AAP Task Force Member Douglas Diekama Maligns Circumcision Opponents

Posted: August 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: "Voluntary", Ethics, FCD, Logic, Politics, Public Health, Science | 2 Comments »

The Washington Post’s parenting blog has a new post, ‘Intactivists’ furious at new AAP circumcision policy, that contains a misdirection from Dr. Douglas Diekema. After quoting Ronald Goldman and a few commenters to an earlier post, this:

AAP officials expected such a reaction.

“For individuals who have decided that circumcision is wrong, no amount or quality of data will put these questions to rest,” Douglas Diekema, who served on the AAP task force that wrote the report, told me last week when I asked him about potential pushback.

Diekema implies that people who are against circumcision simply haven’t correctly considered the data, which means “reached his personal conclusion”. He implies that opponents have made a demonstrable error in judgment. This is nonsense. It’s consistent to accept every single piece of data the AAP considered, and to ignore the relevant information the AAP explicitly ignored in its consideration, yet reach the conclusion that non-therapeutic infant circumcision is unjustified medically (and ethically), contra the AAP’s biased and flawed statement. To quote Douglas Diekema himself:

… But it does have medical benefit. Not everyone would trade that foreskin for that medical benefit. …

No kidding. That’s the ethical issue, but it also shows that the benefits do not outweigh the risks for every individual. Diekema is engaging in propaganda, facilitated by The Washington Post. Both aspects of that are inexcusable.

I’ve sent an e-mail to the Washington Post blogger, Janice D’Arcy, asking for comment on Diekema’s problematic quote. I will update if I receive a response.


2 Comments on “AAP Task Force Member Douglas Diekama Maligns Circumcision Opponents”

  1. 1 Joseph4GI said at 1:18 pm on August 30th, 2012:

    “For individuals who have decided that circumcision is wrong, no amount or quality of data will put these questions to rest…”

    Diekema wants to pretend like it’s all about “research” and “benefits.”

    Ponder this for a moment; at least ostensibly, the ethics of cutting off normal, healthy tissue from a healthy, non-consenting minor was decided on a “cost-benefit” analysis that, supposedly, erred in favor it.

    The unspoken and disconcerting implication seems to be that the forced genital cutting of female minors could one day be legitimized, if enough “research” and “quality data” said that it was “harmless,” even “beneficial, when performed by a trained professional member of the AAP/ACOG.”

    This is a textbook case of sexist special pleading; there will never be enough “quality data” that would ever justify the smallest “ritual nick,” as the AAP found out not too long ago.

    And yet, Douglass Diekema has the nerve to dismiss advocates of male genital integrity using a sound bite that may as well apply to himself.

    Projection much?

  2. 2 Choose Intact » Blog Archive » AAP Circumcision Policy – Flawed Ethics said at 3:03 pm on September 12th, 2012:

    […] involved. All individual tastes and preferences are unique. AAP Circumcision Task Force member Dr. Douglas Diekema said as much prior to the release of the revised policy statement. Why is that not reflected here […]


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