New international medical diagnosis codes open the door for circumcision fraud and abuse
Article | August 29, 2013 – 1:32pm | By Jonathan Friedman
The World Health Organization released its new International Classification of Diseases codes, which may lead to an uptick in routine infant circumcisions when they go into effect.
New York, NY — New medical classification codes released by the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnoses foreskin adhesion in newborns as a medical condition, putting all newborns at risk of medically unnecessary circumcision.
Foreskin adhesion is either natural and should be left alone or caused by forced retraction, the subject of many lawsuits. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides the following information for parents on their Healthy Children website:
Initially, the foreskin is connected by tissue to the glans, or head, of the penis, so you shouldn’t try to retract it.
The doctor will tell you when the foreskin has separated and can be retracted safely. This will not be for several months or years, and should never be forced; if you were to force the foreskin to retract before it is ready, you could cause painful bleeding and tears in the skin.
‘Intactivists’ – anti-circumcision activists – have successfully campaigned to end Medicaid funding for routine infant circumcision in 18 states. They fear that the new International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes will provide a loophole for doctors and parents wishing to categorize a routine newborn circumcision as medically necessary.
The new ICD codes will go into effect next year on October 1, 2014.
The WHO international headquarters in Geneva failed to return our emails for comment.