Friday, May 20, 2011

Botox bill yes, circumcision bill no?

Spurred by the pageant mom botox incident:

New Jersey lawmakers have passed a bill limiting the use of botox in minors.

According to MSNBC:

"Minors in New Jersey won't be able to get Botox injections without a doctor saying it's medically necessary under a bill moving through the Assembly."

But what about parental choice?

"Isn't the government in our lives enough as it is?"

So go the arguments against the male infant circumcision ban in San Francisco.

Limiting medical procedures for children to only those that are medically necessary, however, is the exact same point of the San Francisco circumcision ban.

The Botox bill cites a study that shows teenagers receive 12,000 Botox injections in 2009, two times that of 2008.

In America, 1.3 million boys undergo the needless surgery of circumcision, and yet this doesn't seem to be a problem.

Excerpt from the MSNBC article:

"It is dangerous enough for adults," said Assemblyman Herb Conaway, who is also a physician. "Children certainly shouldn't be subjected to this procedure."

The argument for circumcision in an infant is slightly different though. It goes something more along the lines of:

"It's a traumatic and more involved procedure for adults. It's better to do it to children who will be too young to remember."

I'm sure if you gave a baby botox, the baby wouldn't remember it either.

Another strange argument says that "Circumcision is a more involved and traumatic procedure for adults. In chidlren the procedure is more minimal, the risks are less, and the child doesn't remember."

Actually, no. An adult penis is easier to work with. A baby's penis is small, and more delicate, increasing the risk for botches and ablation.

In the previous post, I talked about the situation in Richmond, VA, where a doctor makes a living fixing botched circumcsions:

And I also wrote on other risks, such as infection, partial or full ablation and even death:

More from MSNBC:

"Botox is a key revenue driver for its maker Allergan Inc., based in Irvine, Calif. Sales grew 10.1 percent to $364.5 million during the first quarter. That total includes sales of Botox as a wrinkle treatment and other uses, including treatment for repeated migraine headaches and muscle spasms."

Hey! Did you know that circumcsion is a key revenue driver for certain medical professionals, and consumer product manufacturers?

1.3 million baby boys are circumcised a year in the United States alone. At a dollar per procedure, that is already $1,300,000 a year. The going rate for a circumcision procedure is approximately $300 American; multiplied by 1.3 million, that is approximately $390,000,000 a year that circumcision brings in based on the procedure alone.

Based in La Jolla, CA Advanced Tissue Sciences are the makers of Dermagraft-TC, which is an artifical skin created from harvested foreskins from infant circumcision.[1] They are also the makers of NouriCel, another product made from harvested foreskins,[2] and one of the main ingredients of SkinMedica's TNS Recovery Complex product.[3]

Dermagraft-TC is FDA approved,[4][5] and it sells for about $3,000 per square foot and one foreskin contains enough genetic material to grow 250,000 square feet of skin.[6]

Advanced Tissue Sciences has sold about $1 million worth of cultured dermis to Proctor & Gamble, Helene Curtis, and other such businesses for pre-market testing. Advanced Tissue Science's foreskin-derived merchandise held a $32 million stock offering in the beginning of 1992.[7]

In 1996 alone, Advanced Tissue Sciences could boast of a healthy $663.9 million market capitalization performance.[8]

1. "Dermagraft-TC: Overview". Advanced Biohealing, Inc.. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "Dermagraft is manufactured from human fibroblast cells derived from newborn foreskin tissue."
2. "The Foreskin Mafia". Retrieved 2011-03-06. "TNS contains... NouriCel-MD which is... a combination of Natural Growth Factors, matrix proteins, and soluble collagen. Human Growth Factors extracted from cultured cells of foreskin..."
3. "SkinMedica Introduces TNS Recovery Complex". SkinMedica. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "TNS Recovery Complex is the only product containing a professional concentration of NouriCel®, a new cosmetic ingredient from leading tissue-engineering company Advanced Tissue Sciences."
4. "Dermagraft-TC: General Information". Advanced Tissue Sciences. MediLexicon International Ltd. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-07. "Dermagraft-TC is the first human, fibroblast-derived temporary skin substitute for the treatment of partial-thickness burns that has been approved for marketing by the FDA."
5. "Advanced Tissue Sciences' temporary wound covering Dermagraft-TC approved for marketing by FDA". Transplant News. HighBeam Research. 1997-03-28. Retrieved 2011-05-07. "the Food and Drug Administration has approved Dermagraft-TC"
6. Circumcision. Daecher M. Icon 1998;2(2):70-3.
7. Julie Pitta. Biosynthetics. Forbes 10 May 1993: 170-171 Note: The 32-page Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc. 1997 Annual Report refers to "fibroblasts" but does not contain the word "foreskin."
8. Biotech's Big Discovery. Hall CT. San Francisco Chronicle. October 25, 1996: E1, E4.

There's plenty more too.

Organogenesis, based in Canton, MA, profits, from Apligraf, which is a synthetic skin created from harvested foreskins.

LifeCell Corporation based in Branchburg, profits from the creation and sale of AlloDerm(R), another skin graft created from harvested infant foreskins.

SkinMedica is a manufacturer of various skin products. Their product TNS Recovery Complex contains Advance Tissue Sciences' NouriCel. This product has been made famous by the fact that Oprah Winfrey promotes it.

So as you can see, there's more to circumcision that meets the eye. Scratch beneath the surface and you'll find an entire industry that solely depends on the continuance of the harvesting of foreskins from healthy, non-consenting individuals.

To close on the Botox bill:
"Federal and state regulations already restrict the use of Botox on patients under 18. The new legislation would require doctors to document in a patient's chart the non-cosmetic medical reason for performing the procedure on a minor. Responsibility for adopting those regulations would be left to the state medical board and health commissioner.

The bill passed 10-1 in committee. There's no companion bill in the Senate."

In my opinion, it would be nice if male infant circumcision were regulated in exactly the same way. Unless it is medically necessary, restrict circmucision on patients under 18. Require doctors to document in a patient's chart the non-cosmetic medical reason for performing the procedure on minors. The state medical board and health commissioners should be responsible for adopting these regulations.

Earlier San Francisco circumcision ban posts:


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  2. Why do people circumcise? Because the Pharaoh did it! Seriously, the practice originated in the upper classes of ancient Egypt. The test of a man's loyalty to the Pharaoh was to circumcise, as an adult.

    Circumcision quickly became a status symbol, and the (supposedly) enslaved low-class Hebrews began to do it too. As time evolved, they forgot why they did it in the first place, and started doing it to babies "because God said so".

    The only conclusion we can draw from this is...

    The Pharaoh is God!

  3. Circumcision is nothing less than a branding tool of oppression and control. It's been used to mark everything from the ruling elite, to their subjects, to their servants, to their slaves.

    People do not want to acknowledge it, but circumcision thrived as an attempt to control male sexuality. Rabbi Maimonides has specifically said that the reason boys are circumcised is to put the penis in "as a quiet state as possible." John Harvey Kellogg promoted circumcision as a way to stop masturbation.

    The Victorian attempt to reign in sexuality is still seen in Africa today, where "scientists," who "know what's best for us", are trying to circumcise every last male. Because you know, they're simply too stupid to ever learn how to control themselves and use a condom. Better to circumcise them all, since those African men are too wild and crazy and need to be tamed somehow.

  4. I think kids should benefit from botox only when that's the only choice they have, because it's a little dangerous for them...
    But also very useful....When I went for my treatment at Skin Vitality I saw a kid that needed botox in order to walk right, because his muscles were not working right....and his mother told me that without botox the kid is not able to walk....I was so glad there is a chance for that kid to be normal and that is botox.

  5. Yeap... But obviously there is a difference in giving Botox to a child who needs it for treatment of an actual medical problem, and injecting Botox into her face so she can win the beauty pageant...

    The New Jersey law seems to allow for medically necessary application... just as the law proposed in San Francisco would have...