The circumcision decision

130913_medex_circumcisionbaby-jpg-crop-promo-mediumlargeIn my final class, I drew the students’ attention to this really excellent example of how to rationally think about evidence and reach a conclusion. I hope all SC200 graduates are now capable of assembling relevant data and thinking about it the way this author does.

I like his discussion because it leads him to a conclusion opposite to that reached by the Federal Government (CDC) and by the American Academy of Pediatrics, a professional body that should know a thing or two. I have no strong opinion on the author’s conclusion, but I sure do like his reasoning process.

I raised this particular topic because the majority of students will face this uniquely delicate decision in their not-too-distant future. As with so many decisions, they can take the easy route and accept the first bit of advice they hear from an authority figure like their mom, minister, medic or some moronic website — or they can think about it critically themselves. I really hope I empowered them to do that.

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