Routine Infant Circumcision

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Routine Infant Circumcision is the name for a surgical procedure that was outlawed by court decisions in the United States more than 1/2 century age. RIC is an acronym for Routine Infant Circumcision.

Mainly in the United States, boys formerly were circumcised without Informed consent in many hospitals immediately after birth. Very often, this was done without informing or asking the parents previously.

The word routine, when applied to non-therapeutic circumcision of boys is outmoded. Circumcision has not been 'routine' (done automatically as a standard practice) since court rulings started to require informed consent in 1972.[1] Anyone who uses the term routine infant circumcision today is displaying their ignorance.

Routine infant circumcision (i. e. non-therapeutic circumcision without consent) is an unlawful procedure for which damages may be recovered.[2]

Routine infant circumcision no longer exists in the United States, except when a hospital or doctor makes an error for which they can be sued. The phrase is outmoded and inaccurate so it should not be used to refer to non-therapeutic circumcision of boys. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared non-therapeutic infant circumcision to be an elective surgery decades ago (1989).[3] Use of the phrase "routine infant circumcision" or "RIC" is a sign of ignorance on the part of the user.

Circumcision of a minor boy currently requires the surrogate consent of one parent in the United States, while in the United Kingdom, the surrogate consent of both parents is required, so it cannot be done automatically or "routinely".

The alleged right of a parent to consent to a non-therapeutic, non-diagnostic surgical amputation of functional tissue from a boy's penis has been questioned.[4] [5]

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  1. Canterbury v. Spence, 464 F.2d 772, 782 (D.C. Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1064 (1972)
  2. REFjournal Llewellyn DJ. Legal remedies for penile torts. The Compleat Mother. 1995; 40: 16. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  3. REFjournal Schoen EJ, Anderson G, Bohon C, Hinman F, Poland R, Wakeman EM. Report of the Task Force of Circumcision.. Pediatrics. November 1989; 84(4): 388-91. PMID. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  4. REFjournal Committee on Bioethics. Informed consent, parental permission, and assent in pediatric practice. Pediatrics. 1995; 95(2): 314-317. PMID. Reaffirmed May 2011.
  5. REFjournal Adler PW. Is circumcision legal?. Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest. 2013; 16(3): 439-86. Retrieved 8 May 2020.