Boy Wins $1.4 Million for Circumcision as Procedure Becomes Increasingly Risky for Physicians to Perform

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child

2961 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705 Phone 510-595-5550


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2001

CONTACT: J. Steven Svoboda, Esq., 1-510-595-5550

Attention: Health Editor


Boy Wins $1.4 Million for Circumcision as Procedure Becomes Increasingly Risky for Physicians to Perform

A Sacramento, California jury awarded $1.42 million to a 7-year old boy for a botched circumcision. The circumcision was performed by a first-year resident at the Medical Center of the University of California at Davis.

The amount far exceeds the $250,000 legal limit in California medical malpractice cases. The court held that this limit was not applicable due to the hospital’s failure to obtain the parents’ permission to perform the procedure. Following the injury to the boy, the hospital attempted to induce the parents to sign a consent form.

This is the latest in several significant resolutions in circumcision cases, including a 1998 court award of 800,000 pounds (then worth $1.3 million) in the United Kingdom and a settlement of a contentious New Jersey circumcision dispute between divorced parents in which the judge convinced the mother to agree to cease her efforts to circumcise the child.

J. Steven Svoboda, Executive Director of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, commented, "No national medical association in the world approves neonatal circumcision, and for good reason. This procedure serves no genuine purpose and certainly provides no health benefit justifying the potential for significant complications. The poor child in this case had the bad luck to discover this first hand. We can only hope that others will learn from his trauma and circumcision will soon be put to rest along with other outdated practices."

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