NORM’s Response to AAP Cirumcision Policy (1999)

March 1, 1999, San Francisco, CA.

Below is NORM’s press release in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics release of their infant circumcision policy, which found circumcision to be “not recommended” and painful.

“Pediatric Circumcision Policy Better, But Still Inadequate”

(Concord, CA, USA) – The National Organization of Restoring Men welcomes the American Academy of Pediatrics new position statement on routine infant circumcision. The United States is the last country in the world to abandon non-therapeutic circumcision which still afflicts a significant number of its male babies. At last the AAP has admitted that it is both unnecessary and painful. R. Wayne Griffiths, NORM’s founder, notes that “now it is clear that the greatest danger to a baby boy’s penis is from a doctor’s knife.”

The National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM) is a national non-profit organization supporting victims of circumcision, providing support groups in most English speaking countries in the world, and technical support on the Internet at

The AAP recommends anesthesia, but completely ignores the safest and most effective way to eliminate circumcision pain: by refusing to do it. Anesthesia does not begin to address the emotional trauma experienced by boys and men when they learn that a very normal and pleasurable part of their body was unnecessarily taken from them in a way that ignored their feelings and physical pain and their rights to a whole body.

Spokesman for NORM’s Canadian affiliate in Montreal, Dr. David Alwin, states that “Circumcised men and boys are awakening to feelings of anger and dismay. Some are realizing the sexual damage resulting from circumcision while others resent the disfigurement imposed upon them. As physicians, we have a duty to protect our patients from unnecessary and harmful interventions done when they are too young and helpless to object.” Anesthesia cannot make a wrongful procedure right.

Dr. George Denniston, a Seattle physician and head of the professional organization, Doctors Opposed to Circumcision (DOC) adds that “unnecessary circumcision is contrary to every rule of medical ethics”. The AAP’s admission that routine circumcision is indeed unnecessary, makes its continuation unethical, and adds to calls for its abolition.

Gary Harryman, head of the Southern Californian chapter of NORM in Los Angeles admits that, “We’d be very happy to be out of business soon, but NORM’s free services will remain needed until all healthy boys and men are allowed to remain intact”, but he laments, “the AAP could have been more forceful.” NORM founder, R. Wayne Griffiths emphasizes that “restoration — limited repair of circumcision damage — is possible for many men, painlessly and non-surgically. We will be here for all such men in need, although it is obviously best to avoid the injury in the first place.”

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