Friday, July 22, 2016

EMIRATES: Circumcision Claims Another Life

Saw this browsing through my Facebook news feed.
Baby dies after circumcision surgery

Health authorities probe case at Khorfakkan hospital
A one-month-old Emirati boy died just after undergoing a circumcision operation at a government hospital in Khorfakkan, prompting the Ministry of Health to open an investigation into the case, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

Hamad Saeed, 23, said he took his son to the hospital for the surgery and waited for nearly two hours before the operation finished.

He told Emarat Al Youm daily that he saw his son carried out of the operation room covered with blood and that he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

“He was pale and my wife and I were much worried…I then heard the pediatrician arguing with the doctor who performed the surgery and realized that there is something wrong…10 minutes later, I was told my son is dead,” he said.

The paper said the Ministry of Health formed a committee to investigate the case and determine the cause of the baby’s death.

It quoted Saeed as saying he had reported the case to the prosecutor, who said that he would open a criminal case after receiving a coroner report.
 Original news article here. (Last accessed 7/23/2016)

Some may try to brush this child's death aside by blaming it on the physician; he should have done a better job. The circumcision didn't kill the child as much as the physician messed up. But here's an important question; was the surgery medically indicated? If there was no medical necessity, is it conscionable that the child was put at risk for death? When it comes to female circumcision, is it a matter of "physicians knowing how to perform the procedure well?" Were this any other surgery, the matter of medical indication would be immediately relevant.

Unless there is medical or clinical indication, circumcision is an elective, non-medical cosmetic procedure. The risks of male infant circumcision include infection, partial or full ablation, hemorrhage, and even death. These risks, however minimal they may be, are very real, and are exemplified by stories like these.

It is difficult to calculate the risks for complications because doctors who perform circumcisions and hospitals where circumcisions are performed have financial incentive to minimize the risks, if they are to report them at all. Hospitals and doctors are not required to release information on the adverse effects of male infant circumcision.

Whatever the risks may be, given that male infant circumcision is elective procedure, any deaths or complications above zero is unconscionable.

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1 comment:

  1. Let me guess, the investigation into the case will reveal... that no one is responsible for the child's death, that he had a bleeding disorder that wouldn't have otherwise been discovered, so actually cutting off parts of children's genitals is still is a good thing and will continue without further questions.

    Oh wait, wasn't that the outcome of another baby circumcision death, a few circumcision deaths ago?