In November, I wrote of the case of Grace Adelye, the nurse whose home circumcision caused the death of a Manchester infant. This week, she was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and given a 21 month suspended sentence.
The nurse, originally from Nigeria, had been paid £100 to perform the operation at the home in Chadderton, Greater Manchester, using a traditional African method known as ‘clamp and cut’. But it went drastically wrong leaving the child with a serious wound and causing him to bleed to death despite the efforts of doctors at Royal Oldham hospital to save him…
Justice Keith Lindblom said the boy’s death had been ‘wholly unneccesary’.
‘It was a tragedy, he was a perfectly healthy baby, he was not ill he had no need of medical care and he would not have died if you had acted with their care expected of you as a nurse,’ he said….
The court heard how Adeleye had set herself up as a mobile circumcision ‘clinic’ for Christian parents – many who had no idea the simple procedure is available on the NHS.
In Adeleye’s defence, her lawyer said she had not performed any circumcisions since the incident. The article doesn’t list any restrictions she must follow follow to maintain the suspension of her sentence, but I hope that keeping knives away from penises would be on that list. From the defence statement, two sentences stand out:
‘The harm here is plainly of the highest but it appears to be a wholly isolated incident. There is an inability upon her to comprehend how a procedure undertook so many times that went so badly wrong.’
The idea that all procedures have potentially negative consequences seems to be lost among so many. If you find yourself in a qualified modern clinic or physician’s office, you will be informed of the potential benefits and risks of any treatment. Failure to do so can result in a malpractice suit against the practitioner. We are overwhelmed with these risks when we see adds for pharmaceuticals on television: the list of contraindications are as long as the rest of the ad.
There must have been something missing in Adeleye’s education of she was not aware of any risks, even if she had not seen any complications personally. People who do things for religious reasons are often wilfully blind to they harm they may cause. In some cases, they actively fight against warning parents of risks.
So, let’s be clear circumcision is:
- medically unnecessary
- not risk free (even when done in a clinical setting).
Why would you subject your son to one.