Today we heard about Mahoney v. Smith, a case in Connecticut where parents sued Dr. Lori Storch Smith over malpractice during a circumcision performed at Norwalk Hospital on December 29, 2010. During this procedure, Dr. Smith used a Mogen Clamp, to realize that she had cut approximately 30% of the glans of the baby, who was then transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he had the amputated portion reattached.
The trial started on April 15, 2015 – and the jury cleared the defendant. The verdict was appealed, and the Appellate Court just ruled against the plaintiffs.
But, let’s review a few facts.
Back in August 2000, the FDA emitted a warning about the potential for injury from the Mogen and Gomco clamps, after 105 reports of injuries between July 1996 and January 2000.
On July of 2010, six months before this botched procedure, an Atlanta Lawyer won a $10.8 million lawsuit for the family of a baby who lost his glans during a Mogen clamp circumcision. Mogen Circumcision Instruments of New York was already $7 million in default on another lawsuit, and went out of business.
Another baby, born on March of 2010 (9 months before this botched circumcision) also had the glans of his penis removed during a Mogen clamp circumcision. His parents filed a lawsuit on April of 2015. We reported about this lawsuit 2 years ago.
The FDA warning was later archived, but remained accessible on their website for sometime. However, today I tried to see the page again, and it has been removed. The failed search even offers to search the FDA archive, but is again unsuccessful. Fortunately, the CIRP page saved a copy of the warning.
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics presented their policy statement on circumcision, in which they said that “the benefits outweigh the risks”, but “the benefits are not enough to recommend circumcision”. Dr. Andrew Freedman from the task force said that “there are modest benefits and modest risks“. The Policy Statement dismissed the most catastrophic risks of circumcision, such as loss of the glans, as “case reports” because of the lack of statistics – thus catastrophic harm was not taken into consideration.
The AAP policy statement on circumcision is turning 5 years next month. Will they reaffirm it? Will they present a new one? When is the AAP going to come clean on the actual number of catastrophic injuries? When are they going to tell pediatricians and OB/GYNS to stop maiming another generation of American baby boys?