Two Pieces of Sobering News

Two recent pieces of sobering news. Apologies for the imperfect Google translation of the second piece.


Steven Svoboda

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child



Man's penis amputated after botched circumcision

A 21-year-old man in Tianjin has had his penis cut off after what appears to be a botched circumcision procedure just two weeks before his wedding ceremony.

Xiaohe (not his real name) said he decided to go for circumcision before his big day but his wound would not recover following the operation, despite days of transfusion.

Immediately following operation on November 11, 2011, Xiaohe said he felt a sharp pain in his penis the day after, and his penis began to swell, eventually turning red, and then black as the cells and tissues in his penis began to die.

Doctors at various hospitals were unable to save Xiaohe's penis and the decision to amputate his penis was made on December 21, 2011.

He has now sued the hospital where he had the circumcision for a compensation of 150,000 yuan (23,833 USD).

Xiaohe's wife and former schoolmate, Xiaoli, also sued the hospital for compensation. Xiaohe was upfront with his fiance about the botched procedure, but she decided to go ahead with the wedding believing everything would turn out fine.

Xiaoli's claims have, however, been thrown out by the court, because Xiaohe was below the legal marriage age of 22 and hence their marriage was not officially recognised by the law.

Xiaohe's lawyer has also asserted that the doctor who performed the circumcision had no legal papers to be practising in Tianjin and urged authorities to punish the hospital.

Penis reconstruction surgery is available, but is a highly complex procedure which is unlikely to give Xiaohe a fully functional penis even if successful. Moreover, the operation, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, is too much for Xiaohe's farmer family to bear.


Oslo Boy died after circumcision in Oslo

A two-week-old boy died of complications two days after he was circumcised by a doctor in Oslo.

Circumcision was at a doctor's office on the East side, and both the police and county physician in Oslo are now investigating the matter, writes Aftenposten.

The boy was circumcised last Sunday and died two days later. County medical officer Peter Schou confirms that the child died of complications following circumcision.

We have created a formal supervision against two unnamed doctors, said Schou.

According to him there have been several cases supervised by medical offices in Oslo, which has been about circumcision.


Complaints rarely

These are very difficult cases to investigate because patients rarely complain about circumcision, but we have serious concern from hospitals that get these kids into therapy later, he says to Aftenposten.

Each year an estimated 2000 boys circumcised in Norway, many of them privately and without professional control.

Health and Care Services is now considering tighter laws to make circumcision more secure, but both within government and within the coalition parties, one is disagree with the view of circumcision of boys. Some want to ban, while others will offer the procedure in the public health system. A bill has recently been circulated, and many would ban or limit.


Prohibition or limit

Both the Medical Association, Nurses, Children's Ombudsman, NHA, Resource men and Medical Faculty of the University of Oslo wants the practice.

Child Ombudsman Reidar Hjermann want a debate about minimum age, but believes that ritual circumcision should be banned for children under 15-16 years.

Justice Policy Center spokeswoman, Jenny Klinge, said ritual circumcision of young boys should be banned in line with the circumcision of girls.