Steven Svoboda and Robert Van Howe Refute Circumcision Claims by AAP and Brian Morris in Journal of Medical Ethics

The Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) has published an e-letter by Robert Van Howe, M.D. and Steven Svoboda in which they respond to a critique published in the JME by notorious circumcision advocate Brian Morris and colleagues. The Morris piece attacked the paper Van Howe and Svoboda publshed in 2013, which critically analyzed the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP's) 2012 position statement and technical report regarding neonatal circumcision. The publication in the JME of the Svoboda-Van Howe paper was accompanied by the somewhat remarkable concurrent publication of a response by the AAP that attempted to suggest bias on behalf of Svoboda and Van Howe without being able to point to a single specific error anywhere in our article. The Svoboda-Van Howe JME article also influenced the October 2013 debate at the Medical University of South Carolina between the AAP's Michael Brady, M.D. and Svoboda, in which Brady effectively conceded defeat, finding himself unable to rebut a single one of our numerous arguments and citations.

The e-letter is available at Morris' paper, entitled "Veracity and rhetoric in paediatric medicine: a critique of Svoboda and Van Howe's response to the AAP policy on infant male circumcision," is available at The original paper by Svoboda and Van Howe that Morris attacked can be found at

As many people know, and as our e-letter notes in detail, Morris has violated numerous principles of academic integrity in his tireless, quixotic quest to promote the useless, harmful, and antiquated practice of male circumcision.

Steven Svoboda
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child