College of Physicians & Surgeons of British Columbia Issues Circumcision Policy Statement

The Association for Genital Integrity advises that on June 3, 2004, the College of Physicians & Surgeons of British Columbia, B.C.'s medical licensing authority, issued a policy on infant male circumcision. The policy, originally scheduled to be released in February, expands on a statement that appeared in the Fall, 2002 issue of the College's quarterly newsletter.
The guideline outlines the ethical, legal, and human rights problems associated with infant male circumcision, but unlike the licensing authority in Saskatchewan, the B.C. college stops short of advising physicians not to perform the procedure. 

Excerpts:

"Routine infant male circumcision performed on a healthy infant is now considered a non-therapeutic and medically unnecessary intervention."

"Proxy consent by parents for a non-therapeutic procedure is debatable."
 
"Advise parents that the current medical consensus is that routine infant male circumcision is not a recommended procedure; it is non-therapeutic and has no medical prophylactic basis; it is a cosmetic surgical procedure; current evidence indicates that previously-thought prophylactic public health benefits do not outweigh the potential risks."

UPDATE:  The CPSBC removed their policy in 2012 and has since stated that it "didn’t reflect or align with the College’s regulatory mandate. The College has no intention of re-publishing a document on this topic.

The College’s mandate is to regulate the professional conduct and clinical care provided by individual physicians. The College does not become directly involved in patient care. Clinical direction on infant male circumcision is more appropriately in the purview of expert clinical groups such as the Canadian Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics." 

 

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