by Victoria Simpson
Yesterday, the Canadian Paediatric Society released an updated statement reaffirming its position on the matter of circumcision for baby boys.
The society reviewed their position after recent additional evidence surfaced in the medical community regarding the potential health benefits associated with the surgery.
“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,” said Dr. Thierry Lacaze, chair of the CPS Fetus and Newborn Committee.
Some potential health benefits of circumcision include the prevention of urinary tract infections and some sexually transmitted infections.
As circumcision is an added step to have to perform after a baby’s birth and it has potentially questionable benefits, it doesn’t come as a surprise that in a country that provides universal healthcare to its people, a widely multi-cultural people, the procedure is classified as unnecessary.
Ideas on circumcision vary widely from culture to culture. According to Wikipedia, male circumcision is “nearly universal in the Muslim world and in Israel, and is prevalent in parts of southeast Asia and Africa, the United States, the Philippines and South Korea. In contrast, it is relatively rare in Europe, parts of southern Africa, and most of Asia and Oceania. In Latin America, the prevalence of circumcision is universally low.”
Circumcision percentages in Canada have dropped steadily since the 1990s, with the highest rates of occurrence in the province of Alberta, and the lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Yukon and Nunavut.