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Informed Consent and Circumcision

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(2):188. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140280080030.
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Sir.—I would like to second the conclusions of D. A. Patel et al (Am J Dis Child 1982;136:634-636) regarding circumcision and informed consent. I have personally found it time consuming to inform parents verbally about the advantages, risks, and alternatives of having their baby circumcised. I think this is partly due to the complexity of the issue, but mostly due to many parents' lack of knowledge about the normal anatomy and hygiene of the uncircumcised penis. I therefore composed a leaflet (Figure) that is given to parents before I discuss with them their plans about circumcision. It certainly has saved me valuable time. I find it most effective when I can discuss this information with the parents before the onset of labor, especially in prenatal classes. I would be glad to make it available to other physicians who feel it may benefit their patients.


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