To "circ" or not to "circ" – Oh, what a question! The arguements surrounding the debate over the medical indications for newborn circumcision remine us of the indecision of Shakespeare's tragic Hamlet. We hope you agree that the following takeoff on the Prince of Denmarks's famous soliloquy from Act III cuts to the quick of the controversy: To circ or not to circ, that is this the question: Whether 'tis medically better to suffer The smegma and adhesions of intact foreskin, Or to take a blade against potential troubles, And by slicing, end them. To cut, to circ -- No more, and by a circ to say we end The cancer and the UTIs That prepuce is heir to; 'tis a procedure Routinely to be perform'd To cut, to circ -- To circ, perchance to better nature – ay, there's the rub For in that act of cutting what reimbursement may come, When we have slic'd off the end of the foil, Must give us pause; there's the suspect That this is surgery not necessary: For who would bear the pain and risk of the knife, Th' snipper's error, the clamp's flesh-crushing pressure, Squirms with Velcro, cries with 11 blade the reply, But that the dread of something different from dad, Or the gym class shower from whose scorn No teen recovers, puzzles the will, And makes us rather whittle as we always have Than leave well enough alone? Thus tradition does make "circers" of us all. Mike Dubi MD Brian Wood MD Gaithersburg, MD [Contemporary Pediatrics, Jan. 1996, vol 13 no.1 p. 129]
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