Another baby dies shortly after his circumcision
Parents, protect your babies. Infant circumcision is unnecessary cosmetic surgery.
A firestorm erupted this week. The infant son of a blogger mother died shortly after his circumcision. Baby Joshua was born with congenital heart defect (CHD). Despite multiple surgeries and being medically fragile, the mother opted for circumcision after the doctors said that the circumcision was safe to perform, even considering the babies condition. Unfortunately, the circumcision was botched when a blood vessel was cut. The circumcision wound started bleeding. At one point the doctor applied pressure to the circumcision wound for 2-1/2 hours to control the bleeding. A urologist was called to correct the botched circumcision. By the next morning, the baby was dead. The doctors said the cause of death was heart failure. Yeah, right. More likely, the trauma of the circumcision and the loss of blood from the circumcision affected the infants ability to cope with his CHD.
Joshua's mother was a blogger. The firestorm occurred when some intactivists commented on the mother's blog and criticised her decision to circumcise her fragile son. The mother's supporters blasted intactivists for bullying tactics. The comments, and then the blog entries, were quickly removed from the mother's blog. The anger at those few comments went viral. Angry mothers everywhere were blasting intactivists in general. In spite of intactivists setting up a fund for the family and numerous sympathetic posts, the hatred against intactivists continues.
I do not condone the comments made by a couple of extremists. I do not think it appropriate to write something on a blog that I would not say to that person's face. Only a cold, heartless person would make critical and abusive comments to Joshua's mom shortly after he died. Despite the few bad apples, the intactivist community response has been overwhelmingly one of support and sympathy for the parents.
I think it would be better to focus on the doctors in this case. Why would any sensible doctor encourage the mother to circumcise her infant? The doctor knew the 7 week old infant had congenital heart defect and had experienced previous difficulties with surgery for his CHD. The mother blogged about it. Then, the doctor botches the circumcision. With the baby bleeding, it was more than 6 hours before a urologist was called in for further surgery to stop the bleeding.
The doctors should be held accountable. They are the ones with the training and knowledge. They should have recognized the risks and known of the possible outcomes. They should have properly counseled the parents about the risks and the danger of elective surgery on a sick infant. Anger should be directed to the doctors, not toward the parents and not toward intactivists.
The following list of links includes blogs, articles, and websites of interest to Intactivists that were published in the past week.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
no circumcision: New Study Estimates Neonatal Circumcision Death Rate Higher Than Suffocation and Auto Accidents
Not only is there a high incidence of circumcision complications that require pediatric correction, but a recent study determined that every year many boys die from complications of their infant circumcision.
Monday, October 4, 2010
International Coalition for Genital Integrity: Swaziland circumcision program a failure
After years of circumcising young men, the HIV infection rate in Swaziland has gone up, not down as predicted. Data from a 2007 Swaziland health department report shows the circumcision campaign is not working. Government health officials are only now questioning using circumcision as an AIDS preventative.
DrMomma Peaceful Parenting: Why All the Circumcision Posts?!
Guest blogger Audrey Bryk writes about her birthing experience. She was shocked when the first question asked by her new pediatrician was if she was going to have her son circumcised.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Access to Health Information: Circumcision not a feasible HIV prevention strategy for men who have sex with men
Circumcision is not a feasible HIV prevention strategy for men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United Kingdom, according to a Scottish study. The study found no evidence linking circumcision with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections among MSM in Scotland.
Broccoli and dip: Circumcision like a drug deal?
A mother tells a story about a doctor that comes into a mothers hospital room shortly after the birth of her son. The doctor tells the mother to bring in $200 cash for the circumcision. My question is, are some doctors so hard up for money that they stoop to doing clandestine infant circumcisions?
Fridge Magnets: Who said circumcision wasnt dangerous?
Thoughtful commentary on baby Joshua's death. The blogging mother asks all who are considering infant circumcision to think of the consequences, which are sometimes deadly.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
The Mama Machine: When I Met You
A heartfelt poem by a mother who regrets circumcising her son. The poem is her apology for circumcising him.
After we first met,
I didn't know
I believed the wrong people
I let them cut you
Spritited Doula: Compassionate Intactivists: Let's help make it right!
An intactivist mother discusses the recent events involving the death of baby Joshua. She has set up a fund for the family and asks for contributions to benefit the family of baby Joshua.
Spritited Doula: The Continuum of Normal Birth: Doulas discussing circumcision?
Doulas are professionals who need to keep their biases out of their discussions with clients. Doulas should answer accurately without ‘playing’ to our audience when asked about infant circumcision. With circumcision, just like birth, there are no ‘do-overs’ and the consequences last a lifetime. "We all want to promote ‘Normal Birth’. It is time we also promote ‘normal’ male anatomy."
Daily Momtra: A baby dies…and the claws come out? WTF?!
One mom's take on the fiasco that resulted from the circumcision death of baby Joshua. She dispells some of the rumors and reinforces that the actions of a few bad apples should not reflect on the entire intactivist movement.
Holistic Doula NYC: Circumcision Risks: Baby in British Columbia Dies Following Circumcision
Complications from circumcision, including death, are not something considered by many parents who choose to circumcise. The author is a health care professional and an advocate for human rights. She does not recommend medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery like infant circumcision for patients who are unable to give informed consent.
Courthouse News Service: Botched Circumcision Leads to Court
News report of an ongoing court case against a doctor who botched an infant circumcisin and partially amputated a baby boy's penis.
RH Reality Check: To Cut Or Not To Cut: A Circumcision Debate
A pregnant mother discusses the circumcision debate. She points out the many reasons not to circumcision her infant boy, but she does not come out and say that she will not circumcise him when he is born.
What to Expect: Newborn Baby Questions – To Circumcise or Not?
Routine circumcision of boy babies is cruel and unnecessary. No medical procedure is without risk, let alone a procedure that entails the removal of a piece of a very intimate part of the body, like infant circumcision.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Catholic Dads: To Circumcise or Not to Circumcise?
A Catholic dad takes a less than strong stance against infant circumcision. He was circumcised as an infant and seems to be struggling with the idea that infant circumcision is not necessary.
Yeye Says: Let’s Talk: Circumcision
Another circumcision blog where the blogger shows a slight tendency for not circumcising, but asks for input from others.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
The Stir - a Cafe Mom Blog: Circumcision Death Brings Out the Worst Mom Bullies
I am conflicted by all the intactivist bashing. On one hand, I think intactivists are loosing credibility from all the bashing. But, on the other hand, I agree with many points made on this blog. Perhaps the authors of those comments could make a public apology.