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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

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CHICAGO – The nation’s most influential pediatricians group says the health benefits of circumcision in newborn boys outweigh any risks, adding that insurance companies should pay for it.

In its latest policy statement on circumcision, a procedure that has been declining nationwide, the American Academy of Pediatrics moves closer to an endorsement but says the decision should be up to parents.

“It’s not a verdict from on high,” said policy co-author Dr. Andrew Freedman. “There’s not a one-size-fits-all-answer.” But from a medical standpoint, circumcision’s benefits in reducing risk of disease outweigh its small risks, said Freedman, a pediatric urologist in Los Angeles.Full story.

For parents of boys— did you you choose to have your sons circumsized? Why or why not?

Lawsuit says circumcision ‘robbed’ man

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota prison inmate is suing the hospital where he was circumcised as a newborn, saying he only recently became aware that he'd undergone the procedure and that it robbed him of his sexual prowess.

Dean Cochrun, 28, is asking for $1,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. He also asks in the lawsuit that his foreskin be restored “in the hopes I could feel whole again,” though he acknowledged that he didn't expect such a restoration to be anything more than aesthetic.

Cochrun, who is imprisoned in Sioux Falls on a kidnapping conviction, filed the federal lawsuit Friday against Sanford Hospital. Cochrun claims that an “unknown doctor” at the then-named Sioux Valley Hospital misled his mother to believe that the procedure was medically necessary. Cochrun argues that the procedure was unnecessary, unethical and without medical benefit.

“I was recently made aware of the fact that I had been (circumcised) and that … I was robbed of sensitivity during sexual intercourse as well as the sense of security and well-being I am entitled to in my person,” he argued in the lawsuit, adding that neither he nor his partners would “have that sensitivity during sexual intercourse and have a normal sex life.”

Cochrun isn't represented by a lawyer in the lawsuit, which includes a letter from Sanford officials responding to a letter requesting that his foreskin be replaced. Patient relations representative DyAnn Smith replied that Sanford would not pay for the procedure.

“There will be no further correspondence about this matter,” she wrote.

S.F. Mulls Male Circumcision Ban

Item: San Francisco male circumcision ban has enough signatures for ballot, backers say/San Francisco Examiner.

More Info: The measure has gained nationwide attention since it was first reported six months ago, and is the latest much-talked about ban proposal to come out of San Francisco — since the Board of Supervisors banned toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals backed in November. The measure has also thrust the debate on circumcision into the spotlight. It has drawn sharp criticism from religious groups who say it violates religious freedom, and been ridiculed on “ The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Question: Do you consider the circumcision of a male baby to be harmful or cruel?