Below is a list of known circumcision tragedies, from the earliest to the most recent. There are no doubt other circumcision tragedies that have never become public knowledge.
“Commonly doctors pronounce infant circumcision a `simple operation
with few risks.´ However, the risks are many and can be devastating and
tragic . . . When viewed in terms of individuals and families involved
in these tragic events — particularly when the operation is
unnecessary — the risks are quite significant.” [Rosemary Romberg,
author of the book CIRCUMCISION- THE PAINFUL DILEMMA, Bergin & Garvey
Publishers, Massachusetts, 1985.]
Courtesy of Petrina Fadel
CIRCUMCISION TRAGEDIES- Known Circumcision Deaths, Botched
Circumcisions, and Unauthorized Circumcisions in the United States and Canada
Julius Katzenstein, 8 days old, bled to death after a ritual
circumcision performed by Dr. Abrams, December 14, 1856- New York, NY.
The first known reported circumcision-related deaths were in New York
City, where circumcision was introduced. The first was Julius
Katzenstein in 1856 and the second was one-week-old Myer Jacob Levy in 1858. Both boys were circumcised by a Dr. Abrams, and the same coroner reviewed both deaths. The coroner found that Abrahams had performed the
surgeries properly, and that the boys died from blood loss as a result of parental neglect. Neither boy had received a follow-up examination.
Myer Jacob Levy, 8 days old, bled to death after a ritual circumcision
performed by Dr. Abrams, April 18, 1858- New York, NY.
April 23, 1858
(section: Police Intelligence)
Death from Circumcision
Coroner Hills held an inquest yesterday at the Sixth Ward Stationhouse, in the case of the child whose death from circumcision was announced in Thursday’s Times. The child, Myer Jacob Levy, (whose parents reside at No. 63 Baxter street,) being eight days old, was circumcised on Sunday
last by Dr. Abrams, of Bleecker street, who performed the operation in the usual manner. A few hours afterwards it was discovered that the bandage was displaced and that the child was bleeding profusely. Dr. Abrams was recalled, but his efforts to stop the hemorrhage were ineffectual. The verdict was; “Death from convulsions, superinduced by
loss of blood following circumcision; further we find that the
operation was rightly performed.”
(Online Archives of the New York Times)
Baby Boy Greisman died November 29, 1903 following a ritual
circumcision by Isaac Halpern. Bleeding was profuse, and Halpern applied carbolic acid, which caused acute disease of the kidneys.
1903 – Dec. 1
JEWISH INFANT’S DEATH The Globe
Toronto, December 1, 1903, p. 12.
Body will be exhumed for an inquest
Child of Louis Greisman died after circumcision-Jacob Halpern performed the operation.
AN INQUEST, which it is expected will have far-reaching results, will be opened to-night at police headquarters on the body of the infant son of Louis Greisman. The child died on Sunday night at 49 Chestnut Street and was buried yesterday in the Jewish Cemetery on Pape avenue. This morning Chief Coroner A. J. Johnson will apply to the Attorney General for an order permitting an undertaker to exhume the remains. Had the
remains not been buried the inquest would have been opened last night.
Chief Coroner Johnson will himself conduct the inquiry.
The report on the case made to the Chief Coroner by Dr. Walter McKeown states that Jacob Halpern, a butcher at 59 Chestnut Street, was called in by the father on Sunday to perform the Jewish rite of circumcision.
After the operation bleeding was so profuse that Halpern applied
carbolic acid, with the result that the child died in terrible agony.
Dr. McKeown, who was called in a short time before the infant’s death, refused the death certificate and referred the whole matter to Chief Coroner Johnson.
1903 – Dec. 2
BABY GREISMAN’S DEATH The Globe
Toronto, December 2, 1903, p. 12.
Isaac Halpern applied too much carbolic acid
Was ignorant of its use-claims to be a rabbi-had 23 years’ experience as a circumcisor.
THE DEATH of baby Greisman was investigated last night by Chief Coroner A. J. Johnson and a jury, who sat for over three hours. The body was viewed at Millard’s undertaking rooms, and, after Dr. McKeown had been examined, an adjournment was made to the Police Court. H. H. Dewart, K.C., represented the Crown.
Dr. Walter McKeown explained to the jury that he issued the burial certificate. Death was due to acute disease of the kidneys caused by the excessive use of carbolic acid. He was present at the birth of the child and at the circumcision. The day after the operation he was called in again to see the child and attended the infant until death occurred on Sunday night. Dr. McKeown thought that Isaac Halpern’s attempt to treat the child without a sufficient knowledge of antiseptics caused the death.
Rabbi Jacobs of the Holy Blossom Synagogue pointed out that under the Jewish law circumcision has to be performed the eighth day after birth.
He described at length the mode of operation which had been in
existence for 3,000 years. The Chief Rabbi of the British Empire twelve years ago formulated a set of rules for the guidance of circumcisors.
In Canada there is no special training. All that is required is that
the circumcisor be a conscientious Jew.
Isaac Halpern, who performed the circumcision, told the jury how he did the operation on baby Greisman. He had 23 years’ experience and never had a death before. Although he had no certificate to act, he believed that he was full qualified. He had performed three operations last week and had a like number for this week. Halpern declared that he was a
Rabbi. When there were very few Jews in Toronto he performed the marriage ceremony and other duties of a Rabbi. At the present time he kills all the cattle for his congregation to see if the meat is fit food.
Dr. John Caven, who conducted the autopsy, said that the condition found in the body was consistent with death from carbolic acid poisoning, the poison having been applied externally.
The jury’s verdict was as follows: “That the child came to his death from the excessive application of carbolic acid, and that Isaac Halpern was culpably ignorant of the use of carbolic acid.”
Baby Boy Rosenweig´s Death- April 1926
NY Times Archives
April 24, 1926
Deaths of Two Babies Laid to Brandy Given To Quiet Them in a Brooklyn Hospital
Suspicion that a mixture containing impure brandy resulted in the
deaths of two children in the Brooklyn Maternity Hospital, 298 South Second Street, Brooklyn, caused the Medical Examiner to have the bodies removed to the Kings County Morgue last night, where an autopsywill be performed today by Dr. Martin.
The children who died were a girl, born three days ago to Mrs. Ida Cooper of 276 South First Street, Brooklyn, and the eight-day-old son of Mrs. Abraham Block, to whom some of the mixture was also given,became ill yesterday afternoon and was taken home.
The Block baby was circumcised on Wednesday evening by Rabbi Gustav Spund of 322 East Third Street, Manhattan. The child was fretful andthe rabbi gave him a drink of brandy, water and sugar to quiet him.
Miss Lillian Reynolds, a nurse, asked the rabbi what the mixture
contained and he told her and explained why he had given it.
Miss Reynolds said that on Wednesday night when the Cooper and Rosenweig children became fretful she gave them a drink similar to
that given by the rabbi to the Block baby. All three children became ill on Thursday afternoon.
The Cooper girl developed convulsions and Dr. Medelowitz of 496
Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, the family physician, was summoned for the girl and Dr. Blaustein of 371 Rodney Street, Brooklyn, was called forthe Rosenweig baby. Neither physician gave the babies any medicine.
Later in the night both babies died. Frank Dematto, superintendent of the hospital, on learning of the circumstances, notified the MedicalExaminers’ Office and an autopsy was ordered.
Rabbi Spund said last night that he got the brandy which he gave to the Block baby. He said the practice of giving such stimulant from the hospital’s supply was common.
April 25, 1926
Doubts Babies Died of Whisky Pacifier
Brooklyn Medical Examiner Finds No Traces of Disease–Analysis for Poison to Be Made.
Dr. M. E. Martin, Medical Examiner in Brooklyn, performed autopsies yesterday upon the bodies of two children who died on Thursday in the Brooklyn Maternity Hospital, and announced that he thought it
extremely unlikely that the babies had died from a mixture of whisky and water and sugar given to them at the hospital. However, chemical analysis will be made for traces of any poisonous element.
The children were a five-day-old daughter of Mrs. Nathan Cooper of 276 South First Street, and a son, eight days old, of Mrs. Max Rosenzweig [sic] of 170 Clymer Street, both of Brooklyn. Miss Lillian Reynolds, a nurse at the hospital, said she had given the mixture to the children as a pacifier, at the suggestion of Rabbi Gustav Spund of 322 East Third Street, Manhattan.
Dr. George Ruger of the District Attorney’s office was present at theautopsies performed in the morgue at King’s County Hospital. Dr. Martin found no traces of disease in the bodies. He did find, he said, that hypodermic injections, probably of adrenalin, had been given to both children, just over the heart, possibly to stimulate the heart action when death was imminent. The hospital kept no record of medication, he said.
May 1, 1926
[sic] Finds Paraldehyde Killed Two Infants
Deaths in Brooklyn Hospital Not Due to Brandy, Bellevue Toxicologist Says.
A paraldehyde sleeping potion and not brandy caused the death of an infant girl and an infant boy in the Brooklyn Maternity Hospital last Thursday, according to an announcement yesterday by Dr. Alexander O. Gettler, toxicologist at Bellevue, who made a chemical analysis of the infants’ organs.
The infants, a three-day-old girl born to Mrs. Ida Cooper of 276 South First Street and an eight-day-old boy, son of Mrs. Ellen Rosenzwei [sic], became ill at the same time that another child, the ten-day-old son of Mrs. Abraham Block, took sick. Rabbi Gustav Spund circumcised the Block baby and gave him a mixture of brandy, water, and sugar to quiet him. A nurse in the hospital administered a similar dose to the two other children when they became restless. The Block [baby]
recovered but the two other infants died the next day.
Dr. Gettler said the organs of both children contained a large amount of acetaldehyde, derived from paraldehyde. He did not believe the alcohol could have caused the deaths because only a small quantity of brandy had been administered and the infants had lived for twenty-four hours. The alcohol, he said, would work itself off in that time.
Dr. M. E. Martin, Medical Examiner of Brooklyn, submitted the finding to District Attorney Dodd, who said last night that he would not make any statement concerning the case until today.
08/21/1927 BALDWIN, Michael Julian 4 days Hemorrhage following circumcision; was circumcised on August 20 afternoon and died during the early morning of August 21.
Coroner’s Reports 1896 – 1935 Monroe County, Indiana
Roland Albert McCarty, infant boy, death by infection beginning in
circumcision wound, 1932, Jacksonville, FL
Personal Account by Van Lewis of Florida: Roland Albert McCarty was the baby brother of the Rev. Barnum McCarty, a retired Episcopal priest from Jacksonville, Florida, whom I have known since my childhood in the 1940´s and 1950´s. In the early 2000´s, Barnum told me the story of his brother’s death. Roland Albert died as a result of an infection that
started in his circumcision wound. Barnum said that his mother “never got over it.”
Bruce Wechsler was severely injured by a staph infection following infant circumcision in 1957. He has endured 14 operations and had half of his brain removed.
New hospice center to serve severely disabled
By Stacey Burling Inquirer (Philadelphia) Staff Writer
Elwyn, a Delaware County nonprofit that provides services for people with disabilities, is embarking on its first major new building in 19 years.
The building will have Bruce Wechsler’s name on it.
His parents, Alan and Laura Wechsler of Center City, see Bruce Wechsler Hall as a way for their son, who was severely disabled as a child by a staph infection, to be remembered. It will house 36 people who need intensive medical care when it opens next summer.
“Everybody makes their mark in life, and we wanted him to be able to make his mark in life,” said Laura Wechsler, who at 75 still works as a psychotherapist. “This hall is something that will carry his name and be important for a lot of people.” Alan Wechsler, now retired, owned Cherry Hill Photo.
The Wechslers gave the lead donation – $1 million – for the $11.5 million project, which will house people with physical and cognitive disabilities such as mental retardation and cerebral palsy who need significant nursing care. Many will be older, but some may be young people who are ailing or dying, said Sandy Cornelius, Elwyn’s president. Elwyn will provide hospice services.
Cornelius said the first residents would be people already living at
Elwyn, but the facility eventually could serve people from other
agencies. Advocates believe too many people with mental retardation are in nursing homes.
“There is no hospice program that’s really welcoming to this
population,” Cornelius said. The new hall “may end up becoming a
regional center for certain kinds of conditions.”
Cornelius said people with disabilities live much longer now than they used to and need a new kind of facility. The new building on Elwyn’s Media campus will have two 18-unit wings with wider-than-usual halls and doorways. There will be extensive space for family visitation, treatment, and dining.
When Bruce Wechsler arrived at Elwyn at age 8, there were bars on the windows.
Born healthy, he developed a staph infection after his circumcision. The infection spread through his blood to his brain. He had to have 14 operations, including one that removed half his brain.
His mother estimates that his brain operates at the level of a first grader, but he has far more sophisticated social skills. Alan Wechsler described his son as happy and outgoing.
When he was younger, Bruce Wechsler could run and play basketball. Now 52, he needs a wheelchair and is paralyzed in one arm but is not yet sick enough to move to the building that will bear his name.
“I think that he’s going to have to eventually move into that
facility,” his mother said.
Contact staff writer Stacey Burling at 215-854-4944 or
Walter Joseph Witkoski, Jr., was severely injured by infant
circumcision in 1965. His family received a $733,000 damage award on May 7, 1974 in Baltimore, Maryland. Walter would be 46 years old today.
May 8, 1974
$733,000 Damage Awarded Boy in Faulty Circumcision
Baltimore, May 7 (AP)– A Superior Court jury has awarded $$733,000 in damages to an 8-year-old Baltimore boy who was the victim of faulty circumcision in 1965.
The jury of eight men and four women deliberated less than one and a half hours yesterday before awarding the damages to Walter Joseph Witkowski Jr. The boy’s mother, Virginia Witkowski, was awarded an additional $1,300 damages for medical expenses.
The verdict was against the estate of Dr. Leon Greenwald, an
obstetrician and gynecologist who died in 1968.
(Online Archives of the New York Times)
Chino Burrell, 7 months old, died by circumcision on June 9, 1974 at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. He was circumcised for a tight foreskin, which is normal in infancy. If Chino were still alive, he´d be 37 years old today.
W2 THE GLOBE AND MAIL, THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 1975
Baby´s heart stopped during circumcision
Special to The Globe and Mail
KITCHENER- Doctors at South Waterloo Memorial Hospital in Cambridge had to revive an infant on the operating table last spring after his heart stopped during a circumcision operation.
A coroner´s inquest was told yesterday that the 7-month-old boy´s heart was restarted by external massage and breathing induced by aerating his lungs. But Chino Burrell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Burrell of Cambridge, died three days later in the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
There was no testimony on the first day about the cause of death. The inquest continues this morning.
The baby was taken to the Cambridge hospital June 6 for circumcision, which was recommended by the family doctor, Dr. Lea M. Amog. She said the foreskin was tight enough to warrant the operation, described by the hospital´s chief of surgery, Dr. James E. De Roche, as a “minor operation” usually incurring little risk.
Dr. De Roche said that after he applied the clamp that draws the
foreskin into position for surgery he was advised by anesthetist Dr. Ross Howson that the patient´s heart had stopped. The child had been under anesthetic about 15 minutes.
Specialists in the hospital were called while Dr. De Roche massaged the boy´s heart area and Dr. Howson forced oxygen into his lungs.
Dr. John Wa, a baby specialist, testified that he opened a vein on the infant´s wrist, to inject an alkalyne solution to balance acididic condition that results from a shortage of oxygen in the blood.
Dr. De Roche told Coroner J. M. Campbell of Kitchener and the jury that he finished the operation, “though the lungs didn´t take over with a good deep breath.”
Dr. Howson used the anesthetic fluothane, a variety of halothane.
Dr. De Roche said outside the inquest that the chief coroner´s office has been discouraging the use of the drug since it might affect the liver when used over a prolonged period.
The baby was given an injection of atrophine about an hour before the operation started. Dr. Howson said the drug is used to reduce saliva secretions but has a side effect of speeding up the heart.
Another drug also was used, Anectine, a muscle relaxant that allows the insertion of oxygen tubes down the infant´s throat without causing the usual automatic gag spasms over the vocal chords.
But he said this drug has the side effect of slowing down the heart, occasionally “to the point of arrest.”
This boy was “sex-changed” to a girl after his botched circumcision in 1973. $850,000 in damages was awarded in late October or early November 1975 in Seattle, Washington. “She” would be 38 years old today.
November 2, 1975
Family Is Awarded $850,000 for Circumcision Accident
Seattle, Nov. 1 (UPI)- The family of a 3-year-old girl who was born a boy has been awarded $850,000 for medical malpractice during a circumcision.
The military doctor performing the operation when the baby was five months old burned the central area so badly during the circumcision, normally a routine operation, that specialists eventually advised changing the child’s sex to female, testimony in the two-day trial this week before Judge Walter McGovern of Federal District Court revealed.
Judge McGovern, noting that the child had undergone eight operations to date and faced several more as she matured, expressed concern for the child and her parents in awarding damages.
The child received $750,000 of the judgment and the parents $100,000.
Compensation also was ordered by Judge McGovern for the child’s medical bills, which exceed $30,000.
(Online Archives of the New York Times)
THE DES MOINES REGISTER, Des Moines,
Saturday, November 20, 1982.
Grand jury to probe death of baby after circumcision
By PETER RACHTER
Register Staff Writer
A Polk County grand jury will decide if anyone is to blame for the
bleeding death of a Des Moines infant 10 days ago, a city police
official said Friday.
Lt. Ed Harlan said a police investigation into the death
three-month-old Christopher Dolezal, who died after excessive blood loss following a circumcision, showed that the child’s parents might have used “poor judgment.” But he said it would be up to grand jurors to decide if criminal charges should be filed.
Family members have declined to comment on the baby’s death.
The child was circumcised at the East Des Moines Family Health Care Center at 840 E. University Avenue on Nov. 8 two days before his death.
Despite heavy bleeding, the child’s parents Frank T. and Katherine Dolezal of 2535 Clarkson Ave., did not seek hospital treatment until about 1 a.m. Nov. 9. By that time the child had gone through more than 20 bloody diapers, according to the Polk County medical examiner’s office.
On Friday, a deputy medical examiner said an autopsy revealed that the infant had suffered four broken ribs and a broken right arm before death. Dr. Emmanuel Lacsina said some of the broken bones had healed.
Others were in various stages of healing, he said.
Lacsina said he doubted that the injuries occurred during the child’s premature birth. Family members said the baby was not circumcised shortly after birth, as is customary, because he was born prematurely.
Lacsina said he had hoped that microscopic examinations of the child’s liver would turn up a clue on why he bled extensively after what normally is a simple surgical procedure. Lacsina said individuals with liver problems sometimes have blood-clotting problems, too. But the tests revealed no abnormal condition or disease, Lacsina said.
The infant’s aunt, Norma Fitch, told reporters that the family
understood the child’s doctor to say there would be bleeding for about
But Dr. Harold Moessner, who supervises the clinic residency program, denied that any physician would have made such a statement. Moessner on Friday declined to comment further or to reveal the name of the
physician who performed the circumcision.
Jacob Sweet should be 25 years old today.
Wednesday March 8, 6:30 pm Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Johnson Flora
Betrayed by Doctors and Lawyers in Alaska, Sweets Find Justice Through Seattle Malpractice Attorney
SEATTLE, March 8 PRNewswire — Johnson Flora today issued the following statement:
When Jacob Sweet was born at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska in January 1986, it was a dream come true for his parents, Beverly and Gary. But their dream took a nightmarish turn only nine days later when they took their son back to the hospital for treatment of an infected circumcision and the hospital returned a severely brain-damaged and
blind child. The nightmare continued for 13 years and included“lost” medical records and an Alaska lawyer who claimed to be an experienced
medical malpractice attorney, but who had never tried a malpractice case. This is the story behind a major legal malpractice settlement
announced today between a Bothell, Wash., family and the Alaska law firm that handled the Sweet’s medical malpractice lawsuit against Providence Hospital of Anchorage and the pediatrician who treated Jacob for the infection.
The settlement ends a 13-year battle for the Sweets who were forced to fight for their son in the court system on two occasions. First, they sought justice from the hospital and doctor who allegedly caused Jacob’s injuries, and who then “lost” the medical records critical to
proving Jacob’s case. Then, after Alaska lawyer Alan Sherry mishandled the Sweets’ medical malpractice case, they were forced to once again resort to the courts to get justice for Jacob.
Seattle attorney Mark Johnson represented the Sweets in the legal malpractice suit, arguing the Sweet’s first attorney misrepresented himself as a seasoned malpractice lawyer and then failed to properly try the Sweets’ medical negligence case. The Sweets had hired Sherry to sue Providence Hospital of Anchorage for negligent care of Jacob during his hospital stay.
The amount awarded to the Sweets is confidential as part of the
“This has been tragedy at every turn for this family,” Johnson said.
“First the healthcare system devastated their child. Then, when the Sweets most needed an aggressive, experienced and competent lawyer, an attorney with no malpractice experience misled them and failed to properly try the case. That cost them their opportunity to recover damages from the hospital and the pediatrician,” he added.
The Underlying Medical Malpractice Case
The Sweet’s tragedy started on January 25, 1986, in Anchorage, Alaska, when they brought their nine-day-old son Jacob back to Providence Hospital after he exhibited signs of an infected circumcision. Jacob was admitted to the pediatric ward and displayed seizure activity for 24 hours, but their pediatrician, Dr. Daniel Tulip, was absent most of the time and failed to refer Jacob to a neonatologist until after Jacob
had suffered the brain damage that would leave him physically
devastated, developmentally delayed, and utterly dependent for the rest of his life.
Injustice Served Twice
The Sweet’s calamity compounded when the Alaska law firm they hired to try their medical malpractice suit improperly handled the case.
According to Johnson, the lawsuit hinged on the fact that Jacob’s medical records disappeared shortly after this tragic episode in the hospital, suggesting that someone was trying to cover up a negligent act. Sweet’s first legal team failed to present this evidence properly, although they had key witnesses prepared to present the opinion that the records must have been intentionally destroyed, claims Johnson. The Sweets lost the suit, and with it all hope of recovering damages from
the hospital that would cover the costs of lifelong care for Jacob’s severe injuries.
Racked with guilt and with mounting medical bills, the Sweets hired Mark Johnson to represent them in an action for legal negligence, because of his dual experience in medical and legal malpractice cases.
“To me the Sweets are heroic figures,” Johnson said. “In order to right a terrible wrong — the catastrophic injury to their son — they confronted two of society’s most powerful institutions: the medical system and the legal system. They fought for 13 years until they prevailed.”
Legal malpractice cases are difficult to prove, because the plaintiff must not only prove the defendant attorney was negligent, but that the client would have won the case if the attorney had acted differently, according to the International Association of Defense Counsel.
“This brings some peace-of-mind to our lives, although we are still convinced that Jacob’s doctor and the hospital have never told the truth,” said Beverly Sweet. “At least now we can provide for Jacob’s medical care and future.”
Mark Johnson is the co-owner of Johnson Flora, a legal and medical malpractice firm in Seattle. Johnson has significant experience in representing children and families who have been harmed as a result of preventable birth and neonatal injuries and is listed in the book “The Best Lawyers In America” for his work in legal malpractice law.
CONTACT: Rhenda Meiser of Firmani & Associates, 206-443-9357
206-443-9357 or 206-443-7546 206-443-7546 , for
[For photographs of Jacob Sweet, see:
LAKE CHARLES AMERICAN PRESS, Lake Charles, Louisiana,
Wednesday, May 28, 1986.
FAMILY GETS $2.75 MILLION IN WRONGFUL SURGERY SUIT
by Vincent Lupo
American Press Staff Writer
The family of a young boy, whose penis had to be amputated after it was severely burned during a routine circumcision performed at a state-run hospital, was awarded $2.75 million by a jury in 14th Judicial District Court.
Jurors made the award against the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the LSU Board of Supervisors. The family of the boy asked that they not be named.
According to testimony during the week-long civil trial before Judge L. E. Hawsey Jr., the boy who was 2 years old at the time, was to undergo a routine circumcision at W. O. Moss Regional Hospital on February 2, 1984.
A third-year surgical resident undergoing training through the LSU medical program supervised the operation in which an electrosurgical instrument manufactured by Valley Lab of Boulder, Colo., was used. The device, commonly used to stop bleeding during surgery, can cut tissue through heat transmitted by an electric current.
During the surgery which was actually performed by another resident under the supervision of the surgical resident, the boy´s penis was severely burned. Internal damage to blood vessels apparently also occurred and kept vital oxygen from reaching the tissue of the organ, which had to be removed later after the child was transferred to a New Orleans hospital.
Doctors in New Orleans strongly suggested that the parents allow them to perform a sex change operation on the toddler, but they refused. The boy´s urinary tract was rerouted during several subsequent surgeries both here and in New Orleans, and he now urinates through a hole located where his penis had been.
His parents sued the state and Valley Lab. Neither doctor was named as a defendant. The family claimed the manufacturer of the surgical device failed to adequately warn doctors of the harm which could be caused by the instrument.
The trial was bifurcated which means a portion was decided by Judge Hawsey and portion was decided by the jurors. Because juries are composed of citizens of the state, jurors are not allowed to decide any suit or part of a suit naming a state agency as defendant.
Therefore Judge Hawsey determined the liability of the state, while the jurors decided the liability of Valley Lab.
While jurors deliberated on their verdict, Judge Hawsey rendered his decision against the state. He found both DHHR and the LSU Board of Supervisors liable in the case.
The judge awarded a total of $18,969 in special damages to the boys parents for medical expenses and $100,000 in general damages, and $1.73 million to the victim.
In his oral ruling, Judge Hawsey said he felt Valley Labs was not
negligent in providing warnings about the surgical instrument.
Jurors, however disagreed and determined Valley Lab was 30 percent responsible for the injuries to the child.
The juries awarded the boy a total of $2.75 million.
Local attorney David A. Fraser, who represented the family, said the higher figure awarded by the jury is considered the amount of the judgement.
Since the state has a $500,000 limit stipulated by state law regarding its insurance coverage, Valley Lab apparently must assume the payment of the remainder. However, Valley Lab can attempt to recover 70 percent of that remainder since jurors found that defendant only 30 percent liable, Fraser said.
The attorney said he feels certain the defendants will appeal the
decisions to higher courts.
If Steven Christopher Chacon were alive today, he´d be 24 years old.
San Francisco Examiner, Friday, November 28, 1986: Page B-17.
An unwed couple whose garbage-strewn apartment allegedly caused the death of their 15-day-old son have been charged with felony child
endangerment and involuntary manslaughter, a Los Angeles prosecutor says. Lori Ann Needham, 20, and Christopher Tomas Chacon, 22, were charged Wednesday after the death of Steven Christopher Chacon, who died in his crib three days after being circumcised, Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Loveman said. He said the baby died from “exposure to filth,” which infected the unhealed circumcision. Chacon, an auto
mechanic, and Needham were originally booked for investigation of felony child endangerment and released on bail. But the additional involuntary manslaughter charge was filed Wednesday after further investigation, Loveman said.”
Antonio and “Baby Doe” (who underwent a sex change) were severely
injured by circumcision in 1985. They should be 26 years old today.
ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, Atlanta, Georgia,
Tuesday, March 12, 1991.
$22.8 MILLION IN BOTCHED CIRCUMCISION
By Charles Seabrook
Northside Hospital will pay $22.8 million to a boy severely injured in a circumcision accident at the hospital nearly six years ago, attorneys for the child said Monday.
However, Northside spokeswoman Karen Koch denied that a final
settlement had been reached and declined to comment further.
The child, who is not 5 years old, had his penis severely burned in a mishap in August 1985. His attorneys said he will never be able to function sexually as a normal male and will require extensive reconstructive surgery and psychological counseling as well as lifelong urological care and treatment by infectious disease specialists.
A second infant who underwent a circumcision at Northside on the same day also was severely injured. That child, known as “Baby Doe” underwent a sex-change operation shortly after the accident, and “consequently is now a female person, who has been rendered sterile and completely incapable of reproduction,” said a lawsuit filed in the child’s behalf. That lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount,
Northside officials said.
Thomas G. Sampson, attorney for the first child, named Antonio, said Northside has agreed to pay the child $22.8 million in several
installments over the next several years.
Mr. Sampson said he did not know why Northside has denied that the case has been settled.
“It’s settled, I can guarantee you that,” said Mr. Sampson, who added that the settlement was approved Friday in DeKalb County Probate Court.
The settlement is one of the largest even in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia, he said. The parents of the child already had settled with the doctor who performed the circumcision, and Mr. Sampson said the total amount of money in the case is in excess of $23.8 million.
The circumcision occurred at the hospital on the day the boy was born. Mr. Sampson and fellow attorneys alleged violations of hospital protocol and the use of inappropriate equipment for the circumcision.
The hospital’s usual equipment for circumcision was out of service the day the infant was born, and doctors instead used an electrosurgical unit “that was contraindicated for use” in infant circumcisions, the lawsuit alleged.
Antonio already has undergone several operations, and a series of reconstructive operations, now under way, are expected to continue for at least nine years until he is 15 years old, his attorneys said.
October 8, 1985
Of the type of injury that occurred in Atlanta, Dr. George A. Kaplan, a pediatric urologist in San Diego, said, ”I am aware of about six or eight cases.” There does not appear to be any general reporting system for these injuries so there is no real way of knowing how many more cases, if any, have occurred.
Last year, a court in Georgia awarded $5 million to the family of an infant in Sylvester, Ga., who was similarly burned four years ago in a circumcision procedure involving an electrocautery device.
More recently, a 1976 article in The Journal of Pediatric Surgery
discussed the reconstruction of the penis of a 3-year-old child who suffered third-degree burns in a circumcision procedure using an electrocautery needle.
If Allen Ervin were alive today, he´d be 25 years old.
THE STATE, Columbia, South Carolina, Page F21, July 10, 1992.
BOY IN COMA MOST OF HIS 6 YEARS DIES
The Associated Press
Spartanburg, South Carolina. A boy who was in a coma for more than six
years while a legal battle raged around him has died. But the legal
fighting will continue.
Allen A. Ervin was born in July 1985 and had been on life support since
December 1985, when his brain was damaged from oxygen deprivation
He died at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, three
weeks before his 7th birthday. Doctors said he suddenly suffered severe
heart problems, his mother, Stacey Stroble, said.
The Anesthesiologists who attended to Allen during the circumcision
settled the case for $435,000 and agreed to lifetime payment of his
Spartanburg County Probate Court officials are overseeing the estate.
Lawyer Charles Rice, who is in charge of investing the money, says a
judge will have to decide who gets it.
It angers Stroble, 21, who has two young daughters, that she may have
to hire another attorney to file a claim for her son’s estate.
“The money’s not my concern right now,” she said. “But I have to pay
for the funeral. I don’t think that’s right.”
Allen’s medical problems began when oxygen was pushed into his stomach,
instead of his lungs, court records showed. Anesthesiologists inserted
a tube into the baby’s stomach to relieve the pressure but administered
three times the recommended dosage of a drug to slow his abnormally
high heart rate, stopping it.
He was revived 30 minutes later but never regained consciousness,
although Stroble said Allen’s eyes and head often followed the voices
of people visiting him in his hospital room.
The legal problems began before that, however.
Stroble was 14 years old and unmarried when she gave birth to Allen. At
the request of her mother, Maggie Ervin, a Family Court judge in
October 1985 placed both mother and child in the custody of the South
Carolina Department of Social Services.
The custody disputes and guardianship fights went through seven state
and federal courts, including the state Supreme Court and the U.S. 4th
Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
If Demetrius Manker were alive today, he´d be 18 years old.
BABY BLEEDS TO DEATH AFTER CIRCUMCISION
Miami, June 26, 1993
The Miami Herald reported the death of 6 month old Carol City baby,
Demetrius Manker. Manker bled to death after being circumcised.
“I can’t express the way it has affected me emotionally,” the child’s
mother, Louise Manker, said. “It’s something I’ll never get over. This
was my last child.” A Miami pediatrician circumcised 25-pound Demetrius
Manker in his office. After his mother took him home, she saw he was
bleeding from the incision.
Manker subsequently called the doctor several times, according to their
attorney, Patrick Cordero.
“One of the instructions was that she put Vaseline around the penis
area to stop the bleeding.” Cordero said, “she followed the
instructions to the letter.”
Louise Manker’s sister grew so alarmed by his continued bleeding that
she called paramedics, Cordero said. He was pronounced dead at the
An autopsy showed that his liver and other organs had gone pale from
the loss of blood, said Dade [County] Chief Medical Examiner Dr.
“The message to get across is that this is weird, unusual,” Wetli said.
“I’ve done close to six thousand autopsies and this is the first I’ve
seen where a baby died from circumcision. It’s probably the safest
procedure you could think of.
An autopsy revealed a seemly normal circumcision, Wetli said.
The doctor who performed the surgery, Robert D. Young, said the
circumcision had gone well. “I would not have let him go home if I
didn’t think so. Medical examiners will confirm the soundness of the
Authorities say they will try to determine if the baby suffered from
some rare disease that prevented his blood from coagulating. It’s also
possible that Louise Manker did not understand the extent of the
bleeding, especially because a baby has a fraction of an adult’s blood
supply, Wetli said.
“There’s two parts to the story,” the deputy medical examiner said, Why
was the child bleeding? And secondly what was the level of
communication if the mother said he’s bleeding but didn’t say how much.
William Stowell is just one of many men who wish they could sue their
circumcisers for their “normal” circumcisions.
MEN’S NEWS DAILY, April 29, 2003.
Doctor and Hospital Settle Circumcision Lawsuit
Stage Set for Men to Sue for Being Circumcised as Infants
SUFFOLK COUNTY, New York – After a two-and-a-half year legal battle
with Plaintiff William G. Stowell, the doctor and hospital have settled
the landmark circumcision case brought against them. The terms of the
settlements have not been publicly disclosed. Twenty-one-year old
Stowell filed suit December 19, 2000, in the U. S. District Court for
the Eastern District of New York, against the hospital where he was
circumcised and the physician who circumcised him as a newborn.
Stowell, born on December 22, 1981, in West Islip, NY, was circumcised
the following day by his mother’s obstetrician. This case presented the
issue of the legal validity of consent for circumcision obtained by a
nurse from a mother who was debilitated by the effects of a Caesarian
section and painkillers. It also questioned whether a physician could
legally and ethically remove healthy, normal tissue from a
non-consenting minor for non-therapeutic reasons.
David J. Llewellyn, one of Plaintiff Stowell’s attorneys, said,
“William and I are very happy that we were able to resolve this case
with both the hospital and the doctor. While a settlement is never an
admission of liability, I believe it shows that our allegations were
taken seriously. Never again can someone say that a young man who is
dissatisfied with his circumcision as an infant is being frivolous when
he objects to his mutilation and brings suit to obtain justice. This
case should send a message to doctors that they run the risk of a
lawsuit each time they circumcise an infant for non-therapeutic
reasons, particularly when they rely on the hospital to obtain consent
the day after birth. Social or cosmetic concerns provide no
justification for harmful surgery. I would expect that this is just
the first of many cases that will be brought by angry circumcised young
men against their circumcisers.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) first acknowledged that there
was no medical justification for routine circumcision in 1971. In 1999,
the AAP reaffirmed that it does not recommend routine circumcision.
The American Medical Association concurred in 2000, calling routine
circumcision “non-therapeutic.” No national or international medical
organization recommends routine circumcision.
Flesh and blood: perspectives on the problem of circumcision in
contemporary society- By Frederick Mansfield Hodges, Marilyn Fayre Milos
“Penile Torts in the Courts” – David Llewellyn, Chapter 6, pages 69 – 79.
“Since the presentation of this paper, the William Stowell case was
settled out of court and William Haynes became the second
eighteen-year-old male to file a lawsuit against the doctor and
hospital for having circumcised him.”
There is information about two unauthorized circumcision lawsuits from
1963 and 1967 under REFERENCES – 2.
This African-American boy should be 17 years old today.
MASSACHUSETTS LAWYERS WEEKLY, Boston, December 8, 2003
Verdicts & Settlements
Circumcision Is Botched, Repair Never Recommended
$1.26 Million Settlement
On Sept. 3, 1994, two days after the birth of a healthy,
African-American baby boy, the defendant pediatrician visited the
child’s parents and offered to perform an elective circumcision. While
the mother was initially reluctant, she claimed that she was ultimately
persuaded by the defendant that circumcision was medically advisable.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant never mentioned or noted any
pre-existing condition or anomaly that added any additional risk to the
circumcision procedure. The defendant reportedly assured the parents
that he had successfully performed numerous circumcisions in the past
On Sept. 3, 1994, the defendant performed an elective neonatal
circumcision on the minor using a Mogen clamp.
During the procedure, the defendant inadvertently amputated a portion
of the minor’s glans penis. The defendant attempted to repair the
damage by closing a portion of the glans with three 5-0 chromic
sutures. As a result, the minor sustained a loss of tissue on his glans
penis, measuring 5 by 4 millimeters.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant did not request or otherwise
recommend surgical repair by a pediatric surgeon, which, the
plaintiff’s expert was prepared to testify, would likely have improved
the cosmetic result and reduced the degree of resulting hypospadias.
Type of action: Medical Malpractice
Injuries alleged: Partial amputation of tip of glans penis
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case #: U.S. District Court (case no. withheld) Tried before
judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Name of judge: Michael A. Ponsor
Amount of settlement: $1.26 million structured settlement (present day
value of $550,000 cash) Date: Aug. 5, 2003
Attorneys: Eric J. Parker and Susan M. Bourque, Parker Scheer, Boston
(for the plaintiff)
HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Friday, July 28, 1995, page 28A
BOY’S DEATH TO BE PROBED
Physician is suspended
by Lydia Sum and Ruth Sorelle
Saying they fear a “serious and immediate threat to public health,”
Texas Department of Health Officials sought permission Friday to
investigate the death of a 5-year-old boy after a circumcision.
Meanwhile, Doctor’s Hospital-Airline has suspended the anesthesiologist present during the July 18 circumcision, pending outcome of a peer review investigation and final autopsy of Jeremie Johnson.
The boy died Tuesday after a week in a coma and on life support.
Dr. T. Jose Tovar was suspended July 18, said Doctor’s Hospital
spokeswoman Jan Haines.
Family members said they brought the boy to the hospital that day for
the 30-minute procedure but he stopped breathing afterward and had to be resuscitated.
A secretary for Tovar said the physician declined comment. Haines
called the suspension routine in such instances.
Dr. Tovar has had many good years at this hospital,” she said. “He has
always been in good standing here and many know him in his field.”
In Austin, spokeman David Vaughn said TDH officials asked the federal
Health Care Finance Administration, which oversees Medicaid payments to find out why the boy died.
The heath department’s bureau of heath care quality and standards and the HCFA share responsibility to monitor patients’ treatment in Texas hospitals, Vaughn said.
He says he expects the investigation to begin early next week.
The boy’s mother, British Gaines, expressed frustration Friday at the
lack of explanation as to why he went into a coma.
Preliminary autopsy results only described the boy’s medical condition
when he was transferred to Texas Children’s on July 18, Gaines said.
Final results are not expected for another eight weeks.
“It’s very sad because I was thinking we’d actually find out something,
but there are just these big, medical terms that don’t tell us anything
we don’t already know,” said Gaines, 23.
In recent years, fewer boys have been circumcised because of
conflicting medical opinion as to its necessity. But in some cases,
medical conditions make it necessary.
Gaines said she thought the procedure on her son was successful until
Dr. Michael Morris, who performed the circumcision told her the boys
heart had stopped and he had resuscitated him.
Johnson was immediately transferred to Texas Children’s, where he was
in intensive care until his family decided to have him removed from a
Gaines said Morris visited her son at Texas Children’s to examine the
result of the circumcision. She said Tovar also visited them at Texas
Children’s on July 18.
He said he was sorry, that he didn’t know what happened, and patted me
on the back,” Gaines said.
Tovar graduated from medical school in Bogota, Colombia, according to
the Texas Board of Medical Examiners and has been licensed in the
United States since August 15, 1970. Board records show no disciplinary
actions against him.
FAMILY AWAITS AUTOPSY REPORT
by Lydia Lum and Ruth Sorelle Autopsy reports may be released today
explaining why a 5-year-old boy died this week after a circumcision.
Doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital removed Jeremie Johnson from a
respirator Tuesday, said Brenda Gaines, the boys great-aunt. He had
been in a coma for a week, she said.
Gaines said the ordeal began July 18, when she and his mother, British
Gaines took the boy to Doctor’s Hospital-Airline for a circumcision.
Brenda Gaines said they believed the 30-minute procedure went
successfully until a doctor told them the boy’s heart had stopped in
the operating room shortly after the operation.
The doctors resuscitated the boy and put him on a respirator, Gaines
said. He was taken by Life Flight helicopter to Texas Children’s she
She said the boy never woke up.
“At first we thought he was just sick because he just looked like he
was asleep. Brenda Gaines said. “But the doctors said he was cold as
Jeremie remained in intensive care for a week and his mother kept a
continuous vigil that resulted in her losing her waitress job, Gaines
said. Doctors at Texas Children’s hospital had given the boy a 50-50
chance of awakening, she said.
Doctor’s Hospital officials are investigating Jeremie’s death,
according to a statement issued by B. Lee Brown, the hospital
We offer our deepest condolences to the family of Jeremie Johnson,”
said B. Lee Brown. “We have begun an in-depth review of the case to
learn more about this tragedy. We hope to obtain additional information
from Texas Children’s Hospital to assist us in our investigation.”
Doctors Hospital refused further comment. Texas Children’s spokeswoman
knew little about the boy’s case.
This Russian boy should be 24 years old today.
FOX TELEVISION NEWS AND ASSOCIATED PRESS, November 30, 1995.
Boy awarded $1.2 million in botched circumcision mutilation lawsuit
NEW YORK (AP) — A clinic has agreed to pay $1.2 million to an
8-year-old immigrant boy who was mutilated during a botched
circumcision five years ago, his lawyer said.
The settlement was reached a month after a civil trial began in state
Supreme Court on allegations the boy, then 3, lost part of his penis
during the operation, according to his attorney, Mark Pruzan.
The boy and his family, who asked that their names be withheld, are
Russian immigrants who were referred to the Brook Plaza Surgical
Ambulatory Center in Brooklyn by agencies that help new Jewish
The clinic’s attorney, Neil Ptashnik, was quoted in Wednesday’s Daily
News as saying that the settlement was “a business decision” that
carried “specifically no admission of guilt.”
The boy was one of 16 children who underwent circumcision at the
Brooklyn clinic in July 1990.
The clinic, a doctor and the rabbi who performed the operation were
being sued for causing “permanent shortening and disfigurement of the
During the trial, experts testified that the mutilation would make
sexual intercourse difficult when the boy reaches maturity, according
to Wednesday’s New York Post.
Under Jewish religious law, ritual circumcision – or bris – is
performed on 8-day-old boys. But the procedure was not commonly
available in the former Soviet Union. In addition, some Jewish families
refrained from having their sons circumcised because it could make them targets of prejudice in communities where Jews were victims of
Noah Benjamin Lapeyre should be 14 years old today.
Press Journal (Florida) – January 29, 1998
Rabbi Gets Sued Over Circumcision
By Adam Chrzan
Press Journal Staff Writer
An Indian River County couple has sued a Palm Beach County temple and a rabbi for a botched religious circumcision that required emergency-room stitches and has left their son scarred.
Lisa Alsofrom and Maxou Jacques Lapeyre want an unspecified amount of money from Temple Emeth and Rabbi Abraham Cohen, who performed the circumcision on the couple’s son, Noah Benjamin Lapeyre, in June 1996.
A suit filed a week ago charges both the Delray Beach temple and Cohen, now a Connecticut resident, were negligent in performing what is known as a brith milah circumcision when Noah was 8 days old.
“He’s scarred for life physically and emotionally,” said David Carter,
the couple’s Vero Beach attorney. ‘`Everyone’s going to think of him as
the kid who was butchered by the mohel,” one approved to perform
circumcisions in the Jewish faith.
Alsofrom’s mother, a Palm Beach County resident, contacted the temple in late May 1996 and inquired about hiring a mohel to perform the religious ritual. The couple’s first son was circumcised in the
hospital, Carter said.
A receptionist at the temple gave Cohen’s name to Alsofrom’s mother.
The receptionist told her Cohen was affiliated with the temple, the
Cohen, an ordained rabbi, had been hired by the temple as a religious
reader and was performing the circumcisions on his own according to
attorney Buck Vocelle, who represents the temple. “He did this on his
own,” Vocelle said Wednesday.
Cohen’s wife, reached at the couple’s West Hartford residence, said her husband could not be reached for comment.
Carter said his clients were given one of Cohen’s business cards, which
listed the temple, Cohen’s name and a notation about circumcisions.
“The business card clearly gives the message he was (working) for the
temple,” he added.
Cohen met with the couple but never informed them of the risks, the
During the circumcision, which took place at the couple’s house, Cohen
reportedly “severed a portion of Noah’s penis and a blood vessel,” the
The infant was rushed to Indian River Memorial Hospital where he
received stitches and was transferred to Arnold Palmer Children’s
Hospital in Orlando, Carter said.
Noah, now 20 months old, has undergone numerous medical procedures including what is called a “revision” to the circumcision, and skin grafts to “improve the cosmetic appearance of the penis.” the suit said.
“Visually, it will always be different,” Carter said. “It’s hard to say
what kind of emotional effect this will have on him. It’s tough enough
going through puberty’ without a disfigurement.
The suit contends the temple and Cohen should have highlighted the
risks of the procedure should have used due care during the
circumcision and should have made known Cohen´s background, training and status with the temple.
Rabbi Jay R Davis of Temple Beth Shalom in Vero Beach said there is no
licensing agency for mohels.
“There is training, but no governing body,” he said.
Typically, parents contact a temple to recommend a mohel. The mohel
supposedly has studied with a doctor to learn the procedure, for which
he is paid several hundred dollars.
“Temples have nothing to do with mohels,” Davis said. Most mohels also carry no insurance, he said.
Neither Davis nor Temple Beth Shalom are involved in the lawsuit.
The couple’s suit seeks money for the pain, suffering and mental
anguish of Noah and his parents. The suit also seeks money to cover
current and future medical bills. Carter said the bills now total
several thousand dollars.
Noah’s parents declined to comment on the suit.
“These people are reluctant plaintiffs,” Carter said. Cohen agreed to
pay for the medical bills, which would have concluded the matter, but
he never followed through, he added.
If Dustin Evans were alive today, he´d be 12 years old.
IOWA LAW REVIEW, Volume 85, Number 4: Pages 1507-1568,
On October 16, 1998, three-week-old Dustin Evans, Jr. died in
Cleveland, Ohio during anesthetized surgery necessary to repair his
urethra, which had become blocked when his circumcision failed to heal.
The boy’s father is quoted as having said, “You think, ‘what could go
wrong with a circumcision?’” It appears that no physician fully
informed Dustin’s parents that serious complications can occur with
circumcision, and that such complications can lead to further surgical
procedures. However, the entire medical establishment, as well as
individual physicians and hospitals must share part of the blame for
needless tragedies that occur, such as that which befell Dustin Evans.
Circumcision, while being a widespread and long-standing surgery in
American medical practice, has never been the subject of a
comprehensive, prospective investigation into its complication rates.
Doctor pays parents $23,000 for circumcision without consent.
Public reprimand to gynecologist who “never even apologized”
Dallas, Texas, June 30, 2000:
A suit was settled this week for $23,000, against a Dallas obstetrician
for wrongful circumcision. The victim´s parents, Charlie Hardy and
Randi Harlan say they also endured indignities from Texas medical and
government personnel during their nearly three year long legal battle.
The Texas Medical Board issued Dr. Roosevelt Taylor a public reprimand
- his second – on May 19, 2000 for “failure to practice medicine in an
In September 1997, Hardy and Harlan advised Dr. Taylor that their other children were not circumcised because they felt that circumcision was barbaric and harmful to an infant. On September 26, 1997, when Mrs. Harlan was admitted to Tri-City Hospital in Dallas for delivery, she told the staff that there was to be no circumcision. To prevent an accidental circumcision, the attending nurse threw the circumcision consent form into a nearby trashcan.
Two days after their son´s birth, Hardy and Harlan were stunned when
their newborn son was brought to them from the hospital nursery crying and bleeding, and were horrified when they learned that he had just been circumcised by Dr. Taylor. “We were hysterical,” recalls Randi,
“But when Dr. Taylor stopped by the room his only comment was `It´s not the end of the world.´ I mean he´s never even apologized to us.” The couple believes Dr. Taylor circumcised their son intentionally in spite of their strong feelings against it.
“How could this have even been a mistake? There was only one other baby
with our son in the nursery at the time, we definitely did not sign a
consent form, and we specifically told Dr. Taylor that there was to be
no circumcision,” Charlie Hardy stresses. “We were totally betrayed by
our own doctor.”
Dr. Taylor´s lack of concern was replayed in the responses Hardy and
Harlan received from successive medical and government personnel as
they tried to find justice for their newborn child. An attempt to file
a police report was met with an amused reaction on behalf of the Dallas
police who then advised the couple that a wrongful surgery “was not a
criminal matter”. The Dallas County District Attorney´s office
explained to the couple that a public case was not “worth their time”.
The couple sought assistance from the state´s attorney general, the
federal attorney general´s office, and even the Texas Governer´s
office, but, according to the couple, “We were just laughed at, every
step of the way.”
The issue of Medicaid fraud also didn´t seem to concern state
officials. Hardy and Harlan contacted the Medicaid fraud hotline to
report Dr. Taylor for charging the surgery. “We were told that
performing this surgery without consent does not constitute fraud. We
can´t believe this doctor made money for performing a surgery we were
against, and then the taxpayers had to pay for it,” says Hardy.
Despite the out-of court settlement, Hardy and Harlan believe that
justice wasn´t served. “Dr. Taylor has done this twice now.” In 1991 he was publicly reprimanded by the Texas Medical Board for performing
surgery without consent. “He´s still out there practicing like what he
did was no problem. If the doctor had carved his initials in our son´s
stomach, he would not be allowed to practice medicine. But since he cut off our son´s foreskin against our wishes, people think it is funny and all the doctor gets is a slap on the wrist. I wonder how many other families this has happened to, but they gave up the fight after being laughed at and receiving no support?”
J. Steven Svoboda, Executive Director of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, says events like this are neither rare nor isolated.
This boy, who was circumcised without his parents´ consent and without his consent, should be 13 years old today.
January 05, 2001
$80,000 settlement to circumcised boy
By SUE REINERT
The Patriot Ledger
Quincy Medical Center and an obstetrician have agreed to pay more than $80,000 to a boy who was circumcised and whose parents say the procedure was carried out against their wishes.
The parents told the hospital in August 1997 that they did not want
their son circumcised, according to a malpractice suit filed by the
parents. Nevertheless, Dr. Sandra Chenkin performed the procedure the day after he was born, court papers said.
Medical insurance experts said the case was unusual because it was
based on lack of consent rather than negligence, the usual grounds for
a malpractice claim.
Papers filed at Norfolk Superior Court contain the names of the parents
and child. The Patriot Ledger is not publishing the names to protect
the family´s privacy . . .
The case was settled Aug. 30, a little more than one month after the
parents sued. The parents and their lawyer agreed to keep the terms of the settlement secret, not disclosing where the case had been filed and who had been sued. The Patriot Ledger obtained the court papers
independently. The lawyer for the parents and child said he could not
comment because of the settlement agreement.
Under terms of the settlement, the parents received $14,418 in August
and their lawyer was paid $20,000. The child will collect four annual
payments of $20,588 starting on his 18th birthday, for a total of
$82,352, the agreement said.
The payments to parents, child and attorney total $116,770. However,
Chenkin´s insurer, which paid the settlement, laid out only $60,000 in
cash: the immediate payments to the parents and their lawyer, plus a
$25,352 annuity to cover the future payments, the court papers said.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz, California, USA,
Saturday, June 9, 2001
$1.4M awarded for botched circumcision
Sacramento– A Sacramento jury awarded $1.42 million to a 7 year-old
boy this week for a botched circumcision performed by a first-year
resident at University of California, Davis, Medical Center.
The verdict exceeds the legal cap of $250,000 on medical malpractice
awards because the hospital failed to obtain the parents’ permission to
operate. After the boy was injured, the hospital asked the parents to
sign a consent form, according to a press release by the parents’
The hospital did not immediately respond to calls by the Associated Press.
The boy suffered from a pituitary condition that made circumcision
difficult and dangerous, said Mark Blake, the parents’ attorney.
Blake said a first-year medical resident performed the surgery.
Date: 6/7/01 [7 June, 2001] Case Style: Gordon v. University of
California Case Number: 99 AS 05222 Judge: Unknown Court: Superior
Court, Sacramento County, California Plaintiff’s Attorney: Martin L.
Blake of Baum & Blake, San Francisco, California Defendant’s Attorney:
Ronald Lamb of Rust, Armenis, Schwartz, Lamb & Bill, Sacramento,
Description: Medical malpractice – Negligent performance of
circumcision on a newborn baby whose penis was injured. Troy Gordon was born, jaundiced and hypoglycemic on January 19, 1994, at the University of California at Davis. The circumcision was performed by a resident and the Plaintiffs claimed that an excessive amount of foreskin was removed in the procedure. As a result, the child has a “buried penis”.
The defense took the position that the condition created by the
surgical error would correct itself during puberty.
Outcome: Plaintiffs’ verdict for $1.4 million.
If Ryleigh McWillis were alive today, he´d be 10 years old.
THE PROVINCE, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Friday, 13 February 2004.
Lack of post-surgery info angers grieving parents
With a baby son dead, they want care after circumcisions clarified
Friday, February 13, 2004
The tragic death of their infant son after a routine circumcision in
August 2002 still haunts a Vernon couple — who say they weren’t
properly informed about the signs of danger to watch out for in
A coroner’s report released this week into the death of one-month-old
Ryleigh McWillis notes that the Penticton Regional Hospital where the
circumcision was done has significantly improved the information
pamphlet it gives out to all parents, and has changed both follow-up
care and documentation for all circumcisions.
But Tanna McWillis says she and her husband, Brent, a medical
professional who worked at the hospital at the time of his son’s death,
are disappointed that coroner Chico Newell made no other
“The coroner could have recommended that the hospital and doctor
clearly tell parents, ‘Any bleeding’s bad,’ and warn us what to look
for. I didn’t realize a baby can die from losing as little as one ounce
of blood,” McWillis said.
Brent McWillis, a lab technologist, transferred away from the Penticton
hospital after the death. The couple, who also have a five-year-old
daughter, relocated to Vernon.
“Brent still finds it too painful to talk about,” said his 34-year-old
wife. “The nurses were our friends and a couple of them who tried so
hard to save our baby felt so badly they quit.”
The Canadian Pediatric Society takes the position that male
circumcision exposes children to risk with no real medical benefits.
Circumcision is no longer covered by medicare in Canada and the numbers
of male babies circumcised have been rapidly dropping, down from a
decade ago when 60 to 90 per cent of all male babies born in North
America were routinely circumcised shortly after birth.
At B.C. Children’s Hospital, only 180 male babies were circumcised of
the 3,656 boys born in 2002-03 [or 4.9 percent], down from the 274
circumcisions done of 3,544 boys born the previous year [or 7.7
percent], said hospital spokeswoman Marisa Nichini.
If David Reimer were alive today, he´d be 45 years old. One has to
wonder about the boys from the 1973 Seattle lawsuit and the 1985
Atlanta lawsuit who both underwent “sex change” operations following
their botched circumcisions.
TORONTO STAR, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday, 11 May 2004.
David Reimer was the victim of an experiment gone totally awry – an
experiment that suggested nurture could trump nature.
The 38-year-old Winnipeg man, who was born a boy but raised as a girl after a botched circumcision, took his own life last week.
But for some, his death and his life will not be in vain.
Reimer’s tortured experience as a girl leaves a lasting legacy in the
field of gender identity and the debate over what shapes a human being: nature or nurture.
“David was a hero,” said Milton Diamond, a psychologist at the
University of Hawaii, at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in
Honolulu, who was involved in Reimer’s case.
“David didn’t give permission for what was done to him. Even though he didn’t have a penis, he still knew he was male,” Diamond said.
Thanks to Reimer, many psychiatrists and psychologists have had to
rethink their theories on what determines sex, says Ken Zucker,
psychologist-in-chief at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health and a specialist in gender identity.
Reimer’s life story was described in a 2000 book by New York-based
writer John Colapinto, As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. His story was also featured on Oprah.
In the early 1970s, one theory held that gender was flexible and a
child could be taught to be a man or a woman. “The (Reimer) case has
taught a lot of people in the field that things are a lot more complex
when it comes to gender than people originally thought 30 years ago,”
“Where we’ve really had a lot of advances is in recognizing biology has
a predisposing influence on gender identity and gender roles.
“But the environment is also important.”
After a botched circumcision led to the removal of his penis, Reimer
was renamed Brenda and raised as a girl, later receiving female
His parents were following the advice of psychologist Dr. John Money of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Positive reports in medical journals suggested Reimer was adapting
successfully to his new gender as a girl.
Many, from feminists to learning theorists, embraced the case, using it
as an example that gender could indeed be taught.
But nothing was further from the truth in this case, said Dr. Keith
Sigmundson who was a supervising psychiatrist for Reimer from when he was 8 to 20 years old. Reimer didn’t adjust well to being a girl at all
and began having difficulties at school.
“By the time Reimer was 11, the whole experiment was falling apart,”
said Sigmundson, who was brought into the case by the Winnipeg school system. Reimer was eventually told when he was 13 that he had been born a boy. He rebelled and went back to being a boy.
“From that point on he sought out all the surgery,” said Sigmundson.
“He totally changed how he was presenting himself and struggled with a
number of operations. He eventually lived his life as a man.”
Reimer got a job in a meat-packing plant in Winnipeg. He married and
was a stepfather to three children.
Up until about a year ago, he was in “top form,” said Sigmundson who
remained in contact with him.
But Reimer felt responsible for the suicide of his twin brother two
years ago, the psychiatrist said.
Then he slumped into even more of a depression after losing his job and
separating from his wife.
His mother, Janet Reimer, told Canadian Press that she believes her son
would still be alive had it not been for the devastating gender study.
“I think he felt he had no options. It just kept building up and
Many of the changes in the way social scientists, psychologists and
psychiatrists think about gender has happened because of Reimer and the
controversy surrounding his life.
“At the time, there was a major controversy in our society over whether
an individual’s personality and their adaptation of their gender was a
result of how they were born versus how they were raised,” explained
Sigmundson. The only one thing that is clear today is gender is a
combination of many factors, including biology and learning, he noted.
“There are certain immutable things that happen in your chromosomes and
in utero that develop the gonads that have an impact on your brain
which set the pattern for the rest of your life,” he said. “That’s
essentially what we know now.”
Sigmundson and Diamond were responsible for revealing publicly that
Money’s experiment had failed and all was not well with Reimer’s new
gender. They published a report in 1997 in the Archives of Pediatric
and Adolescent Medicine that outlined Reimer’s rejection of being a
“His life was very difficult,” said Diamond, crying as he spoke to a
reporter. “And I think the legacy is the whole issue of how people
identify and see themselves as male and female. It’s not as simplistic
as putting people into blue rooms and pink rooms. Certainly our
environment makes a difference and how we’re brought up makes a
difference. But we come to the game with our own inherent natures and
how those things interplay can’t be predicted.”
The surviving twin should be 6 years old today.
Rabbi probed for circumcised infants’ herpes
Baby died from disease after undergoing procedure
2/2/2005 11:50:15 AM ET
Ten days after Rabbi Yitzhok Fischer performed religious circumcisions
on twins last October, one died of herpes and the other tested positive
for the virus, according to a complaint filed by the health department
in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The complaint, reported in Wednesday´s edition of the New York Daily
News, also said health officials later found a third baby who had
contracted herpes after being circumcised by Fischer in late 2003.
Under Jewish law, a mohel – someone who performs circumcisions – draws
blood from the circumcision wound. Most mohels do it by hand with a
suction device, but Fischer uses a practice rare outside strict
Orthodox groups where he uses his mouth to draw blood after cutting the
Herpes can cause potentially severe complications for infants because
of their undeveloped immune systems . A recent study published in the
journal Pediatrics found that the rare ritual puts newborns at serious
risk of contracting herpes simplex virus and shouldn’t be performed as
part of the circumcision procedure.
Fischer´s lawyer, Mark Kurzmann, told the Daily News that Fischer was
cooperating with the investigation, although it´s unclear whether
Fischer submitted to the city´s request for a blood test.
“My client is known internationally as a caring, skilled, and
conscientious mohel,” Kurzmann said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
NATIONAL REVIEW OF MEDICINE, Volume 3, Number 12,
Montreal, Friday, June 30, 2006.
BC man’s foreskin op a success
Government pays to repair botched circumcision
By Jennifer Laliberté
In late April Paul Tinari became the first man in Canadian history to have the government pay for surgery to reverse a botched circumcision.
Armed with letters from a urologist and psychiatrist, the Vancouver
engineer – who says he’s been in pain for years – convinced the BC
government to pick up 90% of the $12,000 tab. The final piece fell into
place when he located Toronto plastic surgeon Dr Robert H Stubbs, the
only doctor in Canada who’d ever performed a foreskin restoration.
“This is not something I went into lightly,” says 48-year-old Dr Tinari
of the complex, multistage procedure he began at the end of April. “I
assessed the risks [of the surgery] and was willing to take them. But I
certainly wasn’t willing to pay for it.”
The BC Ministry of Health says requests for funding for unlisted
medical procedures are approved only if the care isn’t available in the
province and if a medical professional has confirmed there’s a serious
medical or mental health issue. There were no existing rules to deal
with Dr Tinari’s unusual case. “Obviously, something like that would be
granted coverage only in rare or extenuating circumstances,” says
ministry spokesperson Sarah Plank. “We certainly don’t have a billing
code for it.”
“He got a big chunk because no one in BC does this and he had his
urologist and psychiatrist on his side,” observes Dr Stubbs, who
specializes in genital cosmetic surgery. “Some provinces are willing to
do things like that for their citizens.”
“Dr Tinari was a good candidate for the surgery,” says Dr Stubbs, who
says he doesn’t know of any other Canadian physicians doing foreskin
restoration. “He had sufficient donor skin and was well aware of what
he was getting into. I select my patients very, very carefully,” he
said. In fact, Dr Tinari is only the third patient he’s agreed to take
on. “This is like climbing Mount Everest,” he says. “It’s a huge
First, the skin is cut along the circumcision scar line and stretched
open to create a graft site. Then, two parallel incisions are made on
the scrotum – the donor site – leaving a sort of bridge with the two
ends attached on either side. “The penis is popped through the hole,
with the skin bridge covering the defect you created,” Dr Stubbs
explains. “Then we let that heal for at least three weeks.” In stage
two, the two ends of the bridge are cut, separating the penis and
scrotum. “You tuck those two pieces that are still dangling to the
underside and keep your fingers crossed that enough blood vessels have grown in to ensure survival of the graft.” Finally, when the swelling has subsided, the new skin is stretched over the penis with tape and traction weights to form a foreskin.
Dr Tinari sees this not just as a medical victory but a moral one too.
He alleges that his circumcision was forced on him when he was eight
years old by priests at his Montreal boarding school as punishment for
masturbating. He says the circumcision left him depressed, suicidal and
in chronic pain. He says his testicles would pull up onto the shaft of
the penis during an erection; a segment of the glans healed to a small
amount of remaining shaft skin, forming a skin bridge; stretching of
that bridge caused intense pain during erection, occasionally causing
tearing and bleeding during sex. He adds that cleaning under the skin
bridge was also very difficult, so he suffered from chronic infections
Nowadays, Dr Tinari, who has a PhD in engineering, is the director of
an environmental engineering company based in Coquitlam, BC. But he
spends a lot of his time campaigning against circumcision and for wider
access to foreskin restoration. “People thought that I would go away
after the surgery, but that was just the first step,” he says. “I did
this to restore my own bodily integrity, but also to set a legal
Given the complexity of the procedure, Dr Stubbs doesn’t expect to see a dramatic increase in patients. He’s staying out of Dr Tinari’s legal
pursuits. “I don’t ask women why they come in for a breast implant, and I didn’t ask him if he had an ulterior motive,” says the surgeon. “He
may have an agenda that I don’t know about, but this isn’t something
where the success or failure of his surgical procedure should make men
consider this an option or not.”
Meanwhile, Dr Tinari is still recovering; it’s nearly two months since
the surgery and his doctor is pleased with the outcome. “We seem to
have about an 80-90% graft survival,” says Dr Stubbs. “I transferred a
strip about 7cm wide, so he should have plenty for an adequate
foreskin.” The patient is also very pleased. “I’ve been working towards
this for thirty years,” says Dr Tinari. “I’m feeling better every day.”
THE NEW HAVEN REGISTER, New Haven, Connecticut, Thursday, 24 March 2005.
Oxford couple sues over circumcision mishap
STAMFORD – An Oxford couple on Wednesday sued a doctor who they say partially amputated their son´s penis during a circumcision at St.
Vincent´s Hospital in Bridgeport.
Immediately after his injury last June, the day-old boy was transferred
to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he underwent reconstructive surgery.
“We are bringing this case because we already know this baby has
suffered a horrible, life-altering physical injury, but we are still
learning about the longterm ramifications of the injury,” said Ernest
Teitell, one of the boy´s attorneys. “What happened will profoundly
affect him as he grows older.”
Circumcision, often performed for religious reasons, involves removing
foreskin from the penis.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says most complications from the
procedure, such as bleeding, are usually minor.
Robin Biondo, the boy´s mother, said Dr. Daniel S. Gottschall cut off
40 percent of the tip of her son´s penis.
“It was a very difficult thing to go through to see your newborn child
laying there and wondering how much pain he was in and how this is
going to affect him,” Biondo said.
In 2001, a jury in California awarded $1.42 million to a 7-year-old boy
for a botched circumcision.
In another case, the late David Reimer, a Canadian, was born as a boy but raised as a girl after a botched circumcision.
The lawsuit, filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, seeks unspecified
damages from Dr. Gottschall, who performed the surgery last June, and
his medical and surgical group, Alliance for Women´s Health.
Gottschall said he has performed more than 1,000 circumcisions without a problem.
“There was a slight tip that was removed, recognized and repaired,”
Gottschall said. “We believe there was a congenital deformity of the
penis that made the injury more likely. Because of my diligence, the
boy had the repair that was necessary.”
The boy, now nine months old, spent about 10 days in the hospital,
according to his mother.
MORGAN HILL TIMES, Morgan Hill, California, Tuesday, June 14, 2005.
Circumcision rates are down amid controversy
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Gilroy obstetrician Dr. Jumnah Thanapathy recalls seeing a botch, one
of the tiny percentage of procedures that go wrong, when she was still working at Kaiser Medical Center years ago.
During the elective circumcision of an infant, the doctor performing
the procedure accidentally cut too far down, slicing off the glans and
much of the head of the infant´s penis.
It was sewn back on like a re-attached finger, said Thanapathy, but the damage was done. Its extent would be impossible to calculate until the wound healed.
“We live in a society that looks at the statistics of a situation,”
said Thanapathy. “People see a 99 percent success rate, and they never think that they´ll be part of that one percent, but I just don´t see taking that risk for an elective procedure.”
Thanapathy is one voice in a growing number of physicians and parents questioning the practice of circumcision, a surgical procedure to remove the penis´ foreskin.
This boy should be 14 years old today.
MASSACHUSETTS LAWYERS WEEKLY, Boston, February 23, 2004.
Verdicts & Settlements
Excess Skin Removed During Infant’s Circumcision $110,000 Settlement
The minor plaintiff was born on Feb. 12, 1997. According to the medical
records, the defendant performed a circumcision on the minor plaintiff
five days after his birth. Following the procedure, the minor
plaintiff’s penis bled profusely requiring several sutures. His
hematocrit dropped from 45.9 to 34.1 after the circumcision.
After being discharged from the hospital, the minor plaintiff was
referred to a pediatric urologist who examined the minor plaintiff and
noted that his penis was virtually devoid of shaft skin. The urologist
noted that the condition of the minor plaintiff’s penis was highly
suggestive of excess penile shaft skin being removed at the time of
In October 1998, the minor plaintiff underwent reconstructive surgery
by the urologist. An additional reconstructive procedure reportedly was
necessary in order to attempt to rectify the damage done during the
circumcision. The case was resolved when the minor plaintiff was almost
7 years old; he did not sustain any loss of sensation or function. The
case resolved mainly on the minor plaintiff’s claims of pain and
suffering and the residual scarring caused as a result of the initial
procedure and the subsequent surgical procedures.
The defendant maintained that he was not negligent in performing the
circumcision. He further maintained that the minor plaintiff’s medical
condition predisposed him to excessive bleeding, that the clamp used
carried with it the risk of excess skin being removed and that the
subsequent surgery was unnecessary.
The case settled on the eve of the second trial date for $110,000.
Type of action: Medical Malpractice
Injuries alleged: Scarring
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case #: Withheld
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Amount of settlement: $110,000
Date: September 2003
Attorneys: Gregg J. Pasquale (of counsel) and Melissa A. White (of
counsel), Keches & Mallen, Taunton (for the plaintiff)
MASSACHUSETTS LAWYER’S WEEKLY, Monday, May 19, 2003
From the May 19, 2003 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
Verdicts & Settlements
Tip Of Penis Amputated During Circumcision
Doctor Admits Mistake; Defense Later Questions Design Of Clamp Used
In June 1997, a baby boy was born to the plaintiffs. According to all
involved, the mother and minor plaintiff were healthy and in
satisfactory condition following the birth. The morning after the
birth, the minor plaintiff was taken from the mother to be circumcised.
The father did not accompany the minor plaintiff. Approximately one
hour later, the defendant doctor entered the plaintiff parents’ room
and notified them that a small section at the tip of the infant’s glans
penis had been inadvertently excised.
The defendant doctor further informed them that a surgeon was on the way to perform microsurgery to reattach the amputated section. The defendant doctor reportedly concluded by stating: “I wish I could blame the clamp, but I can’t. It was my fault.”
The operative note stemming from the reattachment stated that only a tiny section of glans penis had been amputated during the circumcision, that no damage had been done to the child’s urethra, and that full recovery was expected.
Over the next two years, the minor plaintiff had a remarkable healing
result. Follow-up appointments with different doctors, one of whom was
a noted specialist from Children’s Hospital in Boston, confirmed that
the minor plaintiff would not likely suffer any permanent injury as a
result of the circumcision mishap. There were, however, slight cosmetic deficits at the tip of the minor plaintiff’s penis, which were termed “skin tags.” These skin tags were removed by laser surgery and did not reappear.
The plaintiff’s expert agreed that there was only a slight cosmetic
deficit and that the urethra remained intact. He also agreed that the
child would not suffer any decreased sensation due to the original
insult. He added that he could not say for certain that the plaintiff
would grow to have full sensation at the tip of his penis.
As discovery progressed, the defense began to question the suitability
of the Mogen clamp used in the process. Despite the defendant doctor’s admission that the incident was his fault, the defense persisted with claims that the Mogen clamp had a design defect, which could allow for a portion of the glans penis to become trapped during the clamping process and inadvertently excised.
The plaintiffs did extensive research into the different implements
used for circumcision, and opined that the doctor failed to make
certain that only foreskin remained exposed after the clamp had been
applied. Ultimately, the case was settled with a structured settlement,
which will yield the child in excess of $750,000.
Type of action: Medical Malpractice
Injuries alleged: Section of glans penis amputated
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case #: Withheld
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Special damages: $3,950
Amount of settlement: $725,000
Date: January 2003
Attorney: Darin M. Colucci, Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, Milton
This boy should be 14 or 15 years old today.
THE COLUMBIAN, Vancouver, Washington, Saturday, September 18, 2004.
Father pleads not guilty to assault in circumcision case
Saturday, September 18, 2004
By STEPHANIE RICE, Columbian staff writer
A Ridgefield man who allegedly performed a botched circumcision on his
8-year-old son pleaded not guilty Friday to second-degree assault of a
Superior Court Judge Diane Woolard accepted the not-guilty plea from
Edwin B. Baxter, who initially told Woolard he did not understand the
charge and then asked for a new court-appointed attorney.
After a brief discussion with his attorney, Tony Lowe, Baxter returned
to the bench and entered his plea.
His trial was set for Nov. 8.
Baxter is being held in the Clark County Jail on $50,000 bail.
Clark County senior deputy prosecutor Kim Farr said he has been unable to track down members of Baxter’s family, who have abandoned their rental home. Law enforcement and investigators from the state
Department of Children and Family Services also have been unsuccessful in finding the family.
Baxter, 33, and his pregnant wife have nine children. The state has
tried before to contact the family after receiving reports that none of
the children attends school.
Farr said he’ll seek a court order to take depositions from Baxter’s
wife, who was home at the time of the incident, and the victim. If the
defendant does not relay the word to his family that they are required
to give depositions, then Farr said he’ll consider asking for warrants
for the wife and son to be arrested and kept in custody as material
witnesses until the trial.
Baxter, a truck driver, was arrested Sept. 3 after he called 911 to
report that his son was bleeding profusely in the family´s bathroom.
Baxter allegedly said he tried to circumcise his son after reading
biblical passages about the procedure.
Farr said Baxter put a blanket and pillow in the bathtub to try and
make his son comfortable.
If convicted of second-degree assault, Baxter could face three years in prison.
Stephanie Rice covers the courts. She can be reached at 360-759-8004
360-759-8004 or email@example.com.
Hunter Dumire is at least 5 years old, and possibly older.
Preston couple sues WVU over son’s circumcision 4/18/2007 8:00 AM By Cara Bailey -Monongalia Bureau
MORGANTOWN – A Preston County couple has filed a medical malpractice suit against the West Virginia University Medical Corporation on behalf of their son.
Scott and Sherry Dumire filed a suit April 9 in Monongalia Circuit
Court, on behalf of Hunter Dumire. The suit names the West Virginia
University Board of Governors and West Virginia University Medical
Corporation — doing business as University Health Associates — as
According to the suit, Hunter Dumire was injured during a circumcision
procedure on Oct. 20, 2005, at the health center. The suit says the
deviation of care during the procedure caused injury and damages to the
As a result of the alleged negligence of the defendants, the Dumires
have incurred medical expenses, and will continue to incur the bills
for the care, treatment and hospitalization of Hunter Dumire.
They also claim Hunter has been permanently disfigured and request full
compensation for the injuries and damages sustained.
Attornies Wesley W. Metheney and Steven L. Shaffer are counsel for the
Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-250
EARTHTIMES, Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Circumcision Atrocity Suit Filed Against Coles County Hospital
MATTOON, Ill., July 18 /PRNewswire/ — The day after birth on February
15, 2007, an infant at Sarah Bush Hospital had a standard circumcision
procedure performed by Dr. Sherif Malek. However, what should have been
a forgotten memory for the boy became a lifelong nightmare. Due to
negligence, Dr. Malek severed the entire glans, commonly termed the
head, of the infant’s penis. Today, Jerry A. Latherow of Latherow Law
Office on behalf of plaintiffs Boy Doe (the infant) and his mother,
Jane Doe, filed a complaint for compensation for damages against Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System, Inc, 1000 Health Center Drive, Mattoon, IL, and Sherif Malek, D.O. in the Circuit Court of Coles County, Illinois.
The infant was a healthy seven pound newborn who was delivered without complications on February 14, 2007. The following day, a routine circumcision was performed on the infant by Dr. Malek using a Mogen clamp, a metal, hinge-shaped device used during the procedure. At the completion of the circumcision, hospital records indicated there was significant bleeding. Inspection of the penis revealed nearly all of the glans had been amputated at the time of the circumcision. Three months later, the infant required penile skin transfer surgery at the University of Illinois, with need for future procedures, some of which are only appropriate at the age of puberty.
According to medical expert witness, Dr. David Zbaraz with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, who reviewed the Sarah Bush medical records of the infant, “The Mogen clamp when used properly cannot amputate a male infant’s glans. The injury to this boy was completely preventable.”
Across the United States major settlements have been made for botched
circumcisions. In 1991, a hospital in Atlanta, GA, agreed to pay $22.8
million because of negligence during a circumcision. Also in New York
City a boy received $1.2 million for a circumcision error, and in Lake
Charles, LA a family received $2.75 million after a boy’s penis was
burned during a routine circumcision.
“Through simple carelessness at Sarah Bush Hospital, a boy will face
physical disfigurement and psychological trauma throughout his life,”
said Jerry A. Latherow, the attorney representing Boy Doe and Jane Doe,
“Unfortunately, caps on medical malpractice cases in Illinois will
prevent the boy from recovering more than $500,000 against the
physician for the lifelong deformity and urological care, and any
associated psychological problems. Sadly, the hospital’s liability for
such damages is capped at $1 million. Even before the case is tried, a
mother and her child have been robbed.”
A complete copy of the complaint is available upon request. About Jerry
Jerry A. Latherow is a veteran trial lawyer who has attained verdicts
and settlements for his clients in cases involving medical malpractice,
vehicular and construction liability, and airplane crash cases. In
2003, he was recognized by the National Law Journal as obtaining one of
the top 100 verdicts in the country.
CONTACTS: Jerry A. Latherow, attorney for plaintiffs: 312-372-0052
312-372-0052 (o), 312-520-0052 312-520-0052
(c) Patty Peterson, Sarah Bush Hospital: (217) 258-2420
(217) 258-2420 Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations: 312-422-1333
312-422-1333 Latherow Law Office
CONTACT: Jerry A. Latherow, attorney for plaintiffs, +1-312-372-0052
+1-312-372-0052 , cell, +1-312-520-0052
+1-312-520-0052 ; or Patty Peterson of Sarah Bush Hospital,
+1-217-258-2420 +1-217-258-2420 ; or Tom Ciesielka of
TC Public Relations, +1-312-422-1333 +1-312-422-1333 ,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for Latherow Law Office
Web site: http://www.latherowlaw.com/
D. P., Jr. should be 6 or 7 years old today.
March 31, 2009
$2.3M awarded in suit over botched circumcision
By TY TAGAMI
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Monday, March 30, 2009
A Fulton County jury has awarded $1.8 million in damages to a boy whose penis was severed in a botched circumcision.
The state court jury gave another $500,000 to the boy´s mother in the
decision rendered Friday.
The case involves a child, identified only as D.P. Jr., who was born at
South Fulton Medical Center in 2004. In a suit filed two years later,
his mother contended that the doctor who circumcised him removed too
much tissue and that his pediatrician failed to respond when a nurse
complained of excessive bleeding.
The tip of the penis was placed in a biohazard bag and might have been
reattached if a urologist had attended to the boy within eight hours,
one of the mother´s lawyers, David J. Llewellyn of Atlanta, said.
The jury found that both the pediatrician, Dr. Cheryl Kendall, and the
physician who performed the circumcision, Dr. Haiba Sonyika, were
negligent. South Fulton Medical Center was absolved of liability.
The pediatrician´s lawyer, Roger Harris, said he disagreed that the
jury´s decision indicated that Dr. Kendall was negligent because she
didn´t go to the hospital. He hinted at an appeal. “We believe there
was error committed during the course of the trial,” he said.
Dr. Sonyika´s lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Llewellyn said the money awarded by the jury is to cover the cost of
medical treatments and psychiatric counseling for the boy and his
family. The jury did not award punitive damages. The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution is not naming the mother to avoid identifying the
“This case does point out one of the dangers of circumcision that every
parent must seriously consider when having the procedure done,”
Llewellyn said. He contended that parents are not told of the risks of
L.G. should be 3 or 4 years old today. The company that manufactured
the Mogen clamp has gone out of business and has defaulted on lawsuits
brought against them. How many Mogen clamps are still in use today,
with the potential for more botched circumcisions in the future from
use of this dangerous product? Why hasn´t the Mogen clamp been
Monday, July 19, 2010
By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The maker of an instrument used in circumcisions claimed that injury
was impossible with its use, but after an infant lost a portion of his
penis during an operation with the Mogen clamp, a judge awarded $10.8
million in damages against the company.
The judgment handed down Friday in New York involves an Atlanta lawyer
who has been crusading against circumcision as a dangerous and
Attorney David Llewellyn won a similar case in Atlanta last year and
the injury behind that prior lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court
put the New York clamp manufacturer on notice about the danger of the
device, his current lawsuit said.
The baby in the current case, identified in court documents only as
L.G., lost the entire glans, or head, of his penis after it was pulled
into the jaws of the clamp, according to a federal magistrate’s order.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein ordered Mogen
Circumcision Instruments of New York to pay $10.8 million in
compensatory and punitive damages to the Florida boy, now 3, and his
The parents “are extraordinarily distraught and angered that this
company tells people it can’t happen,” Llewellyn said.
It’s unclear whether they will ever collect the money. Mogen is already
in default on a $7.5 million judgment in 2007 from a Massachusetts
lawsuit, Llewellyn said.
The company is going out of business, according to a woman who answered
the phone at its Brooklyn headquarters Monday. The woman, who said she was a secretary and would identify herself only as D. Rotter, the
person whom Llewellyn said was served papers in the lawsuit. She said
increased competition has undermined their business.
“It’s just kind of dwindling down to nothing,” she said, adding that
the phones at the Mogen office were scheduled to be disconnected
Tuesday. Mogen didn’t defend itself in court, and Rotter said it was
because the company couldn’t afford it.
She said the Mogen clamp is “painless and safe” when used properly. The case involving the Florida boy was “unfortunate,” she said, adding that “any medical mishap is unfortunate.”
In this case, a New York mohel, or Jewish ritual circumcisor, performed
the operation in the baby’s home, Llewellyn said. The mohel negotiated
a separate settlement, the terms of which Llewellyn would not disclose.
Llewellyn won another circumcision case in 2009 over an operation at
South Fulton Medical Center. In that case, which involved a baby
identified only as D.P. Jr., the mother contended that the doctor who
circumcised him removed too much tissue and that his pediatrician
failed to respond when a nurse complained of excessive bleeding.
The tip of the penis was placed in a biohazard bag and might have been
reattached if he’d gotten attention in time, Llewellyn said in 2009.
His lawsuit in New York says D.P. Jr. lost a third of his glans.
The jury found that both the pediatrician and the physician who
performed the circumcision were negligent, and awarded $2.3 million to
the plaintiffs. South Fulton Medical Center was absolved of liability.
In Friday’s decision, the court determined that Mogen had to pay for
medical expenses and for the years of psychotherapy that will be
needed. The boy suffers pain when he urinates, the court order says. He will eventually be able to have sex, but he is likely to be embarrassed and will likely have trouble forming “meaningful” relationships with girls, it adds. “At 3 years old, L.G. is aware that he looks different from other boys based on both his own observations and comments from other children which make him feel inferior .”
July 15, 2010 New York Dangerous Product Lawsuit gets $10.8 Million
Award Posted By Advance My Lawsuit
In New York, a lawsuit was filed against the maker of a medical
instrument, known as the Mogen clamp, which is used during
circumcisions. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that the instrument
caused an infant to lose a portion of his genitalia during a routine
circumcision. Recently, a judge awarded the infant’s family $10.8
million in damages against the company.
The attorney representing the plaintiffs, David Llewellyn, has handled
and won similar cases in the recent past. Last year, he won a
circumcision case in Fulton Superior Court after he was able to prove
that the New York clamp manufacturer’s product presented dangers.
In the most recent case, U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein ordered
Mogen Circumcision Instruments of New York to pay the plaintiffs $10.8
million in punitive and compensatory damages. The boy who was injured is now three years of age.
Llewellyn told news sources that the parents, “are extraordinarily
distraught and angered that this company tells people it can’t happen”.
It has been revealed that Mogen is already in default on a $7.5 million
judgment from 2007 that was ordered in the state of Massachusetts and is going out of business.
Daniel Burden should be 3 years old today.
Lawsuit claims botched circumcision
April 15, 2009 7:28 AM |
A Northwestern Memorial Hospital obstetrician is being sued for
allegedly botching a circumcision of a 1-day-old baby and cutting off a
portion of the infant’s penis, according to WBBM-AM 780.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court by David Burden on
behalf of his son Daniel Burden, claims that on Oct. 5, 2007, one day
after Daniel was born, Dr. Marc Feldstein performed a circumcision on
the boy. However, rather than removing only the foreskin, the doctor
cut and removed a portion of the baby’s penis, the suit said.
After the procedure, baby Daniel was transferred to Children’s Memorial
Hospital to have emergency corrective surgery.
Burden accuses Dr. Feldstein, Northwestern Women’s Health Associates and Northwestern Memorial Hospital of medical negligence. The suit asks for more than $50,000.
If Bradley Dorcius were still alive, he´d be 2 years old today.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
BROOKLYN (WABC) — Shock and sorrow for a mother and father in
Brooklyn. They took their infant son to the hospital for what they
thought was routine surgery.Now, they’re planning his funeral.
Seven-month-old Bradley Dorcius died two days after having an operation to correct his urine flow and a circumcision.
In the recovery room at SUNY Downstate Hospital, his mother says
Bradley began bleeding from his mouth and nose, and later died.
His parents are devastated and they’re demanding answers.
The hospital spokesperson calls Bradley’s death a sad incident and says the hospital is investigating. His parents say he had no allergies and no other known medical conditions.
Law Offices of Daniel Malis, P.C. 30 Second Street
Cambridge, MA 02141-1734
Telephone: 617 491 1099 FAX: 617 491 1022
Settlement Update: $1 million+ For Victim of Botched Circumcision – The
Case of the Suspended Surgeon
December 28th, 2009
Our office has obtained a settlement of over $1 million in present and
future payouts for scarring caused by a negligent surgeon who botched a child´s circumcision and then attempted to conceal his error.
The case involved a relatively inexperienced family practitioner who,
during an otherwise routine circumcision of an infant, removed almost
all of the skin covering the shaft of the child´s member. The
physician had apparently become confused and disoriented during the
procedure and improperly re-adjusted a clamp which would have prevented this drastic mistake. He stopped bleeding by extensively using a chemical agent to cauterize the bleeding and traumatized skin, and covered the wound with an over-large bandage. He also reassured the child´s parents, who were concerned about their child´s appearance,
that the seeping wound was `normal´ and would be `fine´ in a later
visit. The `overly aggressive´ circumcision was discovered by a
supervising physician from the physician´s practice on the day after
the circumcision, and the child was rushed to a consultation with a
pediatric urologist, who eventually repaired the damage with a skin
graft. The doctor later apologized to the child´s parents.
The defendant physician´s counsel insisted that the error in practice
was not malpractice, but an `unfortunate result´, despite the
physician´s subsequent termination from the family practice which hired
him based upon the incident, as well as critical comments made by the
head of the physician´s practice and the doctor who discovered his
malpractice. The insurer maintained this position virtually up to the
time of trial, despite evidence which showed that the physician´s
description of the manner in which the clamp was used was hopelessly
confused and incorrect at deposition, and his attempt to distance
himself from his apology to the child´s parents by claiming that it was
not motivated by guilt but by a desire to avoid a malpractice suit.
Further evidence that the physician had appeared to become distracted
while making comments to nursing students observing the procedure
provided more proof of the physician´s failure to use due care.
The physician´s attorney also (correctly) argued that the scarring
caused by the malpractice had been corrected within six months of the
procedure and that the child had no observable medical problems and
preserved function. The physician´s insurer claimed that damages were
therefore minimal. We countered this argument with extensive medical
research and psychiatric expert opinion concerning the likely
psychological effects on child and mother caused by such a
disfigurement. The case went to mediation one week before trial, and
was successfullly settled for a structured payout worth $350,000
present value, with a stream of payments worth in excess of $1 million
over the life of the child.
Mario Viera, the boy circumcised without his parent´s consent or his
consent, should be 9 months old today.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wrongful Circumcision of Baby Mario: Court Documents COMPLAINT
Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, as parent and natural guardian of MARIO VIERA,
by and through undersigned counsel, sue the Defendants, MARY JEAN
PAZOS, M.D. and SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, and would allege as follows:
1. This is an action for personal injury damages, with damages in
excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of this Honorable Court,
to-wit: Fifteen Thousand and no/IOO ($15,000.00) Dollars, exclusive of
costs and interest.
2. At all times material to hereto, the Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, was
and is a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida, and is the parent and
natural guardian of Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, a minor, is otherwise sui
3. Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, is the minor child of Plaintiff, VERA
DELGADO, and is a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
4. At all times material hereto, Defendant, MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D.,
individually and/or as an agent, apparent agent or employee of herself,
was and is a licensed medical doctor under the laws of the State of
Florida, authorized to provide health care services to individuals such
as the Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, a minor, in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
5. At all time material hereto, Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, Inc.,
was and is a licensed hospital under the laws of the State of Florida,
authorized to provide health caie services to individuals such as
Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, a minor, in Miami-Dade County, Florida
6. At all times material to this Complaint, the Defendants had the
responsibility to provide
medical care and treatment of the Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, a minor.
7. On or about July 24, 2010 Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, gave birth to
MARIO VIERA, a minor, at SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC. and admitted into
its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit due to birth related complications.
8. Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, as parent and natural guardian of MARIO
VIERA, a minor, repeatedly informed Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL,
INC., its staff and agents that she did not want or authorize the
Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, a minor, to be circumcised.
9. On or about August 2, 2010, while Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, a minor,
was still under the care of Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC.’S,
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Defendants, MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D., nurses
and agents of Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC., and without
consent performed an unauthorized amputation of the foreskin of his
COUNT I – ASSAULT AND BATTERY BY MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D.
Plaintiff adopts and realleges the allegations contained in paragraphs
1 through 9 as though fully
set forth herein.
10. On or about August 2, 2010, at the hospital operated by Defendant,
SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC., the Defendant, MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D., with
force and against the consent of Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, as parent and
natural guardian of MARIO VIERA, a minor, performed an unauthorized
amputation of the foreskin of his penis.
11. The unauthorized amputation of the foreskin of his penis was
committed by the Defendant, MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D., while she performed
the medical procedure on the Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR, in
furtherance of her duties as an employee, servant, staff member and/or
agent of the Defendant soum MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC.
12. As a result of these wrongful and malicious acts of Defendant, MARY
JEAN PAZOS, M.D., Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, as parent and natural
guardian of MARIO VIERA, a minor, has suffered greatly in mind and body
and will continue to suffer damages.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, as parent and natural guardian of
MARIO VIERA, a minor, demands judgment for damages against the
Defendant, MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D., and such other and further relief as
this Court deems just and proper.
COUNT II – PREMISES LIABILITY AGAINST SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC.
Plaintiff adopts and realleges the allegations contained in paragraphs
1 through 12 as though fully set forth herein.
13. On or about August 2, 2010, the Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC.,
operated a hospital providing Neonatal care in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
14. On that date, Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR, was a patient at the
hospital and therefore on the premises lawfully.
15. At all times relevant the Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC.,
owed a duty to protect the Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR, and is
responsible for any and all injuries sustained on its premises to
patients in its care.
16. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL,
INC., breached its duty by failing to warn Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A
MINOR, or by allowing a dangerous condition on the premises, to-wit,
their employee and/or agent Defendant, MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D., to
perform an unauthorized surgical procedure without consent on
Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR.
17. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI
HOSPITAL, INC.’S, negligence, Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR, suffered
bodily injury that is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical
probability and resulting pain and suffering, disability,
disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of
life, expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and
treatment. The losses are either permanent or continuing and Plaintiff
will suffer the losses in the future.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, VERA DELGADO, as parent and natural guardian of MARIO
VIERA, a minor, demands judgment for damages against the Defendants
HOSPITAL, INC., and for such other and further relief as this Court
deems just and proper.
COUNT III – NEGLIGENT HIRING, TRAINING, RETENTION AND SUPERVISION
AGAINST DEFENDANT SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC.
Plaintiff adopts and realleges the allegations contained in paragraphs
1 through 17 as though fully set forth herein.
18. At all times relevant hereto the Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL,
INC., did employ agents, employees, officers, staff, administrators,
representatives, servants and maintenance personnel, and said
Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC., exercised jurisdiction and
control over the procedures which said agents, employees, officers,
staff administrators, representatives, servants and maintenance
personal had the privilege to perform. Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL,
INC., determined the qualifications and lack of qualifications of said
personnel relating to those duties which were devised by said
Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC., for the agents, employees,
officers, staff, administrators, representatives, servants and
19. At all times relevant, the Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC.,
negligently hired, trained, supervised and/or retained its employee,
servant, staff member or agent, who at the time of the incident herein
were on staff to provide medical care and assistance to Plaintiff,
MARIO VIERA, a MINOR.
20. That the Defendant, MARY JEAN PAZOS, M.D, with the assistance of
employees and agents of Defendant South MH performed an unauthorized
surgical procedure on Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR, to wit: the
amputation of the foreskin of his penis.
21. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant, SOUTH MIAMI
negligence, Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR, suffered bodily injury
that is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical probability and
resulting pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental
anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of
hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment. The losses are
either permanent or continuing and Plaintiff will suffer the losses in
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, MARIO VIERA, A MINOR, demands judgment for
damages against the Defendant SOUTH MIAMI HOSPITAL, INC., and for such
other and further relief as this court deems just and proper.
DATED: this 13th day of September 2010.
ARONFELD TRIAL LAWYERS
Attorneys for Plaintiff
3132 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
Telephone: (305) 441-0440 (305) 441-0440 Facsimile:
Spencer Marc Aronfeld, Esq.
Fla. Bar No.: 0905161
If Joshua Haskins were alive today, he´d be 8 months old.
Joshua Haskins died on October 6, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Born
on August 16, 2010 with a congenital heart defect, Joshua was
circumcised in the NICU on October 5, 2010 around 1:00 pm. The
circumcising doctor nicked an artery, and Joshua bled until 7:30 pm,
when a urologist stopped the bleeding with stitches. Joshua died the
following morning at 8:58 am.
See this site to read copies of the blog posts the mother wrote, and
has since removed.
Jameson should be 3 months old today.
January 16, 2011- “One of my very close friends just had a baby boy,
Jameson. It has been sad all around because he was diagnosed with
hemophilia at birth just like his 2 year old brother Jackie (my friend)
is understandably upset that she gave birth to another special needs
child. But Jameson is having major complications from his circumcision
and he may lose his penis. He is in surgery right now. Please pray for
their family. My heart is broken for them.”
“UPDATE: He is still not doing well. They still don’t know what will
happen to his penis. It was really affected but they have to wait and
see. His brother Jackson was circumcised with no problems but Jameson
didn’t take to the factor I guess.”
One mother asked if the doctors knew the baby had hemophilia before
circumcising him. “They knew before so I’m not sure why they had him
Other mothers offered prayers, comments, and questions.
“I cannot believe the Dr.’s would go ahead with unnecessary surgery.”
“Why on earth would they circumcise a hemophiliac child?”
“I don’t think circumcision is necessary to begin with, just awful they
would even consider it & risk his life over it is beyond me.”
This boy will turn 3 in July 2011.
LR hospital botched surgery, suit says
By John Lynch
An Arkansas Children´s Hospital surgeon mutilated their infant son in a
botched circumcision, a Jonesboro couple says in a malpractice lawsuit
against the hospital, doctor and nurses, claiming the error left the
boy – described as a “cripple” – with a disfigured “fragment.”
The complete article about this hospital in Little Rock being sued can
be found at:
It´s not clear how old Lantz is today.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Circumcision Gone Wrong: Lantz’ Story By Brooke [last name withheld at
author's request] © 2011
As soon as I found out I was having a boy I started researching
circumcision. I did not like what I saw. So much pain for such a little
person to deal with for what I found to be no apparent reason. I had
totally made up my mind and I was completely against such a barbaric
But as soon as people find out you’re having a boy it starts… the
questioning. “Your gonna get him cut right?” “Are you circumcising?”
“Who’s doing his circumcision?” I always answered with, “I won’t be
getting him circumcised.” Then came the “Ohhhh…” with an eyeroll. I
let it go…
His father was all for circumcision, but I put up such a huge fight
that he finally just let me have my way. My dad wanted him to be
circumcised as well, but I just ignored him the best I could. At the
time of Lantz’s birth there was quite a lot going on in my life. My
grandmother was dying of brain cancer and she passed five days after
Lantz was born. I was extremely close to her – she was like a second
mother to me. She was home on hospice in the end, and we took care of
her 24/7. So I was beyond stressed at this time.
It was at this point in Lantz’s young life that someone said something
to me that would ultimately cause me to circumcise my baby. Their words
hurt so bad, that it made me do it. I don’t want to discuss
specifically what was said, or who said it, but just know that it still
hurts me today.
After my Grandmother passed, we had to travel for her funeral, and
while we were out of town I decided I couldn’t risk my son hating me in
the long run, so I planned to have him circumcised when I got home. I
called and made the appointment, and my aunt and I took him to be
We arrived around 11am and waited for a few minutes until the nurse
called us back. She took Lantz from me and told me to go back to the
waiting room – she would be back in about twenty minutes. So we sat
down and waited. Only minutes later she came out again and called us
back. There were two big double doors to get to the back of the office
where the rooms for circumcision surgery were. As soon as she opened
one of the doors I could hear Lantz screaming. I was in shock.
She led us into the room and I almost hit the floor. There lied my
beautiful, perfect baby strapped to a board screaming so very hard he
was purple and couldn’t catch his breath. His hands were so tight his
knuckles were white. I rubbed the only place I could, his forehead. I
stroked it and told him I loved him and that he would be okay. The
nurse just kept saying over and over again, “He’s going be fine.” She
made me feel like what I was doing was wrong – as though I shouldn’t be
attempting to console my baby.
The doctor was in the room but he didn’t say anything to me – he just
left the room. The nurse then told me that she couldn’t get the
bleeding to stop. She asked my aunt to hold pressure while she left the
room to get a Styrofoam band to wrap around his penis to try and stop
the bleeding. After she applied the band she put his diaper back on and once again told us he was fine, and that we could leave to go home, so we did.
We drove the forty-five minute drive back to our house. When we arrived
into town I stopped by my mom’s office where she worked as a nurse to
tell her about what had just happened. She told us to go on home and
she followed to take a look at Lantz. When she took his diaper off, it
was completely and totally full of blood. She looked at me and said,
“We’re going back now.”
I called to let them know we were on our way, and off we went back to
the doctors office. They took us back where they held pressure for what
seemed like forever! A doctor came in and looked at Lantz and left the
room without saying anything to us. Another doctor came in and did the
same. Finally, the first doctor came back and told me they nicked a
vein and she was getting a surgeon to come over and cauterize the vein.
So there we sat with my bleeding, screaming baby and waited for the
surgeon who never came.
After waiting for a very long time my mom went into the hall to ask
someone where the surgeon was. They sent us across the street directly
to another surgeon´s office. He called us back, took off Lantz’s diaper
and said, “Oh no – they’ve cut all the skin off.” He sent us to the
emergency department at the hospital where they performed an emergency
surgery to stitch the top of Lantz’s penis to the baby fat around the
base to stop the bleeding. The doctor had cut all the skin off the
shaft of Lantz´s penis. He bled for eight hours.
When Lantz was eighteen months old he had his second corrective
surgery. We waited in a room with Lantz, where they had us dress him in a tiny hospital gown and gave him toys to play with while we waited. And then they came to get us. My mom and I walked Lantz down a long white hallway following the doctor. We came to a set of big swinging doors and the doctor turned to us and said this is our stop. So I kissed Lantz, told him I loved him, and handed him over to a complete stranger. I turned around and walked away, holding onto my mom all the way back down the hallway, sobbing. We waited in a huge waiting room with lots of other people waiting for family who were in surgery also.
It seemed like years, and then finally they called for “the mother of
Lantz.” As soon as I saw him, I just wanted to hold on to him forever
and never let him go. There he was – drugged and limp, in his tiny
hospital gown. They put him in my arms and wheeled us to recovery. He was pitiful. But I thought to myself, “It is over! Thank God! We did
it! He’s fixed!”
When Lantz was two years old we had another appointment with his
pediatric urologist who informed us he would indeed need yet another
corrective surgery. One week later, there we were in the same boat we
had already been in. Only difference this time was that when they came
out post-op to call for “the mother of Lantz,” I went back to my
uncontrollable, screaming son. I could do nothing to help him. He just
cried, “Owie, owie…” It was horrible. The next few weeks were even
worse. Every time he walked he cried owie. His penis was so swollen I
thought it was going to pop. Then the night terrors started. He would
start screaming with his eyes still closed, and I could not wake him
up, and could not do anything to calm him. He just screamed and
screamed for months, every single night.
After this, we were finally told there would “most likely” be no more
surgery! Lantz will have problems in his future because of the
circumcision, but there is no way to know just how bad they will be,
and there is nothing we can do to fix them. The guilt I feel hurts so
bad. Why wasn’t I strong enough to stand up for my baby? How am I going
to explain this to him when he’s older? Nothing in my life has ever
hurt this bad. I scarred my baby – my sweet, perfect baby.
If Eric Dickson Keefe were still alive, he´d be nearly 3 years old today.
Circumcision Death Case Settles for $230,000
April 8th, 2011 by ICGI
Native American Boy Bleeds to Death
The lawsuit involving a South Dakota Native American infant, Eric
Dickson Keefe, from the Rosebud Indian Reservation, who bled to death
from a circumcision in 2008, was settled this week for $230,000. The case involved an Indian Health Service doctor who circumcised the child at the end of the working day allowing for no period of post-surgical observation. Testimony showed the mother faced a long drive home on rural roads with other children in her care.
“This was sheer negligence and an ethical failure to consider the
risk,” says George C. Denniston, MD, MPH, President of Doctors Opposing
Circumcision, a physicians´ group based in Seattle, Washington, which
assisted with the case. “Circumcision is unnecessary surgery, which the
parents are never told holds a risk of death for their child.”
Keefe bled to death during the night from his open circumcision wound
in June, 2008. Medical professionals say that the loss of only two and
one-half ounces of blood can cause the death of even a large
eight-pound infant. “That amount of blood, just a few drops per hour,
was easily hidden in the super-absorbent disposable diaper baby Keefe
was diapered with.” notes Denniston, “Parents are never told about that
Doctors Opposing Circumcision has provided expert advice for numerous
circumcision death cases. “Exsanguination, or bleeding to death, is
hard to detect,” says Denniston, “since the child slips away quietly,
and no one wants to disturb what appears to be a sleeping child.”
Death from circumcision is relatively rare, although a recent study
estimates that around 117 children in the United States die each year
from circumcision. “These are entirely avoidable deaths,” says
Denniston, “caused by a pointless surgery that the child would never
choose for himself.”
This is the obituary for Eric Keefe who was dearly loved by his family:
During the winter of 2007-08 there was a big secret in the Keefe household in Wood, SD, with only a few weeks to go news was out – a baby boy was on the way.
Eric Dickson Keefe was born May 1st, 2008 at the Rosebud Hospital. To help enter him into the world were his Uncle Donnie and Aunt Alicia. With great delight uncle Donnie embraced his new nephew. Eric being the third child of Mary Aurelia was received with great expectation and joy by sister, Sarah Serena, and brother, Garrett Arlen. No minute sibling rivalry was ever present – only deep sincere love and protection was evident in their hearts and minds.Besides Eric’s family at home there were quite a few others interested in his arrival; a host of relatives, all the friends and neighbors far and wide, and caring co-workers of mother. Eric was a special baby – right from the start!
Sarah was so thrilled that she was insistent that her, “Show-and-tell” for the 2nd grade class of the Wood School be her brother. Once brother, Eric, arrived at school Sarah issued a litany of jubilations that she had experienced on behalf of the little one. She also wanted all of the other children to get acquainted with the new blessing. They were very kind and sincerely greeted Eric.
Sarah wished to engender the many interests that she has into her new brother. Of course knowing Sarah… they are not the usual interests most little girls know – as hers interests include: turtles, frogs, snakes, gymnastics, fashion, astronomy, and a plethora of the gifts of nature. Sarah surely impressed Eric by reading stories to him that she personally wrote and illustrated.
Each and every morning Garrett would wake up and come running out insistent on seeing his “Cutiefrom Heaven”. Garrett was present when his mother had a CVS done. During this procedure Eric, at 11 weeks, waved his little hand to his brother. Garrett could see this on the monitor and was especially impressed. So much so that he indicated – See! He does know me! Garrett wanted to instill into his brother what it meant to be a “Great Leprechaun Hunter”, for Leprechauns are always searching for the gold at the end of the rainbow. (Imagination is a great thing – faith an even greater.)
Many great plans for the future were made for this little one – Disney World, hiking, camping, falconry, and saving dogs.
In the early hours of pre-dawn of June 14th, 2008 Eric’s mother rushed him to Indian Health Service in Rosebud, SD. And on the way the radio tuned in Louie Armstrong’s “Wonderful World”. Turning the volume up Mary Aurelia turned to her son, Eric, and said, “Listen to this, Eric, for this is what our lives have truly been, since you have been here .You punctuate who we are.” The rest of the ride was done so in virtual silence.
Grandfather KiKi called for Father Witt, S.J. come to baptize and to give the last rites to Eric. After which, his siblings came to his side to pray with him one last time. For six weeks Sarah and Garrett loved this blessed soul an entire lifetime. While Eric ascended his mother prayed the same prayer once again to the Blessed Virgin. Her prayers were answered. He has a plan. Sometimes we do not always get our prayers answered like we would like them…but they are answered.
Family friend and Roman Catholic Deacon Marlon Leneaugh gave a beautiful sermon at Eric’s funeral mass. His godmother, Jody Callaway, eulogized his continued life. Joyce Colombe offered a tender poem. Sharon Bryan inspired a choir of angles, while Kay Piper issued from the depths of her being the most beautiful sounds. On June 19, 2008 Donnie Boyd, Albert Joseph, Dr. Thomas Keefe, and Steve Peters helped to lay Eric to eternal rest the Evergreen Cemetery in Wood, SD.
Preceding Eric in his journey are L. Monica Dickson, Colonel Thomas Keefe, and Shari Tuthill. Blessed for sharing Eric’s life are Garrett Arlen, Sarah Serena, Mary Aurelia and Forrest Keefe, grandfather Willis E. (KiKi) Dickson, Sr., grandmother Lois Keefe, uncles George Dickson, David E. C. Dickson, Willis E. Dickson, Jr., and Dr. Thomas Keefe, aunts Laurie Dickson and Alicia Dickson-Boyd, and cousins Joyce Colombe.
Here´s an example of a mother practicing her own religious beliefs (and
presumably also what she perceived to be her parental rights) upon her
son, when she circumcised him herself.
Oregon woman ‘used box cutter and pliers to circumcise three-month-old
son at home… after learning how on YouTube’
By Paul Thompson
Last updated at 12:12 PM on 12th April 2011
A mother is to go on trial for assault after allegedly using a box
cutter and a pair of pliers to circumcise her three-month-old son.
Keemonta Peterson told police she had watched YouTube videos on how to
carry out the surgical procedure.
The mother-of-four is alleged to have left her baby son bleeding for
two hours before finally calling emergency services.
Peterson, 29, said she was inspired to carry out the DIY operation at
her home in Portland, Oregon, after reading the Bible.
According to an arrest report Peterson began the operation at midnight
using a box cutter knife as a scalpel and the pliers as a tourniquet.
When the bleeding would not stop on the botched operation she tried to
stitch up the wound while her distressed 13 year old son watched.
After two hours of `uncontrolled´ bleeding Peterson called paramedics.
Her son, who has not been named, was listed in critical condition but
has since made a full recovery following the October incident.
Following her arrest Peterson told detectives she decided on the DIY
circumcision as hospitals in Portland will not carry out the operation
of boys older than four weeks.
Peterson was arrested last month and charged with first and second
Her bail was set at $550,000 but following a hearing was reduced to
$5,000 and she was released from jail.
Prosecutors told the court Peterson had voiced her concerns about her
mental health and said she had suffered hallucinations that prevented
her from sleeping for days.
Her four children are being looked after by social workers and Peterson
is to go on trial in June.
Keith Halpern, Attorney at Law
572 Washington Street, suite 19
Wellesley, MA 02482
Botched Circumcision – $60,000 Award for Child
An Ob-Gyn removed too much skin in performing a circumcision. The
infant had to undergo two repair procedures.
March 2013 from Facebook