The decision to circumcise an infant is an intensely personal one. Whether circumcision is done for religious reasons, hygiene reasons, or just as a personal preference, many parents still worry about the risks of such a delicate surgery on a newborn.
Circumcision errors and injuries are uncommon, but they do happen. When a circumcision is botched, the child in question can suffer horrifying and permanent injuries. From circumcisions which heal incorrectly to whole or partial amputations of the penis, children who are injured by malpractice during a circumcision often face a lifetime of physical and psychological problems.
Do I Have A Lawsuit After A Botched Circumcision?
Like many legal questions, the answer to whether or not you may have a lawsuit after a failed circumcision depends on the circumstances of your son’s injury.
In all cases of medical malpractice, a doctor is held to the same standards as any other reasonable physician in the profession. In order to win a malpractice case based on a circumcision error, the injured patient must show that the doctor performed the circumcision using less than the acceptable standard of care. A doctor is required to treat a patient with the same skill, diligence, and care that another competent physician would have used in the same set of circumstances—if he or she does not, that doctor may be liable for negligence.
Often, cases of malpractice occur when a circumcision is performed without consent of the parents, without proper supervision, or when there is negligent care provided after the operations. In some instances, the medical devices used to perform the surgery may malfunction, which may be a cause of liability for the company which made the device.
When a circumcision is performed by a religious figure, like a Jewish mohel, the issue is more complicated. Many mohelim are not licensed doctors or medical professionals, and could not be sued for medical malpractice. If a mohel or other religious figure makes a mistake during a circumcision which leads to injury, the infant’s parents may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, these lawsuits are difficult to win because courts are often reluctant to interfere with religious ceremonies.
What To Do After A Botched Circumcision
If you believe a mistake was made during your son’s circumcision, be proactive in building a case. Speak with the hospital and request a copy of your son’s medical records, and see if you can find out the name of the doctor who performed the surgery and the names of the hospital staff who assisted in the procedure.
Keep a careful record of your son’s injuries. Take pictures of your son’s penis after the surgery and as it heals, and take notes about any difficulty he has urinating or if he seems to be in pain. If your son has problems urinating, you may need to see a pediatric urologist and determine if he needs any follow-up care or surgeries.
If you believe your son may have been the victim of malpractice, speak with a medical malpractice or personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Never accept a settlement from the hospital without first speaking to a lawyer, and make sure your attorney understands the ways the surgery caused your son harm.
Attorney Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., is both a doctor and a lawyer. At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., he and his team of dedicated legal and medical professionals use their expertise to help you get justice after an injury caused by medical negligence. If you believe your son was injured due to a botched circumcision, Dr. Kramer can help you determine if you have a case for medical malpractice.
For a free consultation, call us today at (310) 289-2600 or use our online contact form to have your case reviewed for free.