Circumcision is Exception to American Academy of Pediatrics Pain Policy for Newborn Infants


BOSTON – February 25, 2016 – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published an updated policy on the prevention and management of procedural pain in newborn infants in the February Pediatrics journal. It advises the goal of the prevention of pain in newborn infants because of ethical considerations and the potentially harmful neurological effects of pain.

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., psychologist and executive director of the Circumcision Resource Center, a nonprofit educational organization in Boston, notes a serious conflict between the policy and the practice of circumcision. “We have known for many years that circumcision is extremely painful and traumatic for the newborn infant. Studies confirm this, and it is obvious to observers. There is no medical need for circumcision. It is elective, non-therapeutic, cosmetic genital surgery. To comply with this policy on pain, pediatricians should strongly advise against circumcisions and refuse to do them.”  Dr. Goldman is the author of Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma and Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective.

Goldman also notes that circumcision conflicts with the AAP Committee on Bioethics report which states, “Pediatric health care providers … have legal and ethical duties to their child patients to render competent medical care based on what the patient needs, not what someone else expresses… .[T]he pediatrician’s responsibilities to his or her patient exist independent of parental desires or proxy consent.” For these reasons, some physicians and nurses refuse to circumcise for ethical reasons.

“Circumcision is an exception to basic principles of medical practice,” states Goldman, “such as, ‘First, do no harm.’ In addition to pain and trauma, circumcision results in behavioral effects on infants, disruption of the mother-child bond, and sexual and psychological harm to men based on studies and surveys.”

Aside from Muslims, only about 10% of the world’s males are circumcised. Various foreign national medical organizations have policies opposing circumcision, recognizing that it removes a natural, healthy, functioning body part.

Contact: Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.
Tel: 617-523-0088
Email: [email protected]


About CRC

The Circumcision Resource Center has the purpose of informing the public and professionals about the practice of male circumcision. Its mission is to raise awareness and facilitate healing. Since 1991, the Center has been a valuable source of male circumcision information for parents and children’s advocates; childbirth educators and allied professionals; medical, mental health, and academic people; Jews; and others. Dr. Goldman has participated in over 200 media interviews with local and national radio and television programs, newspapers, and periodicals. He also gives lectures and seminars on circumcision and counsels parents and circumcised men.

Updated: February 14, 2019 — 5:12 pm