Who knew circumcision was such a hot topic?
When I posted last week about our decision not to circumcise our could-be son, I got immediate feedback in both the comments section and my inbox. Some of it was positive. Some of it negative. But all of it impassioned. There are no fence-sitters, it seems, regarding foreskin.
So what happens when a hospital accidentally circumcises your newborn, even though you told them not to? Cue the Miami Herald:
MIAMI — A Miami family says a hospital mistakenly circumcised their baby even though they repeatedly told staff they did not want the procedure.
Vera Delgado said she told staff at South Miami Hospital several times that she did not want her baby, Mario Viera, to be circumcised last month. But eight days after his birth and without his mother present, doctors performed the surgery even though he was in intensive care.
A statement from the hospital said the circumcision was “an unfortunate mistake caused by a misread consent form.” Hospital staff quickly told the family and have implemented new procedures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Delgado’s attorney says they will file a lawsuit next week.
Hello, a trillion dollars in damages.
I bring this up because it illustrates how vehemently people feel about this issue. You know where I stand. Whatever benefits circumcision brings, none of them trump the issue of consent, especially not when those same benefits can be obtained through less permanent means (like teaching your kid how to use a condom).
But I also don’t think that parents who make the opposite decision are child-abusing baby mutilators. 99.9% of them are just doing the same thing I am: trying to protect their kid from what sucks about the world.
We just don’t agree on how best to go about that.
In the meantime, as a wise man once said . . .