Circumcision Lawsuits

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To the Editor:

This spring, a groundbreaking circumcision lawsuit was settled in NewYork, although terms of the settlements have not been made public.

William Stowell filed suit in 2000 against the hospital where he wascircumcised in 1981 as a newborn, and against the physician whocircumcised him, seeking $75,000 in damages.

Stowell’s case did not claim an unexpected outcome, but questioned whethera physician could legally and ethically remove normal, healthy tissuefrom a non-consenting minor for non-therapeutic reasons. David Llewellyn,one of Stowell’s attorneys, stated, “I would expect that this is just thefirst of many cases that will be brought by angry circumcised youngmen against their circumcisers.”

In 1971, the American Academy of Pediatrics found no medical justificationfor routine circumcision. No national medical group in the world todayrecommends routine circumcision.

For further information on this case, see:

A second similar lawsuit was filed on June 26, 2003 in Georgia by WilliamHaynes, Jr. Haynes was born on June 28, 1983, and he is suing thephysician and hospital responsible for performing an elective circumcisionupon him after birth.

Currently, an essay contest for college students is being held to answerthe question “Is Circumcision Ethical?” First prize is $1,200, and essaysmust be submitted by November 1, 2003. For more information, go to

Sincerely,Petrina Fadel5609 Sears Rd.Groton, NY607-898-3978