OTTAWA— In an updated statement released today, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) continues to recommend against the routine circumcision of newborn males.
Recent claims about the purported benefits of circumcision popularized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) prompted the CPS to review current medical evidence.
“While there may be a benefit for some boys in high risk populations and the procedure could be considered as a treatment or to reduce disease, in most cases, the benefits of circumcision do not outweigh the risks,” says Dr. Thierry Lacaze, chair of the CPS Fetus and Newborn Committee.
This is in contrast to the AAP’s 2012 steadfast promotion of circumcision, claiming “the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks,” which was roundly criticized by the international medical community.
Even though the CPS found the benefits do not out weigh the risks, the CPS does provide parents the option to choose circumcision, even if medically unnecessary, placing tradition above medicine.
“Families need to make the best decision for their child based on their own family, religious and cultural beliefs,” says Dr. Lacaze.
The updated CPS statement makes further recommendations for parents who choose circumcision to use a trained practitioner who adheres to hygienic and analgesic best practices, as well as being informed about post-procedural care and possible complications.
The CPS also recommends for parents of intact (“uncircumcised”) boys to learn how to appropriately care for their son’s penis, including information on how most foreskins are not naturally retractable until adolescence or later.