The phone’s been ringing off the hook here at the Circumcision Law Desk all weekend, so I apologize in advance if this post comes off sounding a bit distracted. Oftentimes, the intersection of foreskin and law is a lonely corridor filled with nothing but shattered dreams and crying babies.
Over the weekend, the New York Times published an article that did a pretty good job of illuminating where we are at in the pitched legal battle over circumcision. As mentioned at the end of the last dispatch from the Circumcision Law Desk, the forces of full-bodied penises have turned their attention to passing legislation that outlaws circumcision.
As Elie pointed out two weeks ago, San Franciscans will be voting this fall on whether to ban circumcision. And they’re not alone.
After the jump, find out what happens when people stop being polite and start trying to pass laws that outlaw circumcision and, in the process, piss off an entire religion (and blogger Andrew Sullivan)….
Protip: Don’t look up the Wikipedia entry for foreskin. Don’t do it even if you have to write a post about a baby who was given a circumcision against his parents’ wishes. Vera Delgado, the baby’s mother, had left the hospital to shower and get a change of clothes. Just long enough for Nurse Ratched and the gang to do the do. Delgado’s lawyer, Spencer Aronfeld, summed up the understandable reaction:
“It was horrific, quite frankly,” said Aronfeld. “The parents were very explicit they did not want him circumcised, and [the hospital] had asked the parents repeatedly.”
Since announcing Delgado would sue, Aronfeld said he has received countless supportive e-mail messages and seen social network postings from so-called “intactivists” who oppose circumcision.
“People who are passionate about not circumcising their children are sending me Facebook messages, like, “I love you. You are my hero!”
So the mother is suing the hospital. Of course (not of course), we all remember from law school (from Google) that Benjamin Cardozo wrote the seminal opinion in which an unwanted surgical procedure was legally classified as battery. And that’s exactly what the mother is suing the hospital for. All fine and well. Somebody messed up, and “Oops!” isn’t going to cut it.
But it’s not the dollar amount of $1 million that jumps out from the story….
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