way' Jayvas will be fine.

• Jayvas was transported by private car to Spokane, WA from Coeur d'Alene, ID on December 31st, 2008. This was one of the worst winters, with record breaking amounts of snow for the Coeur d'Alene/Spokane area. While in route to Sacred Heart, Jayvas went into full cardiac arrest. Jayvas was taken to the closest emergency room. When Jayvas arrived there he was not breathing and had no pulse. The emergency doctors worked on Jayvas for over 20 minutes before getting his heart to begin beating again. Jayvas was placed on full life support and transported to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.

 • Jayvas arrived at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital on December 31st 2008. The doctors there said that Jayvas was very sick because of the loss of oxygen during the cardiac arrest. Jayvas was given a blood transfusion at sacred heart. Jayvas never replenished the blood he had lost from circumcision. He had a few tests done and it was confirmed that Jayvas was completely brain dead from the loss of oxygen during the cardiac arrest. Jayvas continued to go into cardiac arrest at Sacred Heart. The doctors said they would no longer perform CPR because of the damage that had been done from the initial cardiac arrest. Jayvas' body quit for the last time on January 1st 2009.

 • Dr. Neff has said that he considered Jayvas to be stable when he saw him. Jayvas was breathing at 90 breaths a minute, grunting noises, oxygen saturation in the low 90s, with blood noted and visible in his mouth from no obvious source, pale in color, and had a low hemoglobin count when Dr. Neff saw him. Dr. Neff was asked if he could go back and do anything differently knowing now that Jayvas went into cardiac arrest while in transport in a private car via his instruction, would he do anything differently? Dr. Neff said even knowing the outcome he would not have changed a single thing that was done when he saw Jayvas. He still would have advised to drive Jayvas in a private car.


Source: Public sharing on 5.23.13 on CraigsList at: http://spokane.craigslist.org/vnn/3825460019.html

This little one's story was flagged by readers and removed from CraigsList on 6.20.13  It is shared here so that his suffering and loss are not in vain. Please, research thoroughly before your son's arrival.

Related reading and resources at Death From Circumcision

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To the (Happily) Circumcised American Man

By Ethan Wright © 2013


Dear Sir:

If you are like me, you were circumcised at birth by a medical professional, in a hospital or a clinic of some kind. Your parents made the decision to have your foreskin amputated, and the doctor (or, perhaps, the nurse) performed the procedure without asking any questions, and without providing your parents with any information about what circumcision truly entailed. Of course, you don't remember any of this, because you were just a baby at the time. Your brain was too raw, and your memory-making faculties were not yet sharply defined. Nevertheless, the fact remains that you grew up not with the penis you were born with, but with a sculpted, man-made one -- the only unnatural thing on your otherwise un-altered body.

When you first learned of your own circumcision, you were somewhat confused, but came to accept it through the indifferent attitudes of those around you. You considered it an oddity, but believed that your parents would never have done something to you unless it was an indisputably good thing. You remained unsure of precisely what the foreskin was, because no one ever bothered to explain it you; indeed, most of the people you looked up to were unsure of it themselves. You resisted the urge to question the the procedure, and to ask why it was done to you, because you believed that whatever the reasons were, they must have been good ones. You never suspected that your native country, which you had been taught was in many ways an ideal society, would ever have allowed anyone to hurt you - especially when you were an innocent, defenseless newborn.

The unfortunate truth is that you were circumcised for the painfully simple reason that you were born in the United States of America, and that genital cutting has been a cultural norm here. There is no other 'reason,' just as there is no 'reason' why so many children around the world are unfairly condemned to death by starvation before they reach the age of ten. Go anywhere else in the so-called 'developed' world, and you will see that the vast majority of men are intact (never having been circumcised). Our country is unique in its promotion of this bizarre surgery. We don't see it as mutilation, for the same reason that the men and women of Sierra Leone don't feel that they are mutilated: we are used to it. It's hard to imagine, at first, that something so evil could have become acceptable to us through ubiquity alone, but one needs merely to take a retrospective glance at the horrors of the slave trade, or the atrocities of the Holocaust, to understand that ubiquity is sometimes all it takes to normalize the outlandish, to trivialize the inhumane.

As I stated above, the USA stands alone among 'developed' nations in its obsession with the compulsory amputation of the prepuces of its infant males. The benefits of the practice are hugely overblown, to the extent that many are simply invented out of thin air. The undeniable (yet heavily obscured) truth is that, whatever its supposed long-term benefits may be, circumcision constitutes a dramatic and irreversible alteration - nay, an inhibition - of a man's sexuality, achieved through the removal of a highly specialized, multi-purpose organ which has been carefully honed through millions of years of evolution to make sex as facile and as pleasurable as possible.

Allow me to take a guess at what you are thinking in this moment: "But the point of circumcision THESE days isn't to inhibit male sexuality! We do it for a number of valid reasons. We do it because it makes the penis cleaner. We do it because it lowers the risk of contracting and transmitting STIs when boys become sexually active. And we do it for aesthetic reasons - the circumcised penis is far more pleasing to the eye." I make the claim that all of this is pure and utter bunk from top to bottom, and none of these so-called 'reasons' is what really motivates the procedure. The true historical explanation for why this practice persists is far more pernicious than any of the backwards, vanilla justifications we have created for it.

The United States began its tradition of male circumcision with the explicit and unabashed intention of punishing the male organ, and suppressing our natural inclination to release sexual energy through masturbation. The practice persists because men and women who were wronged are more likely to trivialize what happened to them, and to inflict it on their own children. Whatever conscious justifications the modern parent may have for cutting their baby boy are a distraction from the true, historical purpose of it: to crush his sexuality, to obfuscate his manhood, to kill his spirit and virility forever. If this were not the true intent of the original proponents of circumcision, it never would have caught on, because it is the one thing that circumcision DOES achieve with an astoundingly high rate of success.

Another thought you might have: "But I was circumcised, and I don't feel I was sexually damaged." I'm sorry to be the one to inform you of this, but you were damaged, undeniably and irreversibly. You were damaged because healthy tissue was ripped and sliced away from your penis for no medical reason. You were damaged because your foreskin, which contains the majority of highly specialized, fine-touch nerve endings in your penis, was amputated, and as a result, you will never know what it would have felt like to have your whole body intact. You were damaged because you will never experience the ease of masturbation that comes with having a highly sensitive, motile tube of skin capable of massaging your entire sexual organ at once. You were damaged because you were taken from your mother's arms, strapped down on a table, and violated on the most intimate and sensitive part of your entire body, before you were able to speak, walk, or even see properly.

Luckily, the human body has an astounding way of compensating for all this damage, both mentally and physically. It is capable of clotting up the wound so you don't bleed to death. It is capable of relocating sexual pleasure so that you CAN still achieve orgasm. It is capable of growing new skin so that you don't hurt yourself during masturbation. And it is capable of suppressing painful memories that would haunt you forever if you were to remember them. But you can't regain what you lost, and that fact will never go away. It will remain true till the day you die, and you'll only ever get one life. This is your only chance to get a taste of what it means to be alive. Your reality is cruel and devastating: a whole human body is something you were simply not allowed to have in your short time on Earth, because you were born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong sexual organs.

If you choose to face this reality, life is soon going to become nearly unbearable. As the days, weeks, and months go by, you will feel overwhelmed with painful emotions, including denial, anger, sadness, resentment, embarrassment, and disbelief. You may feel the need to confront your parents about what they did to you, and your parents may not want to hear it. Be prepared for all of this. Be prepared to spend some time mourning for what was taken from you, something beyond a piece of flesh; a piece of your humanity was stolen, and you can never get it back. This is as brutal as it gets. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Don't allow anybody to tell you that you were not violated. They are wrong, and you are right. If you believe in your pain, and allow yourself to experience it fully, you will find your way back to sanity. Keep sharing your feelings with everybody, including those who ridicule you. Don't be afraid of the backlash. It will get better.

If you choose to deny what I have written here, I beg you to reconsider if you ever are lucky enough to have a baby boy of your own. He will depend on you like no one else in the world ever will, and it is your duty to protect him from harm, even if his own government callously refuses to grant him that protection. You have a responsibility as a man, and as a human being, to question the society you live in, and to decide for yourself what is acceptable and what is reprehensible.




Infant Circumcision
Video by physician for educational purposes.




Georgetown University Lecture on Circumcision
Dr. Ryan McAllister



The Whole Story on Circumcision
Dr. Christopher Guest



Circumcision Research
Doctoral student and scientist, Ben Selfridge




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* Real Photos Below *
May not be suitable for the workplace.


















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Top Right: Circumcised by Plastibell
Bottom Right: Circumcised by Gomco


No national health organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision.
A sampling of what is highlighted in circumcision policy statements:


Informational materials may be received upon request here.

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Happy Father's Day!



Have a special baby-saving dad in your life? Here's your chance to celebrate him for the amazing father and advocate he is ~ and maybe win a little something in the process. Saving Our Sons invites you to share a picture and brief story of the dad in your life who stands up for the basic human right of genital autonomy for all. Email to SavingSons@gmail.com and we will add it to the Real Men Save Babies album. On Father's Day we will be drawing 10 winners from among submissions who will each be able to select an advocacy bracelet, button, or set of info cards of their choice (http://www.savingsons.org/p/info-cards.html). Thank you to all the men and their loved ones this Father's Day who are making sure the next generation grows up with all they were born to have. ❤

2013 Winners:
(drawn from entries in the order they came in at Random.org)
Read these mens' stories and more in the Real Men Save Babies album.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Winners: Please email your name and address and the bracelet, button or info cards of your choice to SavingSons@gmail.com 

You can find all available items here: http://www.savingsons.org/p/info-cards.html

REAL MEN SAVE BABIES
View Full Photo Gallery & Read Stories on Facebook


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Dr. Oz and the Strangling Foreskin



It appears that Dr. Mehmet Oz would truly benefit from a nice, sit-down, man-to-man, physician-to-physican chat with Dr. Martin Winckler on all things foreskin. The two men appear worlds apart when it comes to their view of the foreskin -- Oz pointing out how "nasty" he sees the foreskin becoming, how much "cleaning" it needs, and if that's not enough to make you run to the nearest surgeon to have yours removed -- you may just have to anyway, because, according to Oz, it could strangle your penis! "And that's an emergency," he adds.

Winckler takes a much more foreskin-friendly approach to the human genitals. He recognizes the normalcy of the foreskin - after all, all mammals on earth are born with a foreskin (the 'clitoral hood' on female mammals). Winckler reminds us the foreskin is an effective, self-sustaining organ that serves to protect and preserve the penis (or clitoris). The majority of men and women in the world keep their foreskin for a lifetime, and never have a single issue with it. The foreskin needs no 'cleaning' - no special care. Rinse on occasion with warm water when in the shower or bath after puberty. That's it. In fact, when Oz's recommendations are taken to heart, and parents view their son's foreskin as dirty and in need of cleaning, THAT, Winckler says, is when problems arise.

What about phimosis? This fictitious, scary thing that Oz warns men of -- when the foreskin actually tries to strangle the life right out of your penis? Winckler calmly reminds us that (1) phimosis is usually a faulty diagnosis by an unknowledgable person, especially when it is proposed before a young man goes through puberty and (2) if the foreskin does become tightly trapped above the ridge of the glans (usually due to improper care), the best thing to do is (again) calmly cool down the penis (with cool water or cooler air) so that blood leaves the penis (it 'deflates'), and the foreskin can be gently pulled back over the glans. Problem solved. No ER visit to Oz necessary.

To avoid these issues altogether? Oz tells parents time and again they can cut that foreskin right off - get rid of it - it's "a parent's choice" after all... Yes, it's the most sensitive part of the body, bar none. Yes, it houses half of the erogenous tissue on the penis and plays an important role in sexual function. Yes, it is the only organ that protects the important glans... but what you don't ever know you are missing, you won't ever miss. Right? And besides "babies don't feel pain the same way adults do," says Oz in his book, YOU! Having a Baby. Anyone who has witnessed infant circumcision knows just how true, or rather untrue, that statement is.

Winckler suggests we instead learn proper intact care: i.e. keep your hands OFF the foreskin if it belongs to anyone other than you. Do not touch it. Leave it alone. Stop all the "cleaning" that Oz tells parents they must do, and you simply will not have the issues that arise only in a forcibly retracting, foreskin-meddling, North American culture.


For more from Dr. Winckler, see his excellent interview: "Hands Off My Foreskin! On the Care of Baby Boys."

Respond with research-based commentary on Oprah's hosted article: "Dr. Oz on Men's Health: Benefits and Risks of Circumcision."


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