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Saskatchewan mother sues clinic after infant’s penis tip severed during botched circumcision

2019-08-19

The intern who performed the circumcision botched the job, the boy's mother says. (Science & Society Picture Library/SSPL via Getty Images)

A mother in Canada is suing a medical clinic after a botched circumcision that allegedly cost her 9-day-old son the tip of his penis.

It happened last November, when the woman — who remained anonymous to protect the boy’s identity — and her husband brought the baby to the Victoria East Medical Clinic in Regina, Saskatchewan, for what should have been a routine procedure in keeping with her cultural mores.

“It was already taking too long,” the woman, who was identified as of African descent, told the Canadian Press, noting that it had gone much more quickly for her older son eight years earlier. “I could hear the baby crying so much.”

Dr. Owen Miller, who was supposed to perform the circumcision, had assigned it to an intern, he told the mother when he met with her in the waiting room to tell her they needed to call an ambulance.

“Someone just told me he was performing some practice on my baby, that’s what it sounded like,” the mother told the Canadian Press. “I couldn’t even talk.”

Moreover, a surgeon told her the infant was too young for the tip to be reattached. She has frozen it and plans to keep it, she said, in case her son has questions about it later.

In his statement of defense filed with the court in reply to the complaint, Miller said that a “small piece of the glans of the infant’s penis (tip) had been removed with the foreskin,” according to the Canadian Press. “Immediate steps were undertaken to treat the wound and arrangements made to transfer the infant to specialists at Regina General Hospital for further treatment.”

The organ is functional but disfigured, his mother said.

“It’s healed up,” she told the Canadian Press. “But it doesn’t look normal.”