Risk can’t be wished away; complications will occur.

I’m quoting a plaintiff’s press release, so yes, I understand the one-sided nature of this news. As such, I will only quote the facts:

The infant was a healthy seven pound newborn who was delivered without complications on February 14, 2007. The following day, a routine [sic!] circumcision was performed on the infant by Dr. Malek using a Mogen clamp, a metal, hinge-shaped device used during the procedure. At the completion of the circumcision, hospital records indicated there was significant bleeding. Inspection of the penis revealed nearly all of the glans had been amputated at the time of the circumcision. Three months later, the infant required penile skin transfer surgery at the University of Illinois, with need for future procedures, some of which are only appropriate at the age of puberty.

Is it a cheap shot to wonder whether or not the boy will be happy that at least he will not be laughed at in the locker room for having a foreskin? And his risk of becoming infected with HIV is now reduced by 50% or more. The scars and likely imperfect results from trying to reconstruct a glans? No, that won’t bother him at all, and the assholes who would tease him for having the body he was born with certainly won’t mock him now that his penis is disfigured. (I almost wrote mutilated to describe his penis, but luckily I remembered that only female genitals can be mutilated.)

Turning off the snark and sarcasm now, I’ll stick with just anger:

According to medical expert witness, Dr. David Zbaraz with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, who reviewed the Sarah Bush medical records of the infant, “The Mogen clamp when used properly cannot amputate a male infant’s glans. The injury to this boy was completely preventable.”

Completely preventable? Of course it was completely preventable. But that would’ve involved not circumcising without medical indication rather than relying on “when used properly”. Doctors are human. They make mistakes. To face the risk (and outcome) of such mistakes, the surgery should be necessary or requested by the patient. Anything else is madness.

Link via the embarrassing Medgadget. Any doctor who would analyze this story by saying the following should be embarrassed:

Maybe the doc should have been less stupid and used the SmartKlamp.

Maybe the doc should’ve been less stupid – and less unethical – and not performed surgery on a child based on the non-medically indicated whim of someone other than the patient. But such a rational belief makes me a “moonbat”.

One thought on “Risk can’t be wished away; complications will occur.”

  1. “Ouch” isn’t exactly the kind of reaction one would expect to a horrifying incident where a little boy had the head of his penis sheared off.
    Why do I get the feeling that Medgadget’s editors think there’s something funny about this story?

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