INTACTIVIST OF THE MONTH: Dr. Paul Thomas
One of Intact America's greatest strengths is the diverse and supportive intactivist community. Our "Intactivist of the Month" series highlights some of the most ardent opponents of infant and childhood circumcision, whose tireless efforts will ensure a future where all babies are kept intact.
NOVEMBER 2016: Our Intactivist of the Month for November is Dr. Paul Thomas.
Dr. Paul Thomas is a Board-certified pediatrician and addiction specialist with an integrative medicine practice in Portland, Oregon. Throughout his 30 years as a physician, Dr. Paul — as his patients call him — has been an outspoken champion of children’s health and wellbeing.
The son of a Methodist missionary and a nurse midwife, Dr. Paul grew up in a thatched-roof hut in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with no electricity or running water. He moved to the United States to attend college at the University of the Pacific, where he received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology, before entering medical school at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Dr. Paul's common sense and his popularity reach far beyond his patients and their families. Over 216,000 people subscribe to his YouTube channel, which is produced by his son Noah Thomas. Dr. Paul is also the co-author (with Jennifer Margulis) of a new book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health, from Pregnancy through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine 2016), currently on the Amazon bestseller list.
Dr. Paul has 10 children — seven adopted and three biologically. He and his five sons are bold critics of infant circumcision.
“I am circumcised,” Dr. Paul says, “but my sons are all intact. They go ballistic at the thought of circumcising an infant, whether a boy or a girl. It is important to understand that infant circumcision is an entirely elective, cosmetic procedure with no real health benefits but very real potential to cause lasting physical and psychological harm. The guiding principle before anyone opts for an elective procedure is informed consent. We must give the pros, the cons, and the alternatives, including doing nothing. Because we are talking about permanently removing a part of an infant’s most basic anatomy and the infant himself cannot consent, there is really only one ethical option — to leave a baby's penis alone and intact.
“We have no problem calling out female circumcision as genital mutilation, but mutilation is mutilation. It’s time for us to do better in America, and stop circumcising baby boys.”
Dr. Paul tells the parents of his young patients who inquire about circumcision, “Once it’s gone, you can’t put the foreskin back. If he wants to be circumcised later in life, that’s his decision.”
“I applaud every activist working to end the unfair and unethical practice of cutting off a vital part of a child’s genitalia,” Dr. Paul continues. “I see Intact America on social media, in the press, speaking and writing about the benefits of the foreskin, and on the front lines. Thank you for all you do!”
“American parents need more doctors like Dr. Paul Thomas,” says Intact America’s executive director Georganne Chapin. “Doctors who know the score, who know that cutting the genitals of babies is wrong, and who aren’t afraid to say so.”
Visit our Intactivist of the Month Archive page to read about previous intactivists we've highlighted.