Monday, June 16, 2014

Kindest Cut?

I grew up Jewish (all sides of all generations, as far back as it goes), and bear the -- let's call it -- physical evidence. Got no problem with it. And, other than the fact that I'm no longer a believer, I'm proud to consider myself Jewish.

Suddenly I have a grandson, and he's about to undergo the, uh, process, and not much out of religious concerns. With which I'm entirely okay, for a number of reasons including the mild medical ones. Having cared, during my urology rotations in my surgery training, for a few guys with phimosis (don't click), paraphimosis (don't click), and balanitis (definitely don't click), I'm thinking long run...

However. Thinking of the little guy (the grandson) having to feel pain makes me sad. This is magnified immeasurably by thinking of his parents thinking of it. He's such a sweet baby; content, cute, cuddly, and calm. This'll be his first encounter with something unpleasant (although he doesn't seem to like being changed all that much. [Hey, hey, it took me half a day to produce that...])

On the other hand, I did innumerable hernia repairs on infants not much older than he, and never had an emotional problem with it. I'm sure the parents did, and the baby must have experienced some pain (although I made a really teeny incision and never touched any muscle). I'm not among those who believe circumcision inflicts lasting trauma, any more than does a hernia repair. One of my favorite bloggers considers it male genital mutilation and there's no input he's received that has or will ever change his mind. (Similarly, his dislike of the Clintons knows no bounds.) Like so many of the most firmly-held beliefs, there's no way really to test his claims; but there is, as mentioned, some medical data supporting the doing.

This little guy has the most loving parents imaginable. I know it'll hurt them; but the love they give him will be, by far, the dominant factor in his future. Along that path, this will be a most minor event.

We were there for his birth. I'm glad not to be there for this.

[Followup, 6/19: it went fine. He's fine.]

[Image source]

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