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The Controversy behind the Mogen Clamp

The Mogen clamp is still used frequently to perform circumcisions on infant males in the United States, but the Mogen Circumcision Instruments Company paid so much money in injury settlements that it went out of business in July 2010. The device was invented by Brooklyn rabbi, Harry Bronstein in 1954. During circumcision, the penis is covered by the device and the circumciser must complete the process blindly. Consequently, the Mogen clamp is a difficult and dangerous tool to work with.

In 2010, an Atlanta lawyer won $10.8 million for a family whose infant son lost the entire head of his penis during an operation with the Mogen clamp. However, Mogen was already in default from a $7.5 million judgment in a 2007 Massachusetts lawsuit and Mogen couldn’t afford to defend itself in court, so the family may never receive any money.

Melanie Hall’s son was similarly injured during a 2011 Mogen clamp circumcision in Los Angeles. She sued the distributing company, Miltex Inc. and its parent company, Integra Life Sciences Holding Corp. The company settled for $4.6 million.

Circumcisions are always risky. If your child has a planned surgery, you should feel confident that your physician can perform the procedure correctly and safely, and you may want to be extra cautious if they plan to use a Mogen clamp.

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