American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY, Volume 98, Number 4: Page 707-8,
October 2001.


Summary of Key Points

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a position statement on neonatal circumcision, identified as "ACOG Committee Opinion Number 260," in October 2001. The statement may be summarized as follows:

Lack of medical value. The statement affirms the agreement and support of ACOG with the 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics Circumcision Policy Statement. The statement affirms that ACOG like the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend male neonatal non-therapeutic circumcision.

Pain. The statement affirms that infants feel pain and that good medical practice requires the use of anesthetic agents if a circumcision is to be performed. The statement further states that sucrose and acetaminophen are insufficient medication for the pain of circumcision.

Requirements for circumcision. ACOG says that non-therapeutic neonatal circumcisions should be carried out only on healthy stable babies [because they are more able to withstand the pain, stress, and trauma of non-therapeutic circumcision surgery].

Informed consent. The statement emphatically advises that parents should be given very complete information about circumcision so that they can make an informed decision, since circumcision cannot be recommended because of its lack of medical value and pain.

Reference. The complete statement can be found in:

  • Obstet Gynecol 2001; 98(4):707-8, "ACOG Committee Opinion Number 260: Circumcision."

(File created 4 March 2002)