Tag Archives: hemophilia

FDA: Infant Circumcision… to detect hemophilia?

Contraindications to newborn circumcision
include significantly premature
infants, those with blood dyscrasias,
individuals who have a family history of
bleeding disorders[...]” -
AAP – Technical Report on Circumcision, 2012

A recent FDA article about treatments for hemophilia, quotes doctor Nisha Jain, M.D., chief of the Clinical Review Branch in FDA’s Office of Blood Research and Review, saying:

“Patients can be diagnosed as infants during circumcision”

Dr Nisha Jain, M.D

Dr Nisha Jain, M.D

The problem with this though is that these patients may die as a consequence of the bleeding caused by their circumcision. These deaths often go unreported. Babies are not tested for hemophilia prior to circumcision.

In March of 2013, baby Brayden Tayler Frazier was transferred to UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA, because he wouldn’t stop bleeding after his circumcision. He later went to seizures and finally died, 2 days later. His death was not reported on the media, and it was only because of activists scanning social media for circumcision-related topics, that the intactivist community learned of and followed this tragedy.

After the death, doctors and family were in denial that circumcision had anything to do with his passing. He had been sick, they argued. His initial sticks and pricks didn’t heal as quickly as normal, and yet in the face of this telltale sign, the circumcision was performed. It would be hard to deny that the massive bleeding that followed led to the catastrophic outcome.

Baby Brayden was treated with coagulants, platelets, plasma, everything to try, unsuccessfully, to save his life.

Another known victim was Ryan White (1971-1990). Again, his circumcision caused massive bleeding and so he was detected to be hemophiliac. In his case, it wasn’t the bleeding though what killed him, but the medication used to treat it;  weekly transfusions of Factor VIII,  a blood product created from pooled plasma of non-hemophiliacs, infected him with the HIV virus. He died from AIDS related complications.

That Dr. Jain thinks it’s fine to detect hemophilia on infants during circumcision is a disrespect to babies like Brayden and others who died from loss of blood and other related clotting disorders and conditions after their unnecessary and unethical circumcision.

Finally, only in the United States will doctors enable parents to risk their children’s health in the name of a social surgery. See this paper by Kuthan Kavakli et al, arguing that “Hemophilic boys (60%) and their parents (82%) have an inferiority complex because the boys are unable to be circumcised” – notice how the dissatisfaction of parents was higher (82%) than that of the boys (60%). Kavakli concludes that “circumcision is an important social problem of hemophilic patients that needs to be solved.

A social problem indeed, and rational minds wonder why not solve it with education. Maybe that is too much to ask.