Baby Dies Of Botched Home Circumcision Done By Parents In Italy

The 5-month-old boy died from severe blood loss following cardiac arrest.

Circumcision tools
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The 5-month-old boy died from severe blood loss following cardiac arrest.

An at-home circumcision of a 5-month-old boy led to death in the northern Italian province of Reggio Emilia. The baby boy’s parents, who are said to be of Ghanaian origin, are facing possible manslaughter charges.

The Daily Mail reports that the baby was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Bologna after suffering cardiac arrest as a result of the botched surgery and blood loss. This tragic death follows a similar case of a 2-year-old in Rome who died in December after a circumcision done by a local community center affiliated with the non-profit organization Arci. In that case, the child’s twin brother also ended up needing emergency medical attention but survived after days in the intensive care unit.

Many Muslim immigrants have trouble accessing circumcision in Italian hospitals where the practice is not generally requested by the largely Roman Catholic citizens. Often in hospitals, the procedure is priced out of reach for most as it is deemed cosmetic, or doctors refuse to do it.

Still, over 5,000 circumcisions are performed in Italy each year, with over a third being carried out illegally, often at home by parents or other laymen, according to the health charity AMSI.

“Circumcision operations at private clinics in the country can cost up to €4,000, but they can be offered for €50 to €20 at back street surgeries.”

Foad Aodi, who founded the association of foreign doctors in Italy continues to appeal to health authorities to allow circumcision at a reasonable price at a younger age to avoid the procedure being done at home by untrained practitioners.

The Inquisitr reports that the practice of circumcision has been in the news lately because a Democratic candidate running in the 2020 U.S. presidential election has come out against the practice which is more commonplace in the United States than it is in Europe.

Andrew Yang says he doesn’t want to eliminate the practice but wants to inform parents that it is not necessary as a matter of health. He believes in certain circumstances, it’s pushed on parents through doctors or hospitals. Yang commented on Twitter that his views are in line with people who call themselves Intactivists.

“From what I’ve seen, the evidence on it being a positive health choice for the infant is quite shaky.”

But the American Academy of Pediatrics still says that circumcision done on newborns provides the upside of “reduced chance of sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections” with rare downsides.