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Circumcision and Patient Education

A. L. GORSKE, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(5):527. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130170077032.
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Sir.—We read with interest the article on circumcision by Herrera and Trouern-Trend (Journal 133:1069-1070, 1979). Because there are "no medical indications for routine circumcision,"1.2 counseling parents to ensure informed consent is both difficult and time-consuming. To facilitate counseling, we prepared a handout for parents on newborn circumcision. The literature was extensively reviewed and special efforts were taken to present both the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure. Illustrations, and information on proper hygiene of the uncircumcised penis are also included. The parents are asked to sign a statement indicating that they have read and understand the information provided in the handout. The parents are then counseled by the attending physician. This use of printed educational materials has resulted in a marked reduction in physician time required to ensure informed consent and has also been associated with a 30% reduction in our neonatal circumcision rate.

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