Friday, December 13, 2013

Jacob Sweet, a victim of circumcision and medical neglect, passed away September 16th, 2012

Jacob Cole Sweet was a known victim of a circumcision. Born in January 16 of 1986 in Anchorage, Alaska, and circumcised the next day, his parents brought him back to the hospital one week later with signs of infection. During his stay he suffered seizures. Negligence during his hospital stay allowed the infection to progress into a systemic infection or meningitis, resulting in brain damage. He could never walk or talk.

The family spent 13 years in a legal process, complicated by the disappearance of medical records and the expert testimonial of Wiswell (the author of the studies about circumcision and UTIs) who argued that circumcision is not a surgery. The case finally settled in 2000.

I was very sad today when I found that Jacob passed away in September 16 of 2012, at the age of 26 years. May he rest in peace.

His Obituary:

His case:

Three pictures of Jacob during his childhood:

What the AAP says:

The majority of severe or even catastrophic
injuries are so infrequent as
to be reported as case reports (and
were therefore excluded from this
literature review)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Intact Florida protests Dr. Saleem Islam's 'Circumcisions in older boys and related costs skyrocket in Florida' study

In response to Dr. Saleem Islam's study on "Allocation of Healthcare Dollars: Analysis of Nonneonatal Circumcisions in Florida", a group of Intactivists in alliance with Intact Florida decided to visit the University of Florida, Gainesville, on December 4th on 2013. We assembled on Turlington Plaza from 10 AM until 5 PM, to share our message with students and members of the community. We previously informed several representatives of organizations to give them the opportunity to approach us.

There were great reactions to our presence there, many expressions of support, some came with curiosity, some just looked at our signs with concern for the babies strapped on a circumstraint, and some had typical reactions of defensiveness and anger. Our hope is that many of them will question the procedure beyond the normal cultural indoctrination that we have been subjected to for over a century.

Remember: tradition, "cultural customs", religion, parental "preferences" are not medical indications for amputation.

We wish to visit the University again in the future and share our message with more students. We handed out many copies of the following text:


A recent article about circumcision in UF Health which was repeated by other media outlets makes reference to a  study by Dr. Saleem Islam indicating that as newborn circumcision rates decrease in the state of Florida, circumcisions of boys over the age of 1 have increased doubling the costs to the state. Dr. Islam repeats old myths and cultural or religious reasons for circumcision. He also mentions the AAP's citation of African studies on HIV. Dr. Islam is among doctors who believe that the AAP statement may lead states and insurance companies to restore funding to newborn circumcisions.

Dr. Saleem Islam

There are questions that Dr. Islam did not ask. Are those circumcisions necessary and medically justified? Is there a possibility that those kids will grow to wish they had not been circumcised? And what can be done about boys who suffer major complications from an elective surgery that they did not personally elect?

Intact Florida, along with many other national and international organizations, would like to discuss an alternative in alignment with modern medicine and global human rights developments: to skip unnecessary genital surgeries on minors, including boys and intersex children.

It is known that many American medical books do not even represent the normal foreskin in illustrations, and discussion of the foreskin is often limited to its removal. Many health professionals to this day practice and recommend the forced retraction of the foreskin of uncircumcised boys, causing iatrogenic damage, including bleeding, scarring and infection.

Reports of occasional severe botches and deaths are dismissed by the AAP as "case reports", and not taken into consideration when evaluating the benefits vs. risks. Severe complications have been documented in the U.S. and other countries, in the context of medical practice, leading to death, lives of suffering and even suicide. Warnings of potential for injuries from commonly used devices have been archived without an improvement of the devices, and in spite of a manufacturer going out of business due to millionaire lawsuits after injuries, the device remains widely in use.

The grassroots movement opposing the circumcision of minors can be traced to Tallahassee in 1970, and is currently supported by medical professionals, lawyers, ethicists and philosophers, international physicians and even the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The only reason why many Americans still consider circumcision a non-issue is because they have been subjected to over 150 years of cultural indoctrination. Foreigners visiting are often shocked when they learned about this custom. 

Our proposal is simple: leave the genitals of children alone. Let's educate our medical community in the proper care and normal development of the genitals. Let's educate parents in the risks and harm of circumcision and the proper care of the genitals. It's time to recognize the personhood and dignity of children, and the right to grow with their bodies unharmed.