Thursday, June 16, 2011

Effective Intactivism

The parents of a baby boy, suffering with a congenital heart defect, who lost his life due to hemorrhage following a circumcision are expecting another boy (read more here on Peaceful Parenting). They seem to be planning to have this one cut as well, although they haven't actually said as much on their blog "Real Life of a Red Head".

This woman won national attention and sympathy following the death of her son at the hands of doctors who really should have known better than to preform an unnecessary surgery on a sick baby. Several members of the intactivist movement came down on her with pretty harsh words (not that I didn't want to do the same... but I refrained). (There is a thought that some of the harshest of comments were 'planted' by some pro-circers to draw serious negative attention to intactivists, but, we'll never know).

I always find it surprising that people want to cut up a perfectly healthy baby. I can never really wrap my brain around how this became 'normal' in our culture (by our, I'm speaking primarily of North America). What I find even more surprising, is after seeing the injured, mutilated appearance of a the newly circumcised baby, they would consider it normal and do it again gladly. But more than that, I absolutely cannot understand how anyone, once they have come to understand the TRUE and very real risks of a medically unnecessary surgery cosmetic procedure (like, death) would do it again.

When the two year old boy died in Brooklyn during his circumcision, the country was appalled. A circumcision tragedy that managed not to be covered up, thanks to the outrage of the tot's family. Facebook lit up with statuses of mothers saying they have canceled their son's circumcision. It took people knowing of just one child that they didn't even know to make people stop and think. I have to wonder if people really knew how many children die from this each year (an average of 122), would they really risk it on their own son?

But this family... they have suffered a loss in their own family. Of their own son! And they won't think twice?

Pro-circ'ers like you to believe that the deaths are as a result of the anesthesia, not the circumcision (as was the case with the little boy in Brooklyn). But one can easily argue that that little boy would not have been receiving anesthesia if he was not being circumcised.

The fact is, anesthesia is dangerous. Even local anesthesia can cause a serious allergic reaction. But more deaths are attributed to blood loss. Often the baby is sent home in a disposable diaper more than capable of holding a lot of blood without looking like a lot.

Any surgery comes with a risk, but one that is completely without merit and done to non-consenting infant? This is negligent and malpractice.

We have a culture that considers infant circumcision normal and acceptable. Most parents do not even understand the serious risk to their child when they consent. And few hospitals or hospital staff bother to educate the parents signing the consent form on the very real risks to their child.

I would urge you not to bother sending nasty messages to the 'Red Head' or leave even the kindest of messages on her blog post (they will be deleted anyway). I believe this woman is attention seeking and will have no qualms over using anything anyone says to her as ammunition against the intactivist movement. Use your passion instead to educate those around you and enact change in government and/or hospital policy. Write a letter to your local hospital or pediatrician's office and ask them to stop this needless procedure.

We don't need the Red Head on our side, we need the medical field on our side. People are far more likely to take information from medical sources to heart than that of a random person blogging or ranting on Facebook. (Although, I do that too ;)


  1. I so agree with you! I even said on an Intactivist Board today that she was totally attention seeking! (Before I read your blog, I promise!) She tweeted the Ellen Show the day or two after Joshua's death and she has continued to blog and complain she's being bullied (though people are being cruel to her at times) but yet, she continues to blog AND, more importantly, she kept her blog public. She had to know that she was going to be flooded with Intactivist comments again and now she gets to be dramatic, receive attention and cry: "Woe as me! They are after me again! Help!"

  2. no parent deserves to lose a child but i shudder to think that she will do the same thing. sad. there was another blog with parents of a healthy boy who died of bloodloss and the idiots went on to say they would still cut any further sons!