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Top scientist warns of “sickness” in US health system

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:416

American Health Care System Promotes Iatrogenic Illness

EDITOR--Doctors Opposing Circumcision wholeheartedly agrees with Dr. Bloom’s remarks about the sickness in the American health care system.1

      The American health care system is unique in its dependence on fee-for-service in the compensation of physicians. This means that the more procedures performed, the more pay the doctors get. This incentive drives up health care costs and promotes unnecessary surgery.

      One such unnecessary surgery is non-therapeutic circumcision of infant males. The United States has a higher percentage of infant males circumcised than any other country is the world, except perhaps Israel (where it is a religious requirement).

      Dr Bloom expressed concern about high stress in infancy generating diseases later in life.1 Doctors Opposing Circumcision also concurs with those remarks. Neonatal circumcision is a high stress generator. Rhinehart reported PTSD in adult males; the stressor was neonatal circumcision.2 Neonatal circumcision causes a huge rise in serum cortisol.3,4 Heart rates rise to alarming levels during circumcisions.4 Blood oxygen pressure declines.5 Salk and Jacobsen associate trauma in the perinatal period with self-destructive behavior in later life.6-8

      Legato has called for a “searching look” at circumcision of the newborn and “wide-ranging debate.”9 That has yet to happen. In the present, the American health care industry in America still circumcises about 55 percent of newborn boys, so we can look forward to many decades of iatrogenic physical and emotional illness in America.

George Hill

Executive Secretary

Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Suite 42

2442 NW Market Street

Seattle, Washington 98107




Competing interests:  
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 February 2003
George Hill
Executive Secretary
Doctors Opposing Circumcision, Suite 42, 2442 NW Market Street, Seattle, Washington 98107,USA