CIN CompuBulletin Circumcision Information Network Volume 2, Number 1, 7 January 1995 E-Mail: CircInfoNe@aol.com MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: CIRCUMCISION, 3 DEC. 1994, reported by Tri-Service of San Diego, CA. "Plaintiff Attorney: Neil C. Newson (Neil C. Newson & Associates), Beverly Hills (310) 278-7555 Defendant Attorney: Mark V. Mooney (Asst. U.S. Attorney), Los Angeles (213) 849-0210 Trial Judge: Edward Rafeedie Trial Time: 1 day (Court Trial) Insurance Co: Self-Insured "Case: Martez Carpenter & Phyllis Carpenter Vs. U.S.A., CV93 7182 ER "Facts: 3 July 91: Plaintiff was born at the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. Twelve hours following a normal delivery by C-Section, the Plaintiff underwent an elected circumcision. During the course of the circumcision, Dr. Tam, a pediatrician, amputated approximately 30% of the distal glans penis and transected the glandular urethra. A less than successful attempt was made to reattach that which had been excised. Subsequent plastic surgery has been attempted and there is resultant deformity at the tip of the penis. Function has not been impaired though a condition known as acquired "Hypospedias: has developed. This is a defect where the urethra, though extending through the penis, exists on the underside rather than at the tip. The Plaintiff has undergone 4 corrective surgeries and requires at least one further surgery at this time. "INJURIES: Disfigured penis, hypospadias. Treatment: 4 corrective surgeries. Residuals: Future emotional distress causing need for future medical care. Medical costs: $56,000. "CONTENTIONS: Plaintiff claimed the doctors were negligent in their treatment of the child. All the subsequent care was caused by the doctor's negligence. Both of the child's parents suffered emotional distress. "Defendant conceded to liability as to Martez, but denied breach of its duty to his mother, Phyllis Carpenter. While conceding liability, they argued that there was no need for future psychiatric care. Any further surgery could be performed at no expense by naval doctors. The claim was of minimal value. "SETTLEMENT: Offer: $150,000. Demand: $250,000. Verdict: $256,000. "NOTE: The Plaintiff's mother and father each brought separate actions for negligent infliction of emotional distress. Though they did not witness the occurrence, they based their claim on the line of cases which develop from Molien Vs. Kaiser. The Court, on an earlier Motion for Summary Judgement, denied the claim of Maurice Carpenter, the father, but allowed the claim of the mother's to go to trial. The Court recognized that a pre-existing relationship existed and the mother suffered substantial injury. However, the Court determined that the negligent conduct to the child was not so inter-related with the care of the mother as to warrant her recovery for emotional distress only. Further, the Court noted that the conduct of the doctor, while negligent, was not outrageous." COMMENTS FROM CIN 1) Since when is a C-Section an "normal delivery"? Small wonder American doctors are known in the international medical community as "knife-wielding cowboys." 2) The "Plaintiff underwent an elected circumcision" yet he didn't elect it himself. 3) The "Court noted that the conduct of the doctor...was not outrageous." CIN maintains that the act of circumcision itself was indeed outrageous. 4) Try telling the Carpenters that complications due to circumcision are rare. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 30 DECEMBER 1994, P6: "An Ancient African Custom Comes Under Fire: Women's groups fight to ban cruel practice of female circumcision," Robert M. Press, Staff writer of the C.S.M. The Monitor has done several articles mentioning FGM, including this one. However, the Monitor has failed to address MGM. That's why the CIN CompuBulletin exists. Following are some excerpts from the article, with comments of comparison of FGM with MGM. Monitor: "In Ethiopia, opponents of the tradition launched a quarterly newsletter in October aimed at providing information on the dangers of the tradition and the myths that perpetuate it." CIN: Similarly, we have the NOCIRC Newsletter, also a quarterly publication, this CIN CompuBulletin, The Guardian Angell (a newsletter for activists), NOCIRC of Australia Newsletter, NOHARMM progress reports, NOCIRC of Vermont newsletter, and NOHARMM of Hawaii Newsletter. Monitor: "'Female genital mutilation is the most widespread form of torture in the world,' according to an editorial in the first issue of the newsletter, published by the National Committee on Traditional Practices of Ethiopia (NCTPE)." CIN: Apparently, some people believe that genital mutilation is torture as long as the victim is female. There are ten times as many victims of MGM. Monitor: "Traditional belief holds that FGM helps preserve chastity and that without it women are not fit for marriage." CIN: Genital mutilation of both boys and girls was established a century ago in the U.S. and other English speaking countries so as to prevent masturbation. There are many women in Western countries who refuse to marry a man who is not circumcised. Monitor: "'It's the grandmothers who insist,' [Mhdame Bintu Bouare Sameke, a member of the Association of Malian Court Lawyers (AMCL)] says. 'They say: "I did it; you do it."'" CIN: Similarly, many American men say, "I'm circumcised, and I want my son to be like me." Monitor: "[Tatimata Dumbia Dembele, president of the AMCL] admits, 'Society accepts it. When the society accepts it, the law can't stop it.'" CIN: No kidding. Monitor: "'It's fine,' says one young lady... It's not problem.' She says its not a health risk either. CIN: How many circumcised men have you heard say something like that. Denial is a defense mechanism found among survivors of both male and female genital mutilation. Monitor: "FGM reduces 'sexual feelings' on the part of the woman, says Kande Drame, a high school student.'" CIN: Of course. How can one possibly amputate part of the genitalia without a subsequent loss of sexual feelings? FINAL NOTE: If opponents of FGM would acknowledge MGM, together we would make progress much faster. Let's join together to make the world safer for the gentitalia of both boys and girls.
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