Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among USA infants under 1 year of age accounting for ~2,700 deaths per year. Although formally SIDS dates back at least 2,000 years and was even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Kings 3:19), its etiology remains unexplained prompting the CDC to initiate a sudden unexpected infant death case registry in 2010.
Due to their total dependence, the ability of the infant to allostatically regulate stressors and stress responses shaped by genetic and environmental factors is severely constrained. We propose that SIDS is the result of cumulative painful, stressful, or traumatic exposures that begin in utero and tax neonatal regulatory systems incompatible with allostasis. We also identify several putative biochemical mechanisms involved in SIDS. We argue that the important characteristics of SIDS, namely male predominance (60:40), the significantly different SIDS rate among USA Hispanics (80% lower) compared to whites, 50% of cases occurring between 7.6 and 17.6 weeks after birth with only 10% after 24.7 weeks, and seasonal variation with most cases occurring during winter, are all associated with common environmental stressors, such as neonatal circumcision and seasonal illnesses.
We predict that neonatal circumcision is associated with hypersensitivity to pain and decreased heart rate variability, which increase the risk for SIDS. We also predict that neonatal male circumcision will account for the SIDS gender bias and that groups that practice high male circumcision rates, such as USA whites, will have higher SIDS rates compared to groups with lower circumcision rates. SIDS rates will also be higher in USA states where Medicaid covers circumcision and lower among people that do not practice neonatal circumcision and/or cannot afford to pay for circumcision. We last predict that winter-born premature infants who are circumcised will be at higher risk of SIDS compared to infants who experienced fewer nociceptive exposures.
All these predictions are testable experimentally using animal models or cohort studies in humans. Our hypothesis provides new insights into novel risk factors for SIDS that can reduce its risk by modifying current infant care practices to reduce nociceptive exposures. …
Isolating newborn infants from their mothers for a period of time and then skinning, crushing and cutting away their sexuality without anesthetic is a form of psychological as well as physical torture, similar to but more severe than what’s going on at guantanamo (global sensory deprivation except for pain, see “A Question of Torture” by Alfred McCoy). But I’m sure there’s some good reason for it. Probably has something to do with brainwashing. If we could just get the baby out of the picture then maybe the doctor could act out his compulsions in some other way. Preferably in a padded cell.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to understand why such a tortured soul might want to get the hell out of dodge as soon as possible. With enough determination it’s not inconceivable that a sufficiently traumatized mind which is totally plugged into its body could stop the heart, especially when in an alpha-wave state in an isolated crib. What would be the point of staying given such an introduction to life? Infants may well be capable of making decisions with profound implications, given the last two links below.
In any case, I’m sure our medical professionals will generate lots more experimental data before common human decency and the threat of imprisonment finally force them to stop.