Friday, September 1, 2017

Drs. May Ask If Baby Is Circumcised for a Hearing Test - Here's Why

Oh the things I learn from my Facebook news feed...

Today, I came across this gem:

Now, normally, I blow a gasket when I hear a baby goes in for something completely unrelated to genital problems, and the doctor has the nerve to ask whether the baby has been circumcised or not.

This seems pretty legit though.

Apparently babies can cry so hard during a circumcision that they can burst an ear drum.
One more nail in the coffin for the claim that babies "sleep right through" their circumcision.

So I guess you can now add "burst ear drum" to the list of possible risks and complications for male infant circumcision.

I hope the AAP and other respected medical organizations are taking note.

Credit to for this.

Related Post:
INTACTIVISTS: Why We Concern Ourselves

What Your Dr. Doesn't Know Could Hurt Your Child


  1. This definitely falls under the advice: Google first, share second. This meme has been circulating for several days - shared by anti-circumcision blogs with no citations and no evidence beyond the shared blog posts. Regardless whether I agree with circumcision or not, such memes are suspicious and meant to induce fearful reaction, without evidence. I need more. Facts matter.

    1. John, I wouldn't expect this to appear in a Google search, given that our current situation is one such where adverse effects of circumcision tend to be minimized, if not hidden altogether.

      Here, let me give you some advice: It's not always wise to depend on a Google search, given that popular information may not always be correct. In fact, it may even be deliberate misinformation designed to, as you say, induce a calculated reaction. Especially in America, we live in the age of "fake news," where misinformation regarding anatomically correct male genitals and circumcision abounds. I advise my readers to go beyond this blog, and beyond a Google search to find accurate information regarding male circumcision.

      The fact of the matter is that hospitals are not required to release information regarding adverse outcomes of circumcision. The very AAP in their 2012 policy statement on circumcision has admitted that they are not actually able to assess the risks of circumcision because they are, in their own words, "unknown." (Which should then raise the question as to how they were able to make the bold statement that "The benefits outweigh the risks" without knowing what those risks are.)

      This is why people must rely on what is available, and, sadly, anecdotes and secondary sources, such as parents posting their stories on Facebook are the best we can do for now. You will find that a lot of the stories about death and complications are, in fact, screenshots from parents posting their stories on Facebook. Fortunately, some of these deaths and complications have made the news. Unfortunately, not all are noticed or even published on Facebook.

    2. At least in theory, the AAP should be looking into all the adverse effects of male infant circumcision and reporting them, but there are many reasons why they don't; circumcision has become just so embedded in our culture that doctors performing them and adverse effects have come to be accepted as "normal." A great deal of AAP members reap profit from performing circumcision on children, circumcision also happens to be seen as a religious requirement by some, and reporting adverse effects would put them in extremely akward positions.

      As I state on my blog's banner, there are plenty of "pro-circumcision" resources if you're looking to reinforce your beliefs, as well as validate and confirm your choice to have your child circumcised. This is a place where you'll find what most American doctors won't tell or share with parents and patients. You will also find a lot of anecdotal experience, and I think that this is important because we get a glimpse of what doctors *do* tell their parents, what the AAP is unaware of or deliberately ignoring, etc.

    3. Your phrasing of "regardless whether I agree with circumcision or not," and the fact that you are calling this screen capture a "meme" already gives away your position. You don't "agree" with circumcision, anymore than you "agree" with any other surgery, such as appendectomy, foot amputation or a coronary bypass. When a procedure is medically necessary, whether or not you "agree" with it is secondary, if not irrelevant.

      I know the people at SavingOurSons, and they wouldn't deliberately make this stuff up, since they know that posting fabrication damages their credibility. When they post a screen shot, they usually post a link to the original source. But unfortunately, the people who made the original posts often take them down, if not block people and make them private once they find out that human rights activists are screen-capturing and sharing their posts.

      You are within your right to be suspicious activists like us, as I will admit that activists of other movements have been known to deliberately make stuff up and pass it off as gospel truth.

    4. But I ask you; why on earth would we make any of this stuff up?

      What have we to gain from all of this?

      Speaking out against the forced genital cutting of healthy, non-consenting minors isn't making any one of us rich.

      It's American doctors who have money to lose and malpractice lawsuits to avoid. 1.3 million babies are circumcised annually. At a dollar a procedure, that's aready a 1.3 million dollar industry. Now let's consider that circumcision doesn't cost a dollar; one particular Canadian physician whose sole income is male infant circumcision is known to charge as much as $400 or so each. In recent news, Alaskan hospitals have been revealed to charge $2,000. If you do the math, American doctors and medical organizations have financial incentive to minimize, if not hide adverse circumcision outcomes. So doctors aren't going to report, and the AAP is not going to jeopardize doctors who circumcise (which are the majority) by investigating and publishing data on risks and complications.

      We have nothing to lose but our credibility.

    5. Is what I post real? Or fabricated? I'll leave it to my readers to make that call.

      One thing is for sure; I am serious about the protection of the basic human rights of the individual, and damaging my credibility is the last thing I want to do.

      If there isn't available research on this topic, then I hope this blog post will serve as an impetus to get organizations such as the AAP to look into the matter and actually publish their findings.

      For now, this screenshot is all we have to go on.

      Apparently parents of children getting their hearing tests done are asked whether or not they've been circumcised, because screaming during the procedure could cause the ear drum to burst.

  2. I'd want to see more evidence before publicizing this, but if a baby can get a collapsed lung from circumcision, it's certainly plausible that they could perforate an eardrum.

    Burst eardrums aren't actually such a big deal btw. It's happened to me several times.

    1. On the one hand, you’re right, and I concur; this post is purely anecdotal, and until there is concrete medical literature on this and other possible adverse effects of male infan circumcision, we need more evidence.

      On the other, the fact is that you’ll probably find little to no evidence, because medical organizations with a majority of members who profit from male infant circumcision, aren’t too interested in investigating adverse effects of circumcision.

      In their 2012 statement, the AAP admitted that “The true incidence of complications after newborn circumcision is unknown.” p. e772.

      There is a void in medical literature concerning the adverse effects of male infant circumcision, and it needs to be asked, why isn’t anyone looking?

      Even if it isn’t “a big deal,” if circumcision could result in a ruptured ear drum, I think it needs to be documented, and parents need to know.

  3. Do you really need any other reason to not circumcise, other than the fact that you are cutting a body part off a new born baby?
    Maybe we really don’t need earlobes or nostrils or the tip of our pinky finger? Why stop at the foreskin! Sheep...