4 Yr Old Boy Has Penis Cut on Kitchen Cutting Board

News has broken today about a horrific case in British Columbia. The parents of this boy suffered severe injuries in a car accident and their lives and the lives of their children were turned upside down as a result. The father, who once worked as a computer programmer, has been in trouble numerous times with the law since the accident and has turned to some bizarre religious ideas.

I have requested that the B.C. Civil Liberties Assoc take up this case as a perfect example of why we need equal protection for boys under Canada’s laws. If the father had been seeking to cut the genitals of his daughter, the authorities would have been alerted. Because this was a boy, no one called child protection until it was too late. Here are links to the court findings and press report as well as my request to the BCCLA.

Dear BCCLA,
I represent a group of consumers in Vancouver who campaign for the end of male circumcision. As you probably know we have laws in Canada to protect girls from genital mutilation but we ignore the rights of boys in this regard.

Now, we have this sad case of a father cutting his son’s genitals on a kitchen cutting board. From reading the judge’s remarks, it appears that the father was brain injured in a car accident and his actions have arisen out of a combination of his injury and some strange religious thinking.

We would like to see the B.C. Civil Liberties Assoc. take up this case as an example of the need to protect boys from genital cutting. Of course, many people do not like to step on the toes of Jews in this matter. However, there are many Jews who are now changing their minds about circumcision and keeping their sons intact and many Jewish doctors are refusing to do the operation. The religions that would do cutting of girls’ genitals are not allowed to partake of the practice in Canada.

One of Canada’s leading medical ethicists, Margaret Somerville, has called male circumcision “criminal assault”.

This is the link to Madame Justice Allen’s findings in the case:

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/09/13/2009BCSC1397.htm

To read the press on the story go to:

http://tinyurl.com/ygw4n4o

I’d appreciate hearing your views on this and would be willing to help in whatever way you need to link you to legal counsel who have represented boys/families in these cases or provide other resources.

Thank you for considering this case.

Gloria Lemay
NOCIRC Canada

About gloria

I live and work in Vancouver BC Canada. I've been in the childbirth business for 30 years. I teach midwifery and doula courses both online and in person.
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10 Responses to 4 Yr Old Boy Has Penis Cut on Kitchen Cutting Board

  1. TR says:

    I read your blog because I really respect you as a midwife. As a practicing Jew, I found your comment “many people do not like to step on the toes of Jews in this matter” to be extremely offensive.

  2. Amy says:

    I think it’s pretty sick how the judge ruled that it wasnt assault because the boy “was not seriously harmed”! how much more serious could it get than having part of your genitals removed without your consent! once again, if it had been a girl child, the judge would never have ruled that removing part of her genitals was not serious harm.

  3. gloria says:

    TR, I paused when I wrote that so I think you’re right that there must be a less offensive way to express myself about religious sensibilities. If you could coach me on that, I’ll change it and take your guidance. Thank you. Gloria

  4. gloria says:

    These are the comments from Facebook regarding this story:

    Stephanie
    I have words…but I will refrain from using them on your page! UGH!!

    Sandi
    There simply are none… wow :(

    Barbara
    Ya gotta have a license to own a dog, but any flippin’ idiot can be a parent! Sorry……..but may this man’s Karma come back and chew OFF his ASS!

    Cindy
    WHAT THE???!!!

    Marissa
    This is awful.

    Dani
    I have no words

    Heather
    how horrific!

    Maria
    Speechless.

    Mary S
    Negligence? That’s all???

    Jessica
    He circumcised himself first, like four years before?! His lawyer claims “He learned from that experience to do things differently.” No, he did not learn from that experience. Normally I do not wish harm on people, but this sperm donor is due for a large batch of Batchi.

    Cindy
    Poor little boy! Circumcision by a doctor is bad enough, but under these conditions by the unskilled father! This guy is totally nuts. And did the mother just sit there and allow it?

    Karen
    you can’t fix stupid! :/

    Anya
    I am 100% with all of you.

    Summer
    Duh!

    Cerin:
    Why is he allowed to stay with the almost equally horrid mother, who just sat there?! It can’t even be argued she had no choice, because she was alone with the boy while he cruised Home Depot… WTF is wrong with people?!

    Kd
    Why was he not committed? Obviously insane.
    Cerin
    Because you can get away with virtually anything if you tie it to religion…
    Kd
    Except cervical checks

    Kd
    So now I’ve read the article in its entirety and at the risk of starting a new debate I quote the sage words of Christopher Hitchens in “God is not Great”, “…and once again religion ruins everything.”

    Tina
    This made me cry….What happened to this man? Why is he not hanging from a tree somewhere? Inexcusable and horrific. That poor child.

    Michelle
    that is horrible. I bet you this story and the other two recent ones here in America will excuse circumcision from ever becoming illegal. And they’ll use it to say circumcision should be free. The anti-intact fanatic will call this a “back-alley circ”. What should happen, as I hate to say it because I’m a Christian, government and religion should not mix. A person cannot use their “religion” to harm others and get a light sentence or none at all.

    Holly
    I think I’m going to be sick. This man is clearly insane.

    Caroline
    Don’t worry, Michelle. Some of the most ardent supporters for separation of church and state are and were devoutly religious themselves. I don’t think you’ve said anything wrong.

    Gloria Lemay
    from the findings of Madam Justice Allan in this case:
    < [132] I note that it is the accused... conduct on April 2, 2007 that is in issue in this case, not the legality of the practice of home circumcision generally. I find the accused’s actions to have been criminally negligent and that his conduct caused bodily harm to DJ. His conduct constituted a marked and substantial departure from the standard of care of a reasonable person in all the circumstances and showed a wanton and reckless disregard for his son’s safety. Accordingly, the Crown has proved the elements of the offence charged in count 1.>

    Jeanice
    Sounds like this man was just being a good Judeo/Christian follower — i.e., offering up his son in sacrifice to a wounded god that demands circumcision for male members of his tribe.

    The psychology of this man (and his partner) must be incredibly warped.

    And then there is the reality that we often inflict our own, unresolved, wounding onto our children….

    Someone needs to tell these people to stop breeding. Imagine what this child’s sexual expression will be like later in life.

    Gloria Lemay
    What is clear from the judge’s remarks is that the man and his wife were brain injured in a car accident and have been floundering without assistance ever since. The doctors he contacted should have called the authorities. If he had been wanting to cut the genitals of his 4 y.o. daughter, they would have called right away.

    Paige

    how did they acquit him on assault?!?!

    Paige

    surely this would be gbh considering a part of the child is now removed…

    Gloria Lemay
    I think the policy is that the Crown presents as many possible charges as they can and, then, if the person is convicted on the worst count, they usually drop the others. Criminal negligence causing bodily harm is about the 4th worst crime in Canada, I believe. If you want to read the Judge’s findings go to this link:
    http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/09/13/2009BCSC1397.htm

    Kd Dawn
    I can’t believe there is no law to protect a child from bodily harm but an adult can’t have whomever she wants check her cervix

    Jeanice
    Oh my god. How utterly sad.

    Deborah
    Wow, I’m amazed by the comments here…while it’s obvious that the father was completely wrong in his actions, I just don’t see a lot of difference between his thoughts and actions and those of most people. I don’t see anybody calling a parent who pays a dr to do a circumcision warped, twisted, or insane. Yes dr’s have more practice, but they also screw up plenty. I just don’t see a huge difference… I mean is everybody who takes the bible literally insane? The stories in the bible are taught as fact and many of the people in the bible are glorified despite their barbaric actions. There’s not any sunday school teachers calling Abraham nuts for cutting off part of his kids genitals or later putting him on an alter as a sacrifice. I don’t think we’re ever going to change society by name-calling and showing lack of compassion for all involved. The parents need help, not just punishment.
    Jeanice
    I’m in agreement with you Deborah! I truly felt heaviness in my heart when I read about the brain damage of the parents. My mind immediately went to the thought that our entire society is brain damaged due to what is perceived as “normal” at birth — including the insanity of circumcision under any circumstances and believing in and worshiping an entity that demands it.

  5. James Loewen says:

    The defendant did what countless millions have done before, he followed “God’s orders” and made the baby look like daddy. Perhaps what frightens people reading this case is how severe it all seems outside a hospital or synagog. How brutal genital mutilation is when it doesn’t have the phony guise of respectability a rabbi or doctor gives it. No doubt Judge Marion Allan’s ruling this as negligence is to keep us from seeing it and all circumcisions of children for what forced circumcision always is, aggravated sexual assault.

    If the judge had ruled that this was aggravated assault then logically she, and the rest society would have to look at the quack doctors who commit these crimes on non consenting children every day. The reason the defendant got away with it is simple. It’s more important for this judge to keep the status quo, and keep the public from questioning circumcision of children than to actually protect children from this insanity.

    For those who buy the story that the defendant’s religious fanaticism was the result of a brain injury I can’t agree. When does that happen in real life? In real life religious fanaticism always stems from early childhood indoctrination. I believe this man shows all the signs of being seriously abused from early childhood. That’s what this whole thing is about, but nobody want to say it.

  6. Nicole says:

    At least his dad wasn’t Allan Schoenborn.

  7. a confused kid says:

    meh… what some people will do for their religion… this is pretty darn, erm, suckish. crazy people…

  8. Lina says:

    Hi,
    I’m obviously coming rather late to this discussion (just found Gloria’s website tonight and ahve been browsing entries – good stuff!) but there’s something I do need to say. A lot of people have been blaming religion for promoting circumcision; specifically, blaming the “patriarchal” ones, which I assume they mean to include the Catholic Church, of which I am a member. Let one thing be made very clear: as early as the days of the Apostles, circumcision was discontinued as a required practise, and replaced with baptism. While some Catholics do circumcise, those that do so tend live in North America, and that decision is based on societal norms rather than on any religious impetus. In fact, almost all of my Catholic friends here in Canada who have children are adamantly against the practise; those who are okay with it are only so because they’ve never thought about it, and once they’ve been given more information, are generally horrified. Traditionally Catholic areas such as Italy and other countries in Western Europe have very low rates of circumcision. I don’t know enough about the issue to have any idea why the practise is so common here in North America.
    The bottom line is, Circumcision in the Judeo-Christian faith ended with the teachings of Christ; it was a practise of the Old Law (Judaism) and was not carried over into the New Law (Christianity). I don’t know why so many Christian denominations seem to embrace it, but the Catholic Church definitely does not; so please save the religion-bashing for those religions that do practise or require physical mutilation, such as Islam, which not only circumcises the men but also mutilates (far more brutally and life-changingly) women.
    More information here:
    http://www.fisheaters.com/circumcision.html
    http://www.fisheaters.com/circumcision2.html
    Anyway, thus endeth my little rant.

  9. Gloria,

    Where is your share buttons?

    You need to install the plugin for sharing.
    Digg Digg is the one I have on my site.
    If you need assistance with adding a plug-in let me know and I will walk you through it. It would be great if your stuff was easier to share.

    Hugs
    Dar

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