All posts by oculus21

Yet another Mogen clamp injury from 2010

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?

 

 

Negligent penis cutter CLEARED of negligence

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:

Dr. Stephan Glicken pediatrician  Hazleton, Pennsylvania affiliated with Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton - who cut the penis of a newborn baby

Dr. Stephan Glicken pediatrician Hazleton, Pennsylvania affiliated with Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton – who cut the penis of a newborn baby

Metzitzah b’Peh – 6 babies infected with herpes after oral suction during circumcision following NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s repeal of existing regulations

[New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio,] asked directly if it was ever appropriate for an adult to suck the penis of an infant, the mayor demurred.

“This is religious tradition and look I’m keenly aware of our Constitution,” he said.


[But religious tradition is not above the law. For example, the 1996 law against FGM provides no religious or cultural exceptions]

[de Blasio also said:] “And we’re going to say to [parents], it’s important to ask the mohel — if you choose to engage in this practice, that’s your right, and we respect religious freedom — but ask the mohel if they are infected with herpes. And if they are, you should find a different mohel. It’s as simple as that.”


[But Mayor De Blasio, the person "engaged" in this practice is not the parent. It's a BABY, an individual who does not have the maturity or the legal competence to consent to this practice, someone who did not "choose to engage" in the practice, so this is nothing short of sexual assault of a minor!

Putting the genitals of a person who did not consent, inside the mouth of another person, is sexual assault. When this person is a minor, this is sexual assault of a minor.

To do it in the context of a religious ritual then also becomes ritual abuse of a minor.]

Context:

Previous Mayor Bloomberg “regulated” this practice by requiring parents to sign a “consent form” where they acknowledge the risks of the procedure. The measure was not enforced, and the consent form would only be requested when there were any complaints. The rabbis objected angrily calling it an infringement on their religious freedom. In a couple of cases of herpes infections, it was found that no consent form was signed.

Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio promised to repeal this regulation, and did so once he became mayor. Since then, 6 babies have become infected with herpes as a consequence of the ritual.

The health commissioner Mary Bassett said the city has identified two of the six mohels involved in those cases, but would not identify them because they “entitled to their privacy” (it’s not like sucking the penis of a non-consenting minor and infecting him with a sexually transmitted disease could be seen as a criminal action, right?).

These two mohels have been “banned” of practicing the ritual (just the oral suction part, not circumcisions per se – even though they are not medical doctors… isn’t that practicing medicine without a license?), but they are not being named, so the city relies on them to “comply on their own”. The community has no way of knowing who they are to verify compliance.

Since 2000, there have been 24 confirmed cases of herpes infection following DOS, according to the health department. Two of the 24 babies died, and at least two others suffered brain damage.

March 10, 2017 First Baby In 2017 Is Diagnosed With Herpes After Oral Suction Circumcision

March 29, 2017 NYC bars two men from practicing Jewish circumcision after infants contract herpes

March 9, 2017 More infant herpes cases linked to Jewish circumcision ritual found since de Blasio’s new policy with community

Feb 24, 2015 Mayor de Blasio Is Set to Ease Rules on Circumcision Ritual

Cutting off children’s penises… an acceptable risk?

In 2012, following the lead of Germany, hospitals in Austria and Switzerland briefly banned circumcisions on male minors after the Cologne court ruling that it could amount to bodily harm. Unfortunately it was only briefly.

Unfortunately, I said, because in 2014, a doctor in Geneva severed a four-year-old’s penis during a circumcision and ‘wasted time’ before sending him to hospital. The doctor now faces trial accused of inflicting serious bodily harm through negligence.

The father blames the doctor, who he says ran looking for a catheter and told him to wait in the operating room, and who also failed to properly restrain the boy. The doctor, through his lawyer, blames the father, because he was taking photos and the boy turned to face him, resulting in the act of severing his penis, and also states that he told the father to go to the hospital immediately.

It took several surgeries to reattach the penis, but further procedures will be needed once he becomes an adult. The surgeon continued practicing after the incident, and has since conducted an additional 1,800 circumcisions.

Every year we hear about a some boys losing part or the totality of their penises during circumcision. For a recent American example, Dr. Stephen R. Glicken from Hazleton, PA, on July 20, 2016 circumcised a newborn baby and “cut off a significant portion of the penis” 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.”

And in the meantime, circumcision fanboy Brian Morris PhD, who has in the past claimed that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks (which in his words are “predominantly minor”) 100 to 1, now claims the actual benefit to risk ratio is 200 to 1. How did this rate doubled up in a couple of years, I wish someone would ask Mr. Morris.

Now, Morris, and I know you are reading this, can you help us understand how this 200 to 1 benefit ratio applies to the very real and individual boys who suffer traumatic injuries such as the ones here described?

Perhaps a few boys are considered an acceptable risk for the medical community, but it’s not an acceptable risk for the families and boys who suffer such horrible loss.

In the meantime, in Denmark, where most of the population is in favor of banning the circumcision of male boys, the government claims that circumcision is “a human right” – and part of the reason is that it “is rarely associated with medical complications, when performed under medical supervision, and that it’s viewed as a religious expression and therefore falls under the freedom of religion right.” Tell that to the unnamed Swiss boy – or the also unnamed American baby.

 

Growing Together Pediatricians

“At Growing Together Pediatrics we perform circumcisions in the friendly, clean, low-stress environment of our office. The decision to have your newborn boy circumcised is a completely personal one that is made either before or shortly after your child’s birth. This decision is usually based on your religious, social, cultural and medical beliefs.”

What exactly are “medical beliefs”? What about the “PERSONal” opinion of your child once he grows up? Or is your baby not a person? How can a circumcision be performed in a “low-stress, friendly environment”?

Growing Together Pediatrics, at 5164 S. Conway Rd. Orlando, FL 32812 – (407) 770-1414, another joint where the human rights of American male babies are routinely violated thanks to obsolete “medical beliefs”.

At Growing Together Pediatrics we perform circumcisions in the friendly, clean, low-stress environment of our office. The decision to have your newborn boy circumcised is a completely personal one that is made either before or shortly after your child's birth. This decision is usually based on your religious, social, cultural and medical beliefs.

Bright Pediatrics in Dalton Georgia joins the Hall of Shame

As reported by intactivist Brother K, a Georgia mom “got kicked out of our pediatric practice for telling the Dr not to touch my sons penis after he insisted on retracting…. I tried to talk and he told me not to say anything and to just get out.”

Dr. Saad Hammid MD FAAP from Bright Pediatrics in Dalton, Georgia

Dr. Saad Hammid MD FAAP from Bright Pediatrics in Dalton, Georgia

Our IntactWiki page tried to share the American Academy of Pediatrics page about the care of the uncircumcised penis with Dr. Saad Hammid MD FAAP from Bright Pediatrics, but the comment was promptly deleted by not-so-Bright Peds.

The AAP’s page on care for an uncircumcised penis states: “As a boy becomes more aware of his body, he will most likely discover how to retract his own foreskin. But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until the foreskin fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin.

Thus, Dr. Saad Hammid MD and Bright Pediatrics of Dalton, Georgia, join CircWatch’s Hall of Fame for trying to injure normal babies by forcefully retracting their foreskin, and refusing to accept information about proper intact care.

Our short lived attempt to provide information about proper intact care to Bright Pediatrics of Dalton

Our short lived attempt to provide information about proper intact care to Bright Pediatrics of Dalton

hall-of-shame

 

 

Babygaga’s harmful advice on care of the foreskin – Hall of Shame

babygagaBabygaga is known for frequently posting pro-circumcision advice and improper care of the intact foreskin. The problem is, such information does not come without victims. Well meaning mothers may follow such improper advice and injure their babies.

For example, on July 18th, Babygaga published an article called “16 things nobody tells you about newborns“. On numeral 9 (“Be careful with the penis”), the faceless Bridget Galbreath claims “If he isn’t circumcised, you will have to roll the foreskin back completely to make sure that you thoroughly clean the penis with every diaper change.

Even the not-so-luminaries of the American Academy of Pediatrics have it better, when they write on their “Care for an uncircumcised penis” page:

Most boys will be able to retract their foreskins by the time they are 5 years old, yet others will not be able to until the teen years. As a boy becomes more aware of his body, he will most likely discover how to retract his own foreskin. But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until the foreskin fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin.

Trying to “roll back” the foreskin of a baby is painful and dangerous. Babygaga is recommending this against the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and pretty much against anyone who understands normal intact anatomy of the male newborn.

Numerous intactivists have reached out to Babygaga asking to correct this article. We will keep an eye on the article hoping for correction.

In the meantime, Babygaga inaugurates our Hall of Shame.

hall-of-shame

Fundamentals of anatomy? What’s up with Dr. Frederic Martini?

To think that the American medical community is biased for circumcision is an understatement. The most information that American medical texts provide about the foreskin is that it is removed by circumcision. That would be like describing the female breasts as the part removed by mastectomy, with no regard to function, form, and benefits of having it.

Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology

Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology

Today we received a couple of images from a book called “Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology“, by Dr. Frederic Martini, Dr. Judi Nath and Ed Bartholomew. On their text, the prepuce is described as a “fold of skin” with glands that “secrete a waxy material known as smegma” which “can be an excellent nutrient source for bacteria“. Because of that, “mild inflammation and infections in this area are common, especially if the area is not washed thoroughly and frequently“, but thank God for the solution, because “one way to avoid such problems is circumcision, the surgical removal of the prepuce“.

Then we are told that “in Western societies (especially the United States) this procedure is generally performed shortly after birth” and then we are told that circumcision reduces the risks of UTIs, HIV infection and penile cancer. Finally we are told that the practice remains controversial because of the risks of “bleeding, infections, and other complications“.

14225598_10154521174798385_5457800265120875240_n

Nothing else is said about the foreskin. Not a thought of describing the outer skin, the inner mucosa, the frenulum, the frenular band, the frenular delta, the dartos fascia, the meissners corpuscles, the balanopreputial synechiae, the normal development of retraction, the immunological functions of the foreskin, the gliding motion… you know, the real anatomy and physiology of the foreskin!

So, let’s see. First, they focus their description on the fact that the foreskin secretes smegma. Big deal. Secreting smegma is normal, men and women do it. Smegma can accumulate inside the foreskin of children, and that is normal. Irritations can occur, but irritations can occur on any part of the body; foreskin irritation is often the result of overzealous cleaning or leaving soap residue, or using antibacterial or scented soap, not just from having some smegma.

Removing the foreskin to eliminate smegma is really absurd. Your body will still shed cells, they just won’t accumulate, they will stick to your underwear instead. But even if this was such an important factor, it should be a personal decision, not a parental one.

We are told that Western societies, especially the United States, practice infant circumcision. In fact, it would ONLY be the United States, which hardly accounts for the totality of “Western societies“. Most of the world does not circumcise, not Europe, not Latin America, not non-Muslim Asia. In general, circumcision is limited to the United States, Israel, Philippines, South Korea, Muslim societies and some African tribes. But perhaps mentioning this wouldn’t really make such a good case as the fictitious “Western societies” described by these doctors.

Discussing the topics of UTIs, HIV and penile cancer would take pages and has been done already, here and in other places. Penile cancer, scary as it sounds, is rare, and is mostly associated with HPV infection and maybe with phimosis during adulthood, but it’s not an argument in favor of infant circumcision.

According to a letter to the AAP sent by 38 physicians heads of medical organizations from the actual “Western societies”, “only 1 of the arguments put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics has some theoretical relevance in relation to infant male circumcision; namely, the possible protection against urinary tract infections in infant boys, which can easily be treated with antibiotics without tissue loss. The other claimed health benefits, including protection against HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts, and penile cancer, are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, and they do not represent compelling reasons for surgery before boys are old enough to decide for themselves“.

Finally the practice of circumcision is not controversial because of the risk of pain, infection and complications. Yes, those things are problematic, but the practice is controversial because it overrides informed consent and restricts body ownership, by performing an irreversible non-medically necessary genital alteration on a person who is not yet competent to provide informed consent – but who will one day be competent. But of course, they won’t acknowledge the central human rights issue of the controversy, why would they?

So, for a book that sells new for $231 and which is used to educate medical students, we feel that this piece misleading information is a disservice to generations of medical professionals.

 

Edgar Schoen, MD passed away

Edgar Schoen, M.D., (August 10, 1925 – August 23, 2016) passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 23, at his home and surrounded by family.

Edgar Schoen was an American Jewish Physician and worked as a Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. In 1987, Schoen was appointed head of the Task Force on Circumcision by the American Association of Pediatrics, where he pushed for routine infant circumcision, but the neonatologists on Schoen’s committee wouldn’t go for it. Under his supervision, the AAP released the Policy Statement on circumcision of 1989, which was greatly reverted by a new statement in 1999. Schoen angrily criticized the overriding statement of 1999 in a letter titled “It’s Wise to Circumcise: Time to Change Policy

As an enthusiastic circumcision promoter, Schoen shamelessly mixed medical, religious and cultural arguments. His bias was clearly obvious in some of his latest articles, such as “Circumcision is not only Jewish, it’s good for you” (JWeekly, 2013) or his 2009 book “Circumcision, Sex, God, and Science: Modern Health Benefits of an Ancient Ritual“.

We share a recently released video interview conducted by James Loewen in 2009, where Dr. Schoen expresses his views rather freely.