Friday, February 7, 2014
JERUSALEM: Baby Boy Rushed to the Hospital with Bleeding Complications
Advocates of circumcision often try to trivialize infant circumcision, saying it's "harmless" and "risk-free."
Well, yet another circumcision botch makes the news, this time in Israel. The last one that I know of happened in Pittsburgh, where a rabbi severed a child's entire penis during his bris. Not to mention the recent herpes infection due to metzitzah b'peh in New York.
Keep in mind these are complication cases that make the news; circumcision mishaps are often kept under wraps because there is a conviction to preserve a tradition that is ever under fire. Hospitals themselves may be obscuring these complications.
There is also financial incentive to hide or minimize circumcision complications; circumcision is a widespread practice in the United States. Annually, American doctors circumcise 1.2 million baby boys. At a dollar a pop, that's 1.2 million dollars; infant circumcision can cost anywhere between $100 up to $2,000 each. Therefore American doctors and medical facilities have incentive to hide or minimize complications due to circumcision, Jewish or secular.
Are these complications conscionable, given that infant circumcision is elective, non-medical surgery?