Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rally from Home

To Support baby Mario Viera

I wish I was in Miami to support Mario and his mom.

The use of a scalpel is a medical privilege based on beneficence.

To lend the medical blade to any other service is... is...'s an abuse of trust... You have no right to do this with your tools...

This was no accident...not like a spilled cup of coffee...

Your clamp doesn't just wind up attached to someone's penis by accident.

This is not a part of our American culture!

This was imposed on our fathers and grandfathers in a time

when every hospital circumcision was done

without even considering the consent of the parents.

This is hospital culture.

It doesn't make sense.

Every baby, every person, should be safe from genital cutting.

There is no need to quantify harm or question other people's intent...

just don't cut other people's genitals-

it seems like a simple policy to keep...

Don't you think it would be easy?

Baby Mario Viera was born in Miami 2 days after my own baby Eva was born. He was in intensive care for 10 days due to an infection. On the 8th day of his life he was circumcised in the hospital without the permission or consent of his parents... not just in the absence of their consent- but against the clear communication from his mother who was was asked repeatedly if she wanted him circumcised. Is this badgering? Harassment? Why did she even need to be asked AT ALL... let alone- asked over and over after she repeatedly said NO! For all the busy important things a hospital staff must do- you would think harassing a mother of and infant in intensive care for some elective unnecessary cosmetic genital surgery would be pretty low on the priority list!

The hospital has apologized for their "mistake" and says that they "misread" the consent form... Excuse me? How do you misread a consent form for a procedure that no child needs and this one specifically is absolutely no-way no -how is supposed to get!? Just how exactly is this consent form thing supposed to work? I would think that kids who are going to be circumcised would HAVE consent forms... and kids who are NOT going to be circumcised- would NOT have consent forms... so there is no question of how you read it- there is not way to misread a consent form that does not exist!

So anyway... yes, this is my activist sore spot, of course I'm infuriated... but the mom has an energetic, positive lawyer and an airtight case, they are approaching it a little bit differently because it's not like it's a botched circumcision or a case of malpractice- they are actually calling this a battery and have filed a report with the Miami Police. I pray that the settlement is large enough to cause ALL hospitals to question the risks and benefits of circumcision. In addition to the lawsuit against the hospital, it looks like they may press for some additional legislation - a "Mario's Law" which would move all elective circumcisions out of hospitals - that would be a pretty awesome thing!