Ryan McAllister, PhD

Featured Lecture with Ryan

Discussing an Elephant in the Hospital: What Practitioners Need to Know about Circumcision

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The controversial and potentially confusing topic of circumcision comes up for birth workers often. This talk aims to support practitioners in handling conversations about circumcision by exploring questions including:  How does one navigate conversations about circumcision? What content is it important to include? Why is the practice common in U.S. hospitals and not in other countries? What does it remove and how does that affect the child? Does scientific data suggest that circumcision has benefits? What are the potential complications? How does it affect sexuality? Is it a medical procedure or a social surgery? And what are a practitioner’s responsibilities based on contemporary bioethics principles?

Through both a review of scientific literature and a discussion of the human cost of the procedure, this presentation explores these questions in a child-centric manner, but also including the perspectives of the future adult, the parent, and the practitioner.

About Ryan McAllister, PhD

Ryan McAllister, PhD, is a parent, a biophysicist, an Assistant Professor of Physics and Oncology at Georgetown University, and also a volunteer who supports parents and families. Over the last 10 years he has been studying the medicalization of childbirth in U.S. hospitals, and has portrayed his work through the projects UnBreaking Birth and Not Just Skin.