Published online Oct. 23, 2017

The article “Dad, Interrupted” (Life of the Mind, Sept. 13) documents the loss of telomeres due to early childhood trauma, which hastens the aging process. Partial penile amputation, euphemistically called circumcision, is an early childhood trauma for millions of American men. If there were no religious implications, this procedure, carried out by American doctors, would be understood by all as an atrocity – a cruel, senseless act. Circumcision of males is illegal in the United States due to the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1997 and the Fourteenth Amendment, which applies it to all persons, but there is no enforcement.  

Circumcision is a massive human-rights violation, and it is time that we outlaw it. Those of the Jewish faith have a way out: Brit Shalom (see www.CelebrantsofBritShalom), where more than 150 rabbis are willing to perform the ceremony without the cutting. For more on why this behavior should not exist, please go to YouTube, type in my first and last name, and listen.

George C. Denniston, M.D. ’55
Nordland, Wash.