Deeper Into Circumcision: An Invitation to Awareness

Circumcision Deaths/Disasters Headlines
(Popular Press)

"But deception is often nonverbal, and conveyed
instead by gestures or false visual clues, as in
situations where a clear risk ought to be pointed out."

Encyclopedia of Bioethics, The Free Press, 1978


"Surgery ends in coma; wife gets $3.85 million" Trenton, N.J. (UPI) "A $3.85 million out-of-court settlement was awarded to the wife of a man who has been in a coma since a circumcision operation four years ago." [Source?]

"Botched Circumcision wants to meet man who likes headless cocks. Also, want to meet man with headless cock." (From a classified ad in Foreskin Quarterly.)


"Penis Destroyed by Electrical Instrument During Circumcision, Boy of 8 Months Raised as a Girl" Justice Weekly (Toronto), 10/25/69. "How one of two 8-month old male twins was made into a girl as the result of a medical error is disclosed in the annual report of the Canadian Medical Protective Association. The case occurred in Western Canada about two years ago and although legal action was brought against the doctor, the action was settled out of court for a considerable sum ... It appears that the boy was undergoing circumcision with an electrical instrument, had his penis destroyed and eventually had to undergo further surgery to allow him to be raised as a girl ... the accident occurred after power control dials were adjusted upwards to achieve the desired cutting effect until ... a sudden searing sound was heard and the penis was discovered to be destroyed ... an incision was made into the infant's bladder and later both testicles were removed preliminary to a series of plastic surgical procedures which will allow the child to be reared as a female."


"Circumcision Botched; He's Now She (Family Awarded $850,000" L.A. Times, 10/30/75.

"Child awarded damages" Leader Post Regina, SK [Canada], November 1975. ("SEATTLE (AP) A three-year-old child who is undergoing sex change operations because he was badly burned during a routine circumcision has been awarded $750,000 ... a military doctor ... burned the baby's genital area so badly that physicians eventually advised changing the child's sex to female ... The greatest danger, doctors said, is of deep psychological trauma if the child learns she was born a male.")


"Grand jury to probe death of baby after circumcision" The Des Moines Register, Nov. 20, 1982. ("A Polk County grand jury will decide if anyone is to blame for the bleeding death of a Des Moines infant ... three-month-old Christopher Dolezal, who died after extensive blood loss following a circumcision ... was circumcised ... two days before his death ... the child had gone through more than 20 bloody diapers.")


"Family gets $2.75 million in wrongful surgery suit" Lake Charles American Press, May 28, 1986. ("The family of a young boy whose penis had to be amputated after it was severely burned during a routine circumcision performed at ... W.O. Moss Regional Hospital on Feb. 2, 1984.")


"MD sued for cutting short man's sex life" Ottawa Citizen, 3/4/88. "TORONTO (CP) A couple is suing a doctor claiming a circumcision he performed left the man unable to have sex ... The couple, from Hamilton, say the 1984 operation excessively foreshortened the man's penis and left him unable to achieve an erection or ejaculate."


"Sex change should give circumcision victim near-normal life" Atlanta Constitution, 9/21/85. ("A month-old Atlanta child who underwent a sex-change operation two weeks ago as result of a circumcision accident at Northside Hospital could lead a near-normal life as a female, a doctor familiar with sex-change procedures said Friday ... If a child who has undergone a sex change is reared properly, she probably would suffer little consequence from the operation, except that she could not have a baby, says Dr. Roy Witherington, chairman of the department of urology at the Medical College of Georgia in Atlanta.")

"Circumcision Kills 200 Babies a Year" National Enquirer, Oct. 22, 1985.
[How many babies a year does circumcision almost kill?]


"$22.8 million award in botched circumcision?" The Atlanta Constitution, March 12, 1991. ("Northside Hospital will pay $22.8 million to a boy severely injured in a circumcision accident at the hospital nearly six years ago ... The child had his penis severely burned in the mishap ... 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, ")

Five Minutes That Ended a Baby Boy's Life Two-week-old son of Nigerian Christian parents dies after home circumcision. The Independent, 4/30/91.


"Infant bleeds to death after being circumcised" Miami Herald, June 26, 1993.

"Circumcision Kills Miami Baby, Costs Marin Baby Tip of Penis," by David O'Connor. United Press International, 1993. Bay Area Reporter, 7/8/93, p. 16.


"Circumcision doctor killed boy, 9, with heroin overdose" The Independent (40 City Road, London, England, ECI 2DB), July 9, 1994.


"Doctor freed despite conviction in 2 deaths" Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 1/28/95. ("HARARE, Zimbabwe ... [Dr. Richard] McGown, 58, was convicted of causing the deaths of two children who received large doses of morphine one for a circumcision, the other for an appendectomy.")

"$256,000 VERDICT ... Pediatric negligence in performing elective circumcision Amputation of portion of penis ... Surgical reattachment less than ..." Medical Malpractice by Specialty, 3/95.

"Man blames hospital for penis amputation" Martinez, CA. "A man whose penis was amputated is seeking $800,000 ... for the loss of his penis and the amputation's effect on his marriage." Sunday Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, 4/15/95.

Medical Malpractice: Circumcision / Verdict: $36,400 "9/12/92: Plaintiff, a minor child, was having a circumcision performed by the Defendant. The Defendant cut off the tip of the young boy's penis resulting in disfigurement but without loss of function." Warren Communications Tri-Service, 5/8/95.

"Boy in coma most of his 6 years dies" The State, Columbia, South Carolina, 7/10/95. "A boy who was in a coma for more than six years while a legal battle raged around him has died ... 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 during circumcision. He died at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, three weeks before his 7th birthday ... The anesthesiologists who attended to Allen during the circumcision settled the case for $435,000 and agreed to lifetime payment of his medical bills."

"Boy's death to be probed" Houston Chronicle, 7/28/95. "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 ... The boy died Tuesday after a week in a coma on life support."

"Boy gets $1.2 million for circumcision error" Asbury Park Press, 11/30/95. (AP) "NEW YORK: An 8-year-old Russian immigrant whose penis was shortened and disfigured during circumcision has reached a $1.2 million settlement with several defendants, including a Lakewood rabbi who performed the operation ... The botched operation occurred when the boy underwent a Jewish ritual operation five years ago ... The boy's lawyers maintained that the rabbi who performed the ritual, known as a bris, amputated 80 percent of the head of his penis."


"A Boy Without a Penis" "He was one of a set of infant twin boys when, in 1963, his penis was damaged beyond repair by a circumcision that went awry. After seeking expert medical advice at Johns Hopkins Medical School, the parents decided that the child's best shot at a normal life was as an anatomically correct woman. The baby was castrated, and surgeons fashioned a kind of vagina out of the remaining tissue. When she grew older, hormone treatments would complete the transformation from boy to girl." Time, 3/24/97.
[Neither The New York Times ("Defying an Intervention, Sexual Identity Prevails," 3/14/97) nor The Washington Post {date?} mentioned circumcision in their articles about this same baby. Why?]


Circumcision That Didn't Heal Kills Boy
CLEVELAND, October 20, 1998 -- A 3-week-old boy died while doctors were trying to fix a problem with his circumcision.
       A pediatrician noticed the circumcision performed on Dustin Evans two weeks ago wasn't healing properly and the urethra was blocked. A routine surgical procedure was needed to correct the problem and clear the hole. While being administered anesthesia on Friday, the boy's heart stopped, said his father, Dustin Evans Sr., 27.
       Doctors at Rainbow Babies Childrens Hospital attempted to save the baby by massaging his heart and inserting breathing tubes.
       He was kept on a life-support ventilator system during the day until it was determined that his heart was healthy, but he had suffered massive brain damage.
       Dustin was disconnected from life support about 7:30 p.m. Friday.
       "You think, 'What could go wrong with a circumcision?' "Evans said. "The next thing I know he's dead."
       The Associated Press, 1998.


$10 million settlement

"Hospitals like bad doctors because
they make money for the hospital."

Private communication from a medical
doctor who asked to remain anonymous

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