To cut or not to cut? Personal factors influence primary care physicians’ position on elective newborn circumcision



Elective circumcision in newborns has always been a controversial issue. The purpose of this study was to determine whether personal factors play a role when physicians provide advice to parents regarding elective circumcisions in infants.


Questionnaires were sent to Family Physicians, Urologists, Obstetricians, Paediatricians and Family Medicine residents in Saskatchewan, Canada. The questionnaire contained demographic questions, questions regarding the carrying out of surgical procedures, personal and family circumcision status and factors influencing decision-making regarding elective newborn circumcisions.


Of the questionnaires, 57% (572/1009) were returned. Of the 572 respondents, 65% were male, 80.4% were Family Physicians or General Practitioners and 77.1% (441/572) stated that they based their decisions regarding circumcisions on medical evidence. When asked if they were in support of circumcisions, 68.3% (125/183) of the circumcised males were in support of it and 68.8% (106/154) of the uncircumcised males were opposed to it (p<0.001).


Although most respondents stated that they based their decisions on medical evidence, the circumcision status of, especially, the male respondents played a huge role in whether they were in support of circumcisions or not. Another factor that had an influence was the circumcision status of the respondents’ sons.

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