Man Sues Hospital Over His Own Newborn Circumcision

There are certain issues in parenting and in life that have become hot-button topics. Among them are vaccination, breastfeeding, and circumcision. Of those, it's circumcision that gets people the most heated. People have tried to ban it and legislate it and stop it in any way they can. And now one 28-year-old man in South Dakota is suing the hospital he says "robbed him of his prowess" as a newborn.

Let's get serious. He was circumcised as a newborn 28 years ago when, to the best of everyone's knowledge, circumcision WAS healthier and better for kids. The man (who is now in prison, by the way) claims the hospital misled his mother and tricked her into the circumcision.

It's hard to believe this case for so many reasons.

There are still many, many people in the medical community who believe circumcision is better and healthier. Most pediatricians will not take a stand either way since in many cultures, circumcision is the norm and expected.

Still, take it beyond circumcision. Look at any medical procedure performed on a child. Parents are charged with educating themselves and making the best possible decision for their children.

If anyone were going to be sued, it ought to be this man's mother. But then what? Can every child who ever had their tonsils out sue to get them back? There is no PROOF that uncircumcised men have better sex. 

Sure, some will try to claim there is, but there is just no way to prove it. Anecdotally, I know many women who have said they would refuse sex with an uncircumcised male, so you know, there's that, too. And quite frankly, that "science" is just as relevant as that which belongs to the anti-circumcision brigade.

This isn't just about circumcision, though. This is about a medical decision that was made by a consenting adult for her newborn son. If this man were to win the $1,000 in compensatory and punitive damages he seeks, he will set a new bar and open the door for many other lawsuits like it.

Now can anyone sue the hospital that takes their appendix or gallbladder or any other kind of surgery that may later be deemed "medically unnecessary"?

It's a dangerous precedent and, while this man has no lawyer and is only seeking $1,000, it may not be the last we see of this kind of thing.

Do you think he should be able to sue?


Image via morrissey/Flickr

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jalaz77 jalaz77


Felip... FelipesMom

This article is so ridiculous I want to throw up. "Most pediatricians will not take a stand either way since in many cultures, circumcision is the norm and expected." This sentence completely contradicts the point you were trying to make, which is "many people in the medical community who believe circumcision is better and healthier." If pediatricians are refusing to weigh in simply because it is "the norm and expected" in their culture, they are not acting out of any concern for what is healthy. In many countries, it is the norm and expects for baby girls to have their labia removed. Does that mean that pediatricians in those countries, who refuse to take a stand based on these cultural (NOT medical) reasons, think it is healthier and better to remove the labia? The same can be said for spitting on a bride's head, eating with your hands, sharing food, walking barefoot, wearing a veil, and binding feet. In some time and place, ALL of these things are/were "the norm and expected" - for reasons that had NOTHING to do with health or safety.

Cultural considerations are valid, important, and relevant. They are NOT the same as "healthier and better."

Felip... FelipesMom

And why should he have to prove that sex is better when you're uncircumcized in order to have the right to sue someone for circumsizing him? Would I have to prove that playing tennis is better with a complete hand in order to sue you for cutting off the tip of my finger? Of course not!!! I don't know if I thin khe should be able to sue or not, but I DO know that your "reasoning" and "logic" here is pathetic.

Sierr... SierraLynn

If this case does make it in front of a judge it will be thrown out. Him being in prison is already a bad charatcer flaw. Plus, it was signed by his.mother to do it. Not the hospital. All his mom had to say was "no."

Sounds like someone just wants some quick cash.

Felip... FelipesMom

Taking out an appendix might later be deemed "medically unnecesary," but right now it truly is a procedure done for MEDICAL reasons - clearly and undenuably. Circumcision, on the other hand, is mostly done for cultural reasons, and the health benefits are secondary. This is a ridiculous comparison. 


Also, do you even KNOW - I mean, have you actually sought out any information about - when circumcision was recognized as being medically unnecessary? You seem to assume that in 1984 everyone thought it WAS medically necessary. I myself have not done any research, and I do not know what the thinking was at that time, but I would be surprised if docotrs a mere 28 years ago truly believed circumcision was as medically necessary as removing tonsils was once thought to be, or as an appendectomy is considered to be.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

I think you need to reexamine what "contradictory" means. Many and Most aren't mutually exclusive. And "many" doctors can believe its "better and healthier" even if "most" if them prefer not to take a stand.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Who are these many doctors who believe circumcision is better? When I was pregnant with my son the subject came up many times and every single medical professional from my OB to the childbirth educator to the pediatrician was opposed to circumcision. Even the old guy in the pediatrician's practice was against it and he was a total dinosaur who still advised new moms not to take baby out of the house for six weeks and told them to bathe them daily.

I doubt he will win but I'm OK with him filing. If it makes some parents reconsider mutilating their newborns then it's a positive thing. No child should be subjected to such a thing and the sooner it becomes socially unacceptable or better yet, illegal, the better.

Rachel Humphrey

No just like I don't think people who have prob. when someeone removed or does any other operation. I think these people are doing what they have been taught to do. Save lives, make life better for people and doing it and the person either not liking it or parents making the decision to save their life. I just can't fathom, being in a car accident and the Dr. saving your life by taking something out that woudl kill you and than later being sued because the man would rather have died or would rather take the chance with the organ. 

Crystal Rider

I realy doubt he would win. I am fine with whatever decision parents make for there children.I circumcized.I  wish now after doing some research I would not have but its done. Hopefully my son later on in life dosen't hate me for it. My DS is also circumcized and I don't mean to be gross here but he has no compaints in the bedroom. He seems to enjoy sex just fine!

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