We have recently mentioned the case of a South Florida mother who is hiding in a domestic violence shelter to protect her 4 year old son from a judge mandated circumcision, over a parental agreement signed during the first year of life of her child.
As reported by the Sun Sentinel on March 10th, in spite of knowing that the child has no medical need for circumcision, Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen “mentioned [the] benefits [...], and called the procedure “very, very safe.””
The Sun Sentinel also reports that Judge Gillen said “I will allow her to avoid incarceration or get out of jail if she signs the consent to the procedure” .
Just a few days later, March 25, another Floridian mother, this one in Seminole County, did subject her baby to a “routine procedure” and allowed the baby to bleed for hours before seeking help (the specific procedure is not named but there is no doubt about what routine procedure can cause a male baby to bleed from his genitals).
After obtaining help, the mother was asked to follow up the next day, but she failed to show up. Did she have any reasons to trust the doctors after almost losing her baby?
The mother was arrested on charges of child neglect.
There is no doubt that her child was in danger of dying. However, was she expected to act differently?
We looked at a few discharge instructions sheets. One from Seattle Children’s Hospital indicates: “If bleeding occurs, apply constant, gentle pressure with a gauze pad to the penis for five minutes” and instructs to call the doctor when there is “Bleeding that cannot be stopped after five minutes of pressure has been applied”.
The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital instructs that “The penis will swell a little, or it may bleed a little around the incision” and to call the health provider if there is “Bleeding that isn’t stopped by applying gentle pressure”
One from Memorial Childbirth Center, from the Beacon Health System, indicates that “The most common complication is bleeding. In most cases bleeding is controlled by direct pressure. Use a gauze wrap and squeeze the area of bleeding for three minutes. If bleeding stops, leave the gauze in place. If it doesn’t stop, apply pressure again. In cases of continued fresh bleeding, please call the baby’s doctor for further instructions“.
Well, that’s the procedure that Judge Gillen calls “very, very safe“. Apparently one of the new risks of circumcision is that it can land you in jail, at least if you live in Florida. Now, according to the CDC, the risks for children over the age of 1 are 20 times greater than for neonates. So perhaps Judge Gillen should reconsider his own medical beliefs.