Neil Pollock

From CircLeaks
Jump to: navigation, search
Neil Pollock displaying a Mogen clamp
Colleagues & Benefactors:

Murray Katz
Pierre Crouse
Edgar J. Schoen
Barbara Kay
David Patrick
Funding & Associations:
Mogen
Schusterman Foundation
Canadian Institutes of Health

Neil Pollock is a surgeon and certified mohel[1][2] from Vancouver, Canada, whose sole livelihood comes from performing infant circumcision and vasectomy.[3] He is a prolific circumciser of infants, and according to his website, he has performed over 30,000 infant circumcisions,[4] he performs 2,500 annually,[5] and he is personally responsible for 2/3rds of all circumcisions in the entire Vancouver Lower Mainland.[6]

On his website, he references Edgar Schoen, another avid circumcision advocate.[7]

Contents

Revenue

Neil Pollock charges $455.00 Canadian for circumcising children under 2 months of age.[8] If his website is correct, he performs 2,500 annually,[9] which means he grosses $1,137,500 Canadian on infant circumcision alone.

Misleading Information

On his website, Pollock sells circumcision as "virtually bloodless, virtually painless" and "taking only thirty seconds",[10] and he claims to be using a unique "new approach" that was developed by himself,[11] but this information is misleading, it conflicts with information provided on his own website, or it is simply not true.

"Virtually Bloodless"

While his homepage promises a circumcision that is "virtually bloodless,"[12] the FAQ page admits that "a small amount of bleeding is normal,"[13] and it gives advice on how to stop it.

"Virtually Painless"

Pollock promises a "virtually painless" circumcision,[14] but this claim depends on a dubious premise; that the methods he boasts in using are actually effective. On his website, it says that the pain control methods used are Tylenol, sugar,[15][16] a topical cream,[17] and a local anaesthetic injection called a dorsal penile ring block.[18] The topical anaesthetic only serves to numb the area to lessen the pain of the injection, but studies have shown that a dorsal penile ring block is not always effective in stopping the pain of circumcision.[19][20] During the circumcision, the child is given sugar pacifiers to "reduce his pain perceptions",[21] but in at least one study, data shows that giving sugar to a child doesn't help to reduce the perception of pain in the child.[22] Post-operative pain and the pain the child must endure during recovery is hardly, if ever, addressed.

"30 Second Procedure"

Pollock promises a "30 second procedure,"[23][24] but this doesn't take into account the fact that the child must first have topical anaesthetic applied, and then be given the dorsal penile ring block for which there is a 10 minute waiting period for the injection to take effect.[25] In the FAQ page, it is admitted that "although the circumcision takes under 30 seconds, we require you to be in our office for one hour and fifteen minutes in total so that we can carefully review with you all post procedure care and answer any of your questions."[26]

"A New Approach"

On his website, Pollock sells his circumcision technique as "a new approach" that "has recently been developed."[27] Pollock claims to have created this "new method" with another serial circumciser, Murray Katz. [28] Pollock's website uses language that suggests that he uses state-of-the-art techniques and equipment that no other surgeon possesses, by warning against others who try to "emulate" him.[29]

Closer inspection reveals that Pollock isn't doing anything "new"; his website reveals that he uses the Mogen technique, which involves the Mogen clamp.[30] The Mogen clamp was invented in 1954,[31] but it is actually one of many successors to the much older, traditional barzel device.[32]


What Pollock May Not Tell Parents About Mogen

The website insists that without experience, which it boasts Pollock for having, the methods and techniques he uses could be "potentially dangerous," however the Mogen clamp has been notorious for glans amputations, even among experienced conductors of circumcision.[19] Mogen went out of business[33] after losing a 10.8 million dollar law suit,[33] after a mohel[33] severed the end of a baby's glans[33] using one of their clamps. Mogen claimed that injury was impossible with its use.[33] The injury behind a prior lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court had already put Mogen on notice about the danger of the device.[33]

In a different case, at South Fulton Medical Center, another law suit was won in 2009.[33] In that case, a child lost a third of his glans, and the plaintiffs were awarded 2.3 million dollars.[33]

"A New Approach" for children, teenagers and adults

According to Jewish Independent, Pollock claims to "have developed a technique to do circumcision in this older age group under local anesthetic without using sutures and using, instead, a cyanocrylate skin glue that closes the wound." Pollock claims that this provides for a "simpler, easier, quicker, safer and improved cosmetic outcome for patients.", claims that have not been substantiated.[34]

Complaints and Investigation

In 2003 there were several complains to the College of Physicians & Surgeons of British Columbia about Pollock Clinics' advertisements. The base for the complaints was that these advertisements present a very one-sided view of circumcision, referring to [Edgar J. Schoen]'s website while failing to mention the position of the governing specialty college, the Canadian Paediatric Society, which recommends that circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed. The complaints also stated that Pollock's website states that "circumcision is regarded as one of the safest routine operations in practice today." No reference is given for this statement, which is by no means universally accepted. The complaint indicated that Pollock Clinics appeared to be in breach of the Rules under the Medical Practitioners Act, specifically Rule 98, which stipulates that doctors "must not exaggerate, be false, inaccurate, misleading or be reasonably capable of being misinterpreted."[35]

Infant Circumcision Evangelist

Rwanda

Pollock holding a child he circumcised in Africa in the name of HIV prevention.

On Feb 24, 2009, Pollock Clinics issued a press release stating that Neil Pollock was asked to go to Rwanda by the British Columbia Centere for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Family Health International (FHI),[36] as part of a team on a "fact finding mission." He was asked by David Patrick, then Head of Epidemiology at the BCCDC.[36] The mission was supposed to consult with the Rwandan healthcare system involved in the fight against AIDS, [36] but Pollock took advantage of the trip to promote infant circumcision specifically.[36] Upon being told that few parents were having their children circumcised because the procedures were being performed with scissors and stitches, without adequate anaesthetic and were taking around 30 minutes to complete,[36] he took the opportunity to promote the Mogen infant circumcision procedure under the guise of "HIV prevention."[36][36]

As in Canada, Pollock sold the Mogen technique as "bloodless, painless, and taking only 30 seconds." [36][36] He took advantage of the AIDS crisis, and the fact that the WHO/UNAIDS had endorsed circumcision as legitimate HIV prevention to promote specifically infant circumcision, and his "simple and painless procedure" (AKA, the Mogen technique).[36] Pollock admits that he hopes his "technique" would encourage more Rwandan parents to have their children circumcised, albeit for the pretext of HIV prevention.[36] With the help of his friends and family, he raised funds to buy Mogen clamps and other needed equipment to set up an infant circumcision clinic in Rwanda.[36] Pollock was largely instrumental in making infant circumcision a priority for the Rwandan Ministry of Health in the fight against AIDS. [36] The medical tour was covered by grant money from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and funding from the Shusterman Foundation.[36]

Pollock also took the opportunity to promote his vasectomy knowledge while he was in Rwanda.[36]

Haiti

In 2014, Pollock claimed he was contacted by Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, professor at [the University of California, Los Angeles] Medical School, asking to train surgeons in Port-Au-Prince. Pollock started a fundraiser hoping to raise $25,000 to cover a one week trip to Port-Au-Prince, to train two surgeons, who will in turn train more surgeons once he leaves. This with the premise that circumcision can help reduce the risk of males contracting HIV through heterosexual intercourse, a premise that has been subject to frequent criticism for lack of proven causal link and failure to show the intended results.

The ultimate intention of the training, Pollock said, is “to set up a national program accepted by the population, to introduce infant circumcision safely and effectively, and have it evolve to become a widespread practice throughout the country.” UCLA's Klausner and other researchers at UCLA seem to be very interested in introducing circumcision in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Pollock said. “It’s intended that Haiti will become a training centre for circumcision in the Caribbean. It is likely that my technique, once taught in Haiti, will soon be shared with multiple countries throughout the Caribbean, multiplying its effect to save lives throughout the entire region.[34]

See Also

  • Bias -- Motivations for circumcision bias.

External Links

References

  1. Owens, Anne Marie (2001-01-22). "Like father, like son". National Post, The. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/npost.htm. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Dr. Neil Pollock, a Vancouver-area physician who is also a trained mohel designated to perform ritual Jewish circumcisions..." 
  2. "About Dr. Neil Pollock". MohelTraining.com. http://www.moheltraining.com/about_drpollock.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Dr. Pollock has been certified by the Conservative and Reform Rabbinet of British Columbia to serve the community as a mohel." 
  3. "About Dr. Pollock". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-drpollock.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Dr. Pollock limits his practice to only two surgical procedures. Infant circumcision is one of these procedures. (No-Scalpel No-Needle Vasectomy is the other)." 
  4. "About Dr. Pollock". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-drpollock.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "As of January 2011, Dr. Pollock has safely performed well over 30,000 infant circumcisions" 
  5. "About Dr. Pollock". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-drpollock.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Currently he performs approximately 2500 annually at his two private offices." 
  6. "Pollock Clinics Infant Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-index.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "He personally performs over 2/3rds of all circumcisions in the entire Vancouver Lower Mainland." 
  7. "Parents' Guide to Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "For detailed information about the medical benefits and risks of circumcision, please go to http://www.medicirc.org a website written by world renowned pediatrician- Dr.Edgar Schoen of San Francisco California, USA." 
  8. "Arranging a Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-arrange.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "The fee for babies younger than two months of age is $445.00 including all the aftercare supplies and taxes." 
  9. "About Dr. Pollock". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-drpollock.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Currently he performs approximately 2500 annually at his two private offices." 
  10. "Pollock Clinics Infant Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-index.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "30 second, virtually bloodless, virtually painless procedure" 
  11. "Parents' Guide to Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-guide.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "A new approach has recently been developed that allows for a virtually painless and bloodless procedure to be safely performed in under 30 seconds. This technique was developed by Dr. Pollock and is used by few in the medical profession because it is relatively new and more difficult to learn." 
  12. "Pollock Clinics Infant Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-index.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "30 second, virtually bloodless, virtually painless procedure" 
  13. "Frequently Asked Questions". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "A small amount of bleeding is normal. Take some gauze with Vaseline on it and squeeze the bleeding area of the penis with your fingers for two minutes." 
  14. "Pollock Clinics Infant Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-index.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "30 second, virtually bloodless, virtually painless procedure" 
  15. "Parents' Guide to Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-guide.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "To calm the baby during the procedure, a sugar filled gauze pacifier soaked with sweet juice is used, and soothing music is played in the room." 
  16. "Before the Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-before.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "During the circumcision, your son will receive sugar pacifiers to suck on which reduce his pain perceptions." 
  17. "Before the Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-before.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Then in our office, he will have topical anesthetic applied to his penis." 
  18. "Parents' Guide to Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-guide.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "We use extensive pain control methods including Tylenol, a sugar solution (to reduce pain perceptions), a topical freezing cream, and a local anesthetic injection." 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Taeusch, H William; Alma M Martinez, J Colin Partridge, Susan Sniderman, Jennifer Armstrong-Wells, Elena Fuentes-Afflick (April/May 2002). "Pain During Mogen or PlastiBell Circumcision". Journal of Perinatology 22 (3): 214-218. http://www.nature.com/jp/journal/v22/n3/full/7210653a.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "...more than half of the study group had what we considered excessive pain/discomfort over the course of the entire procedure.". 
  20. Williamson, Paul S.; Nolan Donovan Evans (August 1986). "Neonatal Cortisol Response to Circumcision with Anesthesia". Clinical Pediatrics 25 (8): 412-416. http://cpj.sagepub.com/content/25/8/412.abstract. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "The adrenal cortisol response to surgery was not significantly reduced by the administration of lidocaine.". 
  21. "Before the Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-before.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "During the circumcision, your son will receive sugar pacifiers to suck on which reduce his pain perceptions." 
  22. Slater, Rebeccah; Laura Cornelissen, Lorenzo Fabrizi, Debbie Patten, Jan Yoxen, Alan Worley, Stewart Boyd, Judith Meek, Prof Maria Fitzgerald (2010-10-09). "Oral sucrose as an analgesic drug for procedural pain in newborn infants: a randomised controlled trial". Lancet, The 376 (9748): 1225-1232. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2810%2961303-7/fulltext. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Our data suggest that oral sucrose does not significantly affect activity in neonatal brain or spinal cord nociceptive circuits, and therefore might not be an effective analgesic drug. The ability of sucrose to reduce clinical observational scores after noxious events in newborn infants should not be interpreted as pain relief.". 
  23. "Pollock Clinics Infant Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-index.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "30 second, virtually bloodless, virtually painless procedure" 
  24. "Parents' Guide to Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-guide.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "Our procedure takes under 30 seconds (10 times quicker than most hospital circumcisons)." 
  25. "Before the Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-before.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "After 10 minutes, the penis is “frozen”, and the circumcision can be done." 
  26. "Before the Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-before.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  27. "Parents' Guide to Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-guide.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "A new approach has recently been developed that allows for a virtually painless and bloodless procedure to be safely performed in under 30 seconds. This technique was developed by Dr. Pollock and is used by few in the medical profession because it is relatively new and more difficult to learn." 
  28. Owens, Anne Marie (22 Jan 2001). "Like father, like son There is so much evidence for and against circumcision that making a decision has become almost impossible. In the end, most parents use family tradition or simply trust their instincts". National Post. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/npost.html. Retrieved 2012-10-07. "Dr. Neil Pollock, a Vancouver-area physician who is also a trained mohel designated to perform ritual Jewish circumcisions, has pioneered a technique with Dr. Murray Katz of Montreal using a four-step approach to pain relief and a piece of equipment that allows for a much quicker operation." 
  29. "Pollock Clinics Infant Circumcision". 2011-04-08. http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-index.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "You may notice other local websites, desperately attempting to emulate Dr.Pollock both in name of website and content. Please be clear when researching your son's circumcision, that the methods and techniques for providing this surgery are only as meaningful as the operating physician's experience, without which, any method or technique is potentially dangerous." 
  30. "Parents' Guide to Circumcision". http://www.pollockclinics.com/circumcision/circumcision-guide.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "The technique used by Dr. Pollock is called the Mogen technique." 
  31. "Use of the Mogen clamp for neonatal circumcision". http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/rdr5.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "The Mogen clamp was invented in 1954 by Rabbi Harry Bronstein, a Brooklyn mohel." 
  32. = "Methods of circumcision". circumstitions.com. 2011-04-08. http://www.circumstitions.com/methods.html#barzel. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "The barzel (Hebrew for iron) also known as a mogen (Hebrew for shield) s a slotted shield to =" 
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 33.6 33.7 Tagami, Ty (2010-07-19). "Atlanta lawyer wins $11 million lawsuit for family in botched circumcision". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/atlanta-lawyer-wins-11-573890.html. Retrieved 2011-04-08. "The company is going out of business, according to a woman who answered the phone at its Brooklyn headquarters Monday." 
  34. 34.0 34.1 Laye, Baysa (04th, April 2014). "Vancouver doctor will train physicians in Haiti in circumcisio". http://www.jewishindependent.ca/vancouver-doctor-will-train-doctors-in-haiti-in-circumcision/. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  35. "CPSBC re newborn circumcision". 2009-02-24. http://courtchallenge.com/letters/bccoll3.html#03aug14. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  36. 36.00 36.01 36.02 36.03 36.04 36.05 36.06 36.07 36.08 36.09 36.10 36.11 36.12 36.13 36.14 Millman, N. Michael (2009-02-24). "BC Surgeon Joins Fight Against Sub-Saharan Aids". marketwire. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/BC-Surgeon-Joins-Fight-Against-Sub-Saharan-Aids-953409.htm. Retrieved 2011-04-10. "Dr. Pollock travelled as part of a team assembled by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and their partner in the project, Family Health International (FHI)." 
Personal tools