Wrongful Circumcision - What to Do When Your Baby Boy Has Been Circumcised Without Your Consent
What is Wrongful Circumcision?Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis, that structure that covers the round end of the penis known as the glans. Circumcision is not medically necessary or even desirable as it removes a structure that is now known to protect the glans penis and to provide sexual pleasure to both the owner and his sexual partner. (See www.cirp.org). More and more parents are deciding against circumcision. They refuse to consent to it for their son. Unfortunately, on occasion either the hospital staff or the doctor or both make a mistake that results in the circumcision of a boy whose parents have decided he should not be circumcised. When this occurs it is both a legal "battery" (a harmful or offensive touching of the body without consent) and medical malpractice (failure to follow the standard of care applicable to the medical professional in the circumstances). Wrongful circumcision results in pain, suffering, and damage for which your son should be compensated.
What Should I Do if My Son is Circumcised Against My Wishes?You should immediately find out the names of the doctor who did the circumcision and of all of the hospital staff involved in assisting. Take good, in focus, digital photos of your son's damaged penis as soon as possible and every day as the circumcision heals. Upon discharge from the hospital order a "certified" copy of his medical records and of his mother's records. Keep a daily diary noting any discomfort your son feels,any fussiness he exhibits, and any other difficulties he encounters such as difficulty in breastfeeding or sleeping. Immediately contact a lawyer who is knowledgeable about circumcision and its bad effects and who concentrates on medical malpractice cases in general and circumcision cases in particular. DO NOT agree to any settlement with the doctor or the hospital until you have met with a lawyer. Many times one or both will try to get you to "settle cheap and fast" by offering a settlement before you have legal representation. This is always a bad idea.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer Who is Familiar with Circumcision Issues?Because circumcision has been so common until recently in the United States many lawyers do not realize the value of the foreskin or the harm, including the pain, suffering, and disfigurement, caused by circumcision. This lack of knowledge causes them to undervalue the case and to settle for far less than the case is worth. It is important to have a lawyer who is familiar with normal penile anatomy and with the function of the foreskin, as well as the extensive medical literature on all sides of the circumcision issue, since such a lawyer can best represent your son and get him the compensation he deserves.