Why Does Neonatal Circumcision Persist in the United States?

  • Robert S. Van Howe


The United States leads the world in per capita medical spending; however, in this era of rising health-care costs and drastic budget cuts, closer scrutiny must be given to the allocation of increasingly scarce health-care dollars. Perhaps the most obvious target for scrutiny is the routine amputation of the prepuce, euphemistically known as circumcision. Shortly after World War II, the British Medical Journal published a landmark study by Douglas Gairdner that disproved the alleged justifications for circumcision.1 This, coupled with the socialization of the medical system in Great Britain, resulted in a precipitous drop in the number of procedures performed. The American medical establishment has remained a fee-for-service system, despite attempts by Harry Truman to follow the British example.


Urinary Tract Infection Male Circumcision Cosmetic Surgery Penile Cancer Clobetasol Propionate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Robert S. Van Howe

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