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September 14, 2010

A Miami hospital is facing legal action after circumcising a newborn boy after the family repeatedly expressed wishes that he remain intact, according to ABC News.

Vera Delgado is suing Baptist Health’s South Miami Hospital for the unauthorized circumcision of her 8-day-old son Mario Viera, who was in the neonatal intensive care unit suffering birth complications, after she had repeatedly told hospital staff that she did not want the baby circumcised because she is culturally against the procedure.

However, Delgado is not suing for medical malpractice. She is suing for assault and battery on the baby.

"We are suing for battery, an unauthorized assault on this baby,” said Spencer Aronfeld, Delgado’s attorney. “They took a knife to him without his parent’s permission.”

Circumcision is controversial, the practice of it or aversion to it embedded in certain religious and cultural ideals. Different sides of the medical community argue health benefits versus adverse side effects.

“Based on a review of medical and psychological literature and our own research and experience, we conclude that male circumcision causes serious, generally unrecognized harm and is not advisable,” the Circumcision Resource Center states its view. “Circumcision is a social and psychological issue that is disguised as a medical issue.”

“The baby’s circumcision was an unfortunate mistake caused by a misread consent form,” Fox News reports the hospital said in a statement. “As soon as the error was discovered, the doctor and nurses let the family know what had occurred. We also immediately implemented new processes to ensure this mistake will not occur again. The procedure itself was performed following appropriate surgical guidelines and the baby didn’t have any complications. Nevertheless, we’re all deeply sorry that this happened.”

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