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July 26, 2001

Miss Leela Kapila
British Association of Paediatric Surgeons

Dear Miss Kapila:

I've been doing research on the subject of male circumcision, and would like to ask two questions about the Association's new policy on religious circumcision of male children.1

  1. Why does the Association believe that religion should be an indication for performing surgical operations on children?
  2. Medical research has shown that circumcision removes specialized sexual tissue.2,3,4 Does the Association believe it is ethical to remove specialized sexual tissue from a child who has no medical need for surgery and who is incapable of giving informed consent?
Thank you for considering the above issues. I look forward to your response.

D ennis H arrison
Winkelmann RK. The erogenous zones: their nerve supply and significance. Proceedings of the Staff Meetings of the Mayo Clinic 1959;34(2):39-47.
Taylor JR, Lockwood AP, Taylor AJ. The prepuce: specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. Br J Urol 1996;77:291-295.
Cold CJ, McGrath KA. Anatomy and histology of the penile and clitoral prepuce in primates. In Male and Female Circumcision, Denniston GC, Hodges FM, Milos MF eds. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, 1999.

Awaiting reply.