George C. Denniston

Presented at the Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations,
University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, August 9-11, 1996.

Only a small fraction of American doctors actually perform circumcision. Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.), a rapidly growing organization with members in most states in the United States and numerous other countries, recognizes that this act is a major human rights violation: No one has the right to remove normal genital tissue from another person without his/her consent. In America, whether or not one is deprived of part of his genitals in purely random. It often depends solely on which doctor his mother happens to have.

Doctors who do circumcisions violate the Golden Rule, the major tenet of medical practice, "First, Do No Harm," and they violate all seven Principles of the American Medical Association's Code of Ethics. Doctors and insurers are beginning to take this issue seriously.

The solution to this tragic situation is simple. DO NOT PERFORM circumcisions on infants and children. Wait until they grow up and give informed consent.

[The complete paper is published in Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy, New York: Plenum Press, 1997 (ISBN 0-306-45589-7).]

George C. Denniston, M.D., M.P.H., a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health, is the co-author of the second edition of Say No To Circumcision!: 40 Compelling Reasons, and he is the founder and Director of D.O.C. (Doctors Opposing Circumcision), the first group of medical professionals to uphold their premier tenet, "First, do no harm," and to defend the inherent, inalienable right of infants and children to intact sexual organs.

Return to the Fourth International Symposium page.