Medical Board of California
1425 Howe Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825

June 2, 1999

Re: Edgar Schoen

Dear Sir or Madam:

We are an international children’s human rights organization which is deeply concerned by the actions of Dr. Edgar Schoen. Dr. Schoen, the former chair of the Task Force on Circumcision of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), appeared on the Today show on November 9, 1998 in a nationally televised debate with Dr. George Denniston. . As detailed in the enclosed letter of complaint to the AAP from the National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males (NOHARMM), Dr. Schoen made knowingly and repeatedly made numerous false claims in the course of this show to attempt to convince the television audience of the claimed advantages of infant circumcision.

Dr. Schoen has thereby willfully disseminated false information to misrepresent the scientific data regarding the foreskin and circumcision. He has thereby perpetuated an anachronistic medical practice and deceived the public regarding the pertinent medical evidence.

We have been advised by NOHARMM that the AAP has taken no action to date against Dr. Schoen. We therefore are compelled to call your attention to Dr. Schoen’s grave ethical violations and serious misconduct and to request that the appropriate disciplinary action be taken against Dr. Schoen.

We would request a written reply stating the actions taken in response to this request.

Sincerely yours,

J. Steven Svoboda
Executive Director

ARC received the following letter from the Medical Board of California in response to our complaint regarding Dr. Schoen’s lies on national TV in his debate with George Denniston on the Today Show:

Medical Board of California
Central Complaint Unit
1426 Howe Avenue, Suite 54
Sacramento, CA 95825

June 12, 1999

J. Steven Svoboda
2961 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705

Re: Edgar Schoen, MD

Control Number: 12-99-96643

Dear Mr. Svoboda:

The Medical Board of California has concluded its review of your complaint you filed against Dr. Schoen.

As a licensing agency the Board has the authority to enforce that its licensees abide by the provisions of the Medical Practice Act within the California Business and Professions Code. In your complaint you indicate that Dr. Schoen has willfully disseminated false information to misrepresent the scientific data regarding the foreskin and circumcision during the course of an interview on a national television show.

Based on a review of the information contained in your complaint, it was determined that this would not be an issue for the Medical Board to address. Therefore, the case has been closed and no further action is anticipated. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We regret we are unable to assist you in this matter.


Consumer Services Analyst