Unwanted Circumcisions Sometimes Forced on Parents

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 23:43:19 EDT
To: noharmm-l@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: FW: how to avoid being forced into it.
Sender: owner-noharmm@eskimo.com


Someone sent me the question below. As a parent of a boy, I have to admit, I don’t know the answer, but I wish I did. Has anyone already thought about this and come up with suggestions? Thanks.

—————Original Message—————

I know that I don’t want it to be done on my child but there are many ways I suspect it could happen anyway.
-I can imagine that a doctor would bring up an emergency safety issue and sort of push it on the spouse in the heat of some situation. I heard that one aquaintance had it done on a child because of a hernia. Is it possible that a doctor could come up with a variety of medical emergency reasons to override the initial decision both parents make against it? What can be done to be prepared about it?

I looked all over your WEB site but did not find much about how to be prepared about the unforseen real or alleged health situations arising at or after birth. Thanks.

There is no known medical condition which would require an immediate circumcision. If you and your spouse know this, no lie will prevail to change your mind.

Circumcisions legally require your written consent. A circumcision in the absence of written consent will entitle your son to money damages. An Alabama jury recently awarded $65,000. Do NOT sign the consent form under any circumstances. Very few circumcisions are done without a written consent form.

Put a tag on the crib saying “nocirc”. Get the baby out of the hospital as soon as possible. If possible keep the baby in the room at all times while in the hospital.

Things are not as bad as they used to be but in some sections of the country circumcision is still all but automatic.

Make the attending physician aware in advance of your intent to sue if the infant is circumcised.

Also in theory, one could ask the district attorney to charge the physician with battery, cruelty to a child, and possibly other criminal charges. I have not heard of this being done, but it is already being discussed in Australia. The Queensland Law Reform Commission says it can be done in Queensland.