Just a couple of weeks ago we mentioned the case of the Swiss doctor who cut the penis of a 4 year old child during a circumcision. The doctor claimed that as he was making his incision, the boy’s father started to take a photo, causing his son to turn toward him, causing him to severe the penis.
The 59-year-old doctor was cleared in trial after defense lawyers ruled that he “could not be responsible for the ‘unforeseeable act’ of the boy turning to pose for photos”. (See Daily Mail)
Now, I wonder if those defense lawyers have ever seen a circumcision, particularly one of a child who is not a neonate.
Children fight it off, children kick, scream, cry, move. Are you going to tell me that this doctor was operating on a conscious, unrestrained child?
Not only that. Circumcision is a far more involved process than just “making an incision”. If one is not using a clamp (and it’s not likely they were using a clamp on a 4 y/o), the process involves a separating the glans from the foreskin in case there are still remaining adhesions, followed by a delicate circular cut of the skin around the penis (something that you don’t do in a quick movement) followed by cutting the inner mucous membrane, and finalized by suturing together the two remaining edges. It is not a quick process. So, how was this doctor doing this without holding the penis, that a movement from the child would have sufficed for him to severe the whole penis?
The whole process had to be negligent. There is no way around it. You don’t cut through the genitals of a child expecting the child to remain perfectly still. If you feel that the child is moving, you don’t continue cutting through. This just does not make sense at all.
But again, I guess it’s easier to blame the victim, and cutting a child’s penis is an acceptable risk as long as you can perpetuate the ritual of genital cutting of male minors.
In the meantime, let’s see the face of Dr. Stephan R. Glicken, pediatrician in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and affiliated with Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton, who we also mentioned in our recent post, as the doctor who “cut off a significant portion of the penis” of a newborn baby and then failed to transfer the partially amputated portion of their son’s penis on ice, and as a result, attempts to reattach it were “unlikely to succeed and could result in additional complications.”
This is what a man who cuts the penis of a baby looks like: