Hospital Sued $1 Million for Assault and Battery in "Accidental" Circumcision
So a hospital in South Miami made an oopsy. Instead of leaving Vera Delgado's eight-day-old baby Mario intact and with-foreskin, they took the very moment that Mom went home to shower and change clothes to do the old snip-snip. Er, imagine her horror/surprise when she returned.
According to ABC News, Delgado is now suing the hospital for assault and battery on Mario. Says her lawyer, Spencer Aronfeld, "This is not medical malpractice. We are suing for...an unauthorized assault on this baby. They took a knife to him without his parent's permission."
OK, just to set some things down for the record: Medical procedures, obviously, should not happen without the consent of the individual undergoing said procedure, or, in the case of an infant or someone unable to consent, a party given the power to do so. Nonetheless, we are a little bit floored by the following:
1. The amount. $1 million? Is that the going price of a foreskin these days? 2. Assault and battery. Can we get that for an unwanted mole removal? (It was a really special mole.) And... 3. How does one become a circumcision (or anti-circumcision) activist? That's a lot of penis (or not) in one's life.
Since announcing Delgado would sue, Aronfeld said he has received countless supportive e-mail messages and seen social network postings from so-called "intactivists" who oppose circumcision.
"People who are passionate about not circumcising their children are sending me Facebook messages, like, "I love you. You are my hero!"
"Americans need to learn circumcision is not the way penises were meant to be."
Nor, indeed, were breasts meant to be inflated with sacks of silicone, nor noses shaved into oblivion, nor, say, people to live in houses, but "meant to be" is a dubious concept in modern society anyway.
South Miami Hospital has apologized and admitted its staff members misread consent forms (not good). The baby had no complications (good).
Nonethless, the Stop the Infant Circumcision Society, glomming onto their chance in the sun, will hold a demonstration at the hospital on Friday. Which seems to indicate, like the amount sued and assault and battery charge, that this has become a propaganda point for anti-circumcisionists as opposed to simply an issue of mistaken medical procedure (which we're all against, pretty surely).
But how bad is circumcision, really? Can it ruin a life? Scar poor little Mario forever? Dr. Ari Brown, an Austin, Texas, pediatrician, says, "It's like cutting off the wrong leg when someone has surgery."
Except, not exactly.
Anyway, only time will tell if Mario's teen years will be permeated with doubt and a feeling of "missing something" because of his mistaken surgery...or because he made news in his early days as "That No-Foreskin Baby."
Happy litigious society day!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.