[Updated w/ her letter] Doctor Retracted Son's Foreskin During Surgery -- Need Help - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[Updated portion

Concerned Mothers First Response -- Post 20: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...&postcount=20:

Her Letter to the Doctor -- Post 22: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...4&postcount=22

End of Updated portion]


[posted on behalf of a concerned mother]


While I was pregnant with my son, now 2 1/2 years old, I made an educated decision not to circumcise once he was born. I have heard horror stories from both sides of the fence, personal stories...

As the past two years have gone by, I have repeatedly mentioned to my son's pediatrician my concern that his foreskin is not fully retracting. We moved 5 hours away in February and have a new pediatrician...

Yesterday, my son went in for a hernia surgery. He also had an issue since birth with an undescended testicle that the surgeon was addressing. When my son was in recovery, I noticed that his penis was extremely swollen & asked the nurse about it. She said it was fluid accumulation from the surgery? By the time we got home (2 hours away) I had changed my son's diaper only to find that when I checked his penis, his foreskin had been separated from the glans & I could push his foreskin completely back. I was in total shock. No one, not the nurse when I asked, not the surgeon, prior to or after the surgery, had mentioned anything at all. I called the surgeon who returned my call, calmly stating my 2 year old son had adhesions and a build up of smegma around the base of the head (for lack of a more medical explanation-sorry) that needed to be cleaned and that they check for anything else that may need to be done while he is under anesthesia and took care of it!

The surgeon said to just clean it with a damp wash cloth (as I have to sponge bathe my son for 5 days due to the surgery) pull the foreskin back and apply neosporin aprox 2-4 x's/day. I was able to do this three times so far with my son kicking, screaming and crying. The nurse at the hospital as well as our old pediatrician said to soak, retract and apply antibiotic ointment aprox 3x's/day as well...

I would like to know if you can help me?

-I feel I should have followed my intuition and told the surgeon I did not want my son's foreskin unnaturally separated to begin with.

-I feel I may be doing more damage to my son by pushing back the foreskin now which causes him great pain as I have read about acquired phimosis and don't want to create scarring.???

-I want to tell the surgeon that I feel he butchered my son because I am so angry I was not consulted before he took it upon himself to do this to my child & put him through such pain, but when he called me, I believe that he (and the old pediatrician from our home prior to moving said the same) really felt it was necessary, if not now, would have been later.

-What age really should you start to be concerned that the foreskin will not inevitably retract? I was assuming that the ring of smegma at the base of the head of my sons penis (which you could see through the foreskin) would eventually (and has been...) work its way toward the tip of the penis creating a separation...

I am at a loss and feel I should do something about this.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you-A Concerned Mother
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#2 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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I've never heard of it taking more than about six years to completely retract.
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#3 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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i'm NAK, but stop pulling it back! it needs to heal. you don't need to worry about it retracting for a long time, once he starts playing with it it will happen. poor baby .
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#4 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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OMG that is horrible! That surgeon essentially assaulted her son. He broke the synechia connecting the foreskin to the glans and forcibly retracted him and then "cleaned" him all WITHOUT any sort of consent form from the mother. : That is the classic definition of assault. He cannot legally just "check" for anything else that needs to be taken care of during surgery and do what he sees fit. (I'm a nurse I know how informed consent works)

The mother should immediately stop retracting her son. More than likely the foreskin will fuse back to the glans and all will be well. If she continues to retract him then she could cause even more damage.

All boys begin to retract at different times and at different ages. More than likely her son will become retractable before or during puberty. Some do not become retractable until much later. She shouldn't be concerned at all. Her son can do stretching exercises or get a presciption cream if he is not retractable as an adult.

I would tell her to write a letter to that physician and include the AAP's statement on intact care.
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#5 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 08:08 PM
 
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OMG, I would be furious. She should definitely just leave it alone, maybe soak him in a warm bath with epsom salts and calendula tincture a few times a day and allow him to heal.
And I would send a copy of proper care of the intact penis from the NoCirc website.
Many boys do not retract until puberty. :

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#6 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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Mental note:
If I ever have to send DS into surgery, I will definitely make a point to tell every doctor and nurse I come in contact with that I will sue their pants off if they so much as TOUCH my son's foreskin without express permission.

It is absolutely horrid that this surgeon took it upon himself to check for other things and then "fix" them without even once asking the parent in charge. That it caused damage is even more reason to take some action, even if that action only includes sending proper information from very official looking sources (like Dave2GA's law firm, or D.O.C., etc.).

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#7 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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Print this out and send it to the Doctor. Print a second copy and personally hand it to him during the next visit. Its a statement from the AAP.

http://www.medem.com/search/article_..._typ=NAV_SERCH

That doctor violated your child!!!

The rest of this post is quoted information on the necessary steps for action.

The attorney for Doctors Opposing Circumcision, John Geisheker, will send a letter to the doctor/nurse/hospital pro bono (free) on your behalf telling them what they did was wrong and the consequences. It isn't a letter stating you'll sue but it is fully referenced and ought to get their attention.

Email him at kiwijohn2@cs.com

Before you contact John, you will need the following information:

The name of the doctor or nurse who did this, the name of his/her practice and their (snail) mailing address.

The name of the hospital where the doctor has privileges, (the hospital where they practice) and the mailing address. (even if it didn’t happen at the hospital)

The name of the CEO or Administrator of the hospital. (even if it didn't happen in the hospital, find out where the offending doctor has privileges and send it to those hospitals)

The name of the hospital's risk manager.

The name of the head of the department (OB, peds, emergency, etc.)

Letters will also be sent to:

The state medical board in your state.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (hospitals fear them like a boogeyman)



The sooner you do this the better. There is no such thing as over reacting when it comes to the safety of your child's foreskin. I had a friend of mine literally slap the doctor's hand before he could retract her son's foreskin. Of course the doctor had all kinds of things to say to her about what he knows best about the care of the intact child.: She didn't fall for his ignorance and never went back there again. I wonder if doctors really do know not to retract the foreskin but do it anyways because they also know the damage could lead to a circumcision. Thats ultimately what they want isn't it, to do a circumcision?

What that doctor did to your son really boils my blood!
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#8 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 10:12 PM
 
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Ixnay on the continued retraction and on the Neosporin as well! Harmful, and just no need for it. The Neosporin in particular may be irritating and also may destroy the natural balance of beneficial bacteria and pH under the foreskin. You wouldn't insert Neosporin into the vagina and the foreskin is no different!

I would definitely have this mother sit down and write a letter of complaint (with DOC's help if necessary) to the surgeon, the hospital, and her insurance company.

As far as normal age of retraction -- it can take up through puberty and beyond.

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...etraction.html

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#9 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwifetx View Post
I've never heard of it taking more than about six years to completely retract.
It often does. My oldest didn't retract at all till he was 11. Then, very suddenly, one day, he told me it retracted. Of course most do retract by age 5 or so, but it isn't abnormal to retract much later. Just as most children walk by a year, many won't walk for a while after a year.
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#10 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 10:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leiahs View Post
Mental note:
If I ever have to send DS into surgery, I will definitely make a point to tell every doctor and nurse I come in contact with that I will sue their pants off if they so much as TOUCH my son's foreskin without express permission.
Speaking from experience (my intact son has had several surgeries because of testicle problems) it's far better to write on your child's groin, "DO NOT RETRACT." Who knows which nurse that your child will get in recovery, or when shift change happens? Better safe than sorry.

In fact, I think if DS has any more surgeries, I think I'll write "DO NOT RETRACT OR MY MOMMY WILL SUE YOU!" :

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#11 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nitenites View Post
In fact, I think if DS has any more surgeries, I think I'll write "DO NOT RETRACT OR MY MOMMY WILL SUE YOU!" :

:
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#12 of 51 Old 07-14-2007, 11:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwifetx View Post
I've never heard of it taking more than about six years to completely retract.
Actually it can take to adulthood to retract all the way so being non-retractable till then is not a issue.

To the OP Please stop retracting him and let him heal. What happened was the dr took a tool and forcebly seperated the connecting tissue. He basicly raped your ds.

It is very important to stop the retracting right now. The neosporin is a bad thing as well since some can be very irritated by it.

I agree with the pp that said to contact the lawyer and make sure this dosnt happen to anyone else. You dont need to sue but you need to take steps to protect other boys he may do this to.

 
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#13 of 51 Old 07-15-2007, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CalenandEllasmomma View Post
OMG that is horrible! That surgeon essentially assaulted her son. He broke the synechia connecting the foreskin to the glans and forcibly retracted him and then "cleaned" him all WITHOUT any sort of consent form from the mother. : That is the classic definition of assault. He cannot legally just "check" for anything else that needs to be taken care of during surgery and do what he sees fit. (I'm a nurse I know how informed consent works)

The mother should immediately stop retracting her son. More than likely the foreskin will fuse back to the glans and all will be well. If she continues to retract him then she could cause even more damage.

All boys begin to retract at different times and at different ages. More than likely her son will become retractable before or during puberty. Some do not become retractable until much later. She shouldn't be concerned at all. Her son can do stretching exercises or get a presciption cream if he is not retractable as an adult.

I would tell her to write a letter to that physician and include the AAP's statement on intact care.
:
plus I'd try to sue the bastard! He caused alot of damage and pain to the poor boy . Hope it won't get infected...
STOP RETRACTING IMMEDIATELY!
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#14 of 51 Old 07-15-2007, 06:32 PM
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This scares me as my son is having an adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy next month and I'm scared they're going to have to cath him and...ugh.

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#15 of 51 Old 07-15-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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While I certainly agree what happened is unconscionable, I don't agree with letting it reattach now without first getting confirmation that the tissue *can* return to a normal state.

This is my concern - the tissue that will grow now to reattaching the foreskin to the glans will be mostly scar tissue. Scar tissue does not act the same way as normal tissue and, so, it may not - probably will not - separate in the normal course as her son ages. I fear that to achieve retraction, he may need yet another medical intervention later.

If it were me, I would consult another pediatric urological surgeon (in another hospital, in another location) to determine the course of least harm. Since the mother has a good relationship with her prior pediatrician, I would suggest she put it to him to find out the right authority to advise.

Please, pass along my positive energy and hope to your friend, that she finds the answers and her son gets the healing he needs.
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#16 of 51 Old 07-15-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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There is no evidence that allowing the foreskin to reattach to the glans will cause problems later. But there is plenty of evidence that shows repeatedly retracting can cause trouble later. To keep retracting him and causing him pain is a horrible thought and it will damage the sphincter on the end of the foreskin causing scar tissue and it being unable to retract later on.

 
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#17 of 51 Old 07-15-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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If a doctor were to insert a medical instrument into an infant girls vaginal opening and rip normal healthy tissue would we call it "medical care" or would we call it assault.

If a woman went in for surgery on her abdoman and awoke with torn and swollen genitals, would we call it "something that needed to be checked while we were in the area" or would we call it assault?

It angers me greatly that this happens to baby boys at the hands of people who are supposed to be professionals and whom we employ in good conscious to help our children.

If this happened to my child, I'd document it all on film - film - not digital photographs. I would never want it alledged that I had PhotoShopped the pictures. One may have difficulty getting genital pictures developed in this day and age of child pornography. I'd contact a small independent photo processor and explain the situation and that you needed the pictures for a potential law suit to prove damages. Maybe even phone and speak to a police officer about this ahead of getting the pictures developed just to clear yourself of any potential reports.

It's unfortunate that the doctors involved have a clue that you are not pleased with the care your child recieved. You have a right to request medical records but I would be skeptical that you'd get complete records now that they are aware of your discontent with their services.

I make it a habit to get medical records on my child for everything. EVERYTHING. I just tell them that I want them for "continuing care" and they give them to me with no questions asked. I suspect that if they thought there was a problem, they could conviently "misplace" some pages.

I am so sorry that your child was violated like this. It really is criminal in my opinion.

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Well said, Karen.

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#19 of 51 Old 07-15-2007, 11:38 PM
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If a doctor were to insert a medical instrument into an infant girls vaginal opening and rip normal healthy tissue would we call it "medical care" or would we call it assault.

If a woman went in for surgery on her abdoman and awoke with torn and swollen genitals, would we call it "something that needed to be checked while we were in the area" or would we call it assault?

It angers me greatly that this happens to baby boys at the hands of people who are supposed to be professionals and whom we employ in good conscious to help our children.

If this happened to my child, I'd document it all on film - film - not digital photographs. I would never want it alledged that I had PhotoShopped the pictures. One may have difficulty getting genital pictures developed in this day and age of child pornography. I'd contact a small independent photo processor and explain the situation and that you needed the pictures for a potential law suit to prove damages. Maybe even phone and speak to a police officer about this ahead of getting the pictures developed just to clear yourself of any potential reports.

It's unfortunate that the doctors involved have a clue that you are not pleased with the care your child recieved. You have a right to request medical records but I would be skeptical that you'd get complete records now that they are aware of your discontent with their services.

I make it a habit to get medical records on my child for everything. EVERYTHING. I just tell them that I want them for "continuing care" and they give them to me with no questions asked. I suspect that if they thought there was a problem, they could conviently "misplace" some pages.
:

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I am so sorry that your child was violated like this. It really is criminal in my opinion.
:
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#20 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[posting her response]

...reading the responses and other concerns of mothers on the Forum has been comforting to some extent....the links have proven very educational. Now I feel much more confident in my understanding of the function and purpose of the foreskin. I will keep you abreast of our family's situation-copy you on the letter I intend to send to the hospital administration. I am undecided about any further action I may take but won't be at peace with myself if I don't, in some way, hold those responsible accountable. If I can help another family avoid this horrific situation in the future by exposing the hospital/surgeon...then so be it.

Thanks again !!!
A Concerned Mother
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#21 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 02:54 AM
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[posting her response]

...reading the responses and other concerns of mothers on the Forum has been comforting to some extent....the links have proven very educational. Now I feel much more confident in my understanding of the function and purpose of the foreskin. I will keep you abreast of our family's situation-copy you on the letter I intend to send to the hospital administration. I am undecided about any further action I may take but won't be at peace with myself if I don't, in some way, hold those responsible accountable. If I can help another family avoid this horrific situation in the future by exposing the hospital/surgeon...then so be it.

Thanks again !!!
A Concerned Mother
Thanks so much for your strength and wiliness to protect other little boys (and their parents) from this horrific damaging experience!

I'm so sorry this happened to your little boy . Just hug him and kiss him ten million times, so even though his genitals got violated, his spirit will remain whole.
alot of healing vibes your way ...
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#22 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[posting her letter and email]


As I mentioned, here is a letter I have composed which once sent out, will hopefully open some eyes and set some new guidelines for doctors to actually gain informed consent (as I always thought was the norm?) ... Maybe it will help another child/family avoid this heartbreaking situation!

I have removed my personal information contained within the letter, except my son's first name. If it occurs to you, I certainly don't mind this letter being posted (I tried joining the Forum, but there seems to be a delay in accepting me..?), I would just ask that name of the Dr. & hospital be concealed until this letter is officially sent.

I read quite a bit on the Forum and can't wait to participate as there are so many parents with intact sons facing this ignorance daily and I may be able to help. Boy do I wish I had happened upon this Forum and all of the linked information before picking a pediatrician and a surgeon for my children! I definitely feel empowered now!

Again, I hope at the very least that knowledge of our family's misfortune can help someone else...Would you happen to have a resource list of legitimate organizations that provide support or have an interest in this area (genital integrity/human rights, etc)?

Although it probably won't do much, I also feel that the federal and state officials be alerted of this all too common atrocity and be copied!


LETTER BODY:

July 15, 2007

Dear Sirs/Madams;

Our two year old son is a recent victim of an unauthorized preputioplasty. The medical definition of a preputioplasty is plastic surgery of the prepuce. The prepuce is a medical term for the foreskin of the penis.

I have been trying to protect our son's foreskin since prior to his birth when nurses, pediatricians, even family members and society in general with unsolicited advice to circumcise him bombarded me.

He is two years old. His name is Liam. He is our beautiful son, protective brother, and I am proud to say, fully intact.

Since birth, Liam has had an undescended testicle that occasionally allowed gravity to prevail. It was also recently discovered that along with the undescended testicle, he had a hernia, which were both to be operated on July 11, 2007. I authorized these two necessary medical procedures. One of our strongest concerns, aside from Liam being put under anesthesia and receiving a caudal block, was that his genital integrity not be compromised! Our family drove two hours to Ignorant Hospital in Ignoranceville as we were convinced Liam would receive optimal care there.

We could not have been more wrong.

While Liam was in recovery after these two procedures were performed, I noticed that his penis was extremely swollen. I asked the nurse why and she said it was probably just an accumulation of fluid that gravitated toward the penis due to the surgery.

It wasn't until hours later, during a diaper change in a rest area on the way home from the hospital, that I realized, to my horror and disgust, that the surgeon had forcibly retracted my son's foreskin.

We were not asked permission to allow the surgeon to perform this barbaric procedure and certainly would not have given any authorization to do so. I was not advised by anyone after the surgery that my son's genitals were manipulated and mutilated until the surgeon returned my phone calls once we were back at home. The surgeon's excuse for performing this horrific procedure was that my son had a phony diagnosis of phimosis, adhesions, as well as a build up of smegma. The definition of phimosis did not apply to my son and was definitely a convenient mis-diagnosis. My son had, for his age, a natural semi-retractable foreskin that retracted halfway, that was otherwise loose and allowed normal, non-painful urination. The beneficial smegma (that the surgeon negatively referenced) had been, over the last two years, working its way toward the tip of the penis (prepuce), as it is expected to do so in nature. Liam never had any complaints about his penis.

Natural separation would have definitely occurred in its own time. His penis and it's development were completely normal and should have been left alone!

This procedure, a preputioplasty, was done not for the benefit of my son's well being, but as a benefit to the surgeons and hospital's financial well being.

When he returned my calls, the surgeon instructed me to completely retract my son's foreskin approximately 3-4 times daily and apply Neosporin to the wound. Although at this point a bit wary, but still assuming the doctor knows best, I followed his instruction reluctantly three times (my son kicking and crying every time, screaming in agony when I applied the ointment) before calling the local pediatrician and urologist for alternate advice (which the pediatrician and urologist's physician assistant gave me: being told to leave it alone with very minimal, not full, retraction and/or gentle hygiene (soaking in a bath)). Additional medical advice I have since acquired suggests leaving the foreskin completely alone, avoiding any sort of retraction whatsoever, most specifically, forceful retraction!

It broke my heart that by temporarily following the surgeon's uneducated advice, I caused my son even further pain, adding to and repeating the agony of disturbing now existing micro-tears and exposing a raw wound in a part of the anatomy which is so highly sensitive. I am mortified at the idea of potential physical scarring that my son may suffer as a direct result of this Surgeon's barbaric actions. It is bad enough that a two year old endure any type of surgery and that Liam had the unfortunate experience of needing a hernia corrected.

Dr. Ignorant has added insult to injury; traumatizing my son by forcibly retracting his foreskin. Because of the actions of Dr. Ignorant, forcibly tearing the flesh of the balano-preputial lamina (which connects the foreskin and glans, the synechia) destroying the skin that is considered the first line of defense and by prematurely stretching the phimotic ring (preputial sphincter) jeopardizing potential, natural elasticity, my son has experienced swelling, redness, painful urination, sleepless nights and anxiety. My son has been exposed to potential iatrogenic infection, adhesions and acquired phimosis. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the rest of the world, for at least ten years or more, have been saying to leave the normal development of the prepuce (the foreskin) alone! This is not new information!

My son is two years old and had years before him for his foreskin to naturally separate from the glans in a non-traumatic fashion without any uninvited medical intervention. He has been traumatized. His body has been violated. Our whole entire family has been traumatized, our lives have been disrupted and adversely affected.

Dr. Ignorant and the hospital's nurses not only violated my son, but violated our trust in the medical profession. It hurts Liam to urinate and his disposition overall has been altered. He is anxious and disagreeable (understandably so) about diaper changes and going to anyone with the label Dr. when he used to be quite passive in these contexts.

I am reporting this doctor, Dr. Ignorant, UPMC Ignoranceville to the hospital administration, bioethics committee, patient advocacy group, any board, organization and insurance (I have advised the insurance company that this procedure was not authorized!) that may take interest in my son's situation and his future well being.

Any medical professional who undermines a childs parents by ignoring their ethical responsibility to gain informed consent (and who consequently violates the basic human rights of a child) must be exposed, so as not to abuse the children of our society in the future as marketing tools or platforms for their own financial benefit. Our trust with the medical profession should not be compromised by condoning unnecessary and unauthorized procedures on our loved ones.

Please bring any relevant information or cases you may know of that are similar to our family's situation to my attention. Please include a mailing address for your organization if you have received this letter copied in email as I would like to include you as a copied party of interest on any further correspondence I have with the hospital's administration or regarding the formal complaint to be filed with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Medical Licensing Board.

Thank you in advance for your interest and for any help you may be able to provide.

Sincerely,

(Heartsick parents of Liam)
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#23 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 09:12 AM
 
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That is an amazing letter! Way to go Mom of Liam.

to you and your little one for going through such a traumatic event

ETA: I noticed she states a preputioplasty was performed on her son. I read up on the procedure and found that it includes a cut made into the foreskin. http://www.cirp.org/library/treatmen...is/decastella/

Did the surgeon cut her child's foreskin as well! Oh I would be BEYOND livid if that surgeon did that to my child without my consent.
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#24 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 09:43 AM
 
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Overall, I think it is an EXCELLENT letter but I recommend that she take out the words like horrific, horrible, mutilation, etc. I think the letter is powerful enough without those words -- and I think that her letter will not get taken as seriously with them in.

And I agree, preputioplasty is not the correct word -- she should just say forcible, unauthorized foreskin retraction. With perhaps a citation to the AAP statement that this is unnecessary.

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#25 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 10:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Quirky View Post
Overall, I think it is an EXCELLENT letter but I recommend that she take out the words like horrific, horrible, mutilation, etc. I think the letter is powerful enough without those words -- and I think that her letter will not get taken as seriously with them in.
I agree, she has a very valid complaint; those words are accurate but unnecessary and could weaken the letter's strength.

Otherwise, great job and kudos to her for taking such initiative.

Jen
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#26 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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Great letter. I like the suggestions the others made to take out a few words while accurate they could be seen in a different light by the people reading the letter.

 
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#27 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CalenandEllasmomma View Post
That is an amazing letter! Way to go Mom of Liam.

to you and your little one for going through such a traumatic event

ETA: I noticed she states a preputioplasty was performed on her son. I read up on the procedure and found that it includes a cut made into the foreskin. http://www.cirp.org/library/treatmen...is/decastella/

Did the surgeon cut her child's foreskin as well! Oh I would be BEYOND livid if that surgeon did that to my child without my consent.
Yeah I was thinking that too, that when I hear the word "plasty" I think, cutting it off or removal, not just forced retraction.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#28 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 03:58 PM
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Great letter!
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#29 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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Please keep us posted (No pun intended!) and let us know if you get a response from the "hospital."

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#30 of 51 Old 07-16-2007, 08:13 PM
 
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Great letter. I am so incredibly disgusted and sorry for what your son and you have been through. So, so sorry.

What about taking legal action? If my genitals had been unnecessarily damaged and traumatized you bet I'd be suing the pants off the person that did it.
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