On March 3, 2012, the New York Daily News reported the death this past September of a two-week-old baby boy, following an ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual. The report came after the newspaper pressed Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn for information, evidently having heard about the death from other sources. The New York City Medical Examiner’s office is quoted as listing the cause of death as “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction.”
Because some of my readers may not be aware of the ritual, known as metzizah b’peh, I will describe it. Following the “usual” steps involved in a circumcision (i.e., stroking the baby’s penis to make it erect, stripping the foreskin from the head of the penis, and cutting the foreskin off), in metzizah b’peh the mohel (ritual circumciser) then “removes blood from the wound with his mouth” (this is the news media’s description; in other words, the mohel sucks the baby’s bloody penis). It was this final insult added to injury that caused the death of the poor baby boy in question.
“[T]here is a growing body of law to suggest that if you have been circumcised without your consent (that is, even if your parents consented for you as a child), you can sue the doctor when you reach 18 years of age. The laws here vary as well, but many states allow a six month to two year window from your 18th birthday to initiate litigation for any violations you suffer as a child. If you had a circumcision performed on you for non-medical reasons, then it may qualify as a personal injury, regardless of parental consent. This is especially true if you’ve suffered any physical, sexual or psychological problems resulting from your circumcision. Time is of the essence for this type of litigation, so you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.”
“Compelling reasons exist for strong concern among attorneys and the public about the various types of damage caused by circumcision. These include pain and suffering, psychological harm, behavioral changes, irreversible reduction or loss of full sexual function, and underreported tragic complications, including deaths. Moreover, no satisfactory medical justification for routine circumcision has ever been demonstrated.”
Further info: http://www.arclaw.org/
“Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.) celebrated the decision by the Oregon Supreme Court this week for the case of a 12-year-old Washington boy facing a religious circumcision, calling it a step forward for children’s rights.
“We are pleased that the Oregon Supreme Court recognized this healthy child does not need this surgery and has a right to be heard, though we remain concerned he may have been manipulated,” said attorney John Geisheker, Director of D.O.C. “Nevertheless, this is a landmark step toward recognizing the separate rights of children. We applaud the Court for protecting this boy. There is no more important decision to make for a male child.””
Full article here: http://saleonl.com/online/90O114695331O3/1O6604239
“Intactivists from across the country are once again calling on state and federal lawmakers to prohibit circumcision of boys. Regional directors from the children’s rights group MGMbill.org submitted proposed bills to more than 2,800 legislators yesterday, urging them to extend the existing ban on forced female genital cutting to include males.”
Full article here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/mgmbill/pr22/prweb4960504.htm
“Florida victims of medical malpractice and their attorneys have a recognized constitutional First Amendment right of free speech and expression. Currently, our Miami medical malpractice law office represents Mario Viera, an infant circumcised at South Miami Hospital without his parent’s consent. The case garnered international media attention and the family hopes that it will lead to the enactment of a law regulating how circumcisions are performed not only in Florida but the rest of the country.”
Full blog entry: http://www.floridainjurylawyer-blog.com/2010/10/south-miami-hospital-tries-to.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FloridaInjuryLawyerBlogCom1+%28Florida+Injury+Lawyer+Blog%29