Child awarded $300,000 damages for complication of circumcision

LEADER POST, Regina, Saskatchewan,
November 1975.

Child awarded damages

SEATTLE (AP) — A three-year-old child who is undergoing sex change operations because he was badly burned during a routine circumcision has been awarded $750,000.

U.S. District Judge Walter McGovern also awarded $100,000 to the child's parents and ordered compensation for the family's medical bills which exceeded $30,000.

Witnesses during the two-day malpractice trial testified that a military doctor, performing a routine circumcision when the boy was five months old, burned the baby's genital area so badly that physicians eventually advised changing the child's sex to female.

"The parent-child relationship is affected," Judge McGovern said. "In future years they will look at certain of her activities and wonder if she is beginning to revert to male."

The greatest danger, doctors said is of deep psychological trauma if the child learns that she was born a male.

The child has undergone eight operations and faces several more.

Doctors testified that lifetime treatment with hormones will develop and maintain a feminine body, though she never will be able to have children and will have a 50 per cent chance of sexual response.


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