The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark search twitter facebook feed linkedin instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close
Skip to main content

May 6, 2011

A routine circumcision procedure on a toddler at a New York City hospital has left the child dead and the family wondering what happened.

The parents of Jamaal Coleson Jr., of Brooklyn, NY, took the 2-year-old boy to Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan for a circumcision on Tuesday, ABC News reports. After the procedure, Jamaal awoke in the outpatient ward, ate, drank and then a few hours later he indicated he felt bad. Jamaal’s health deteriorated and staff took him to the emergency room. At 8:35pm Tuesday night, ten hours after the circumcision, doctors declared Jamaal dead.

“We extend heartfelt condolences to the family of the young patient in question,” Beth Israel Medical Center said in a statement. “This is a devastating event for his family as well as for the staff at Beth Israel who tried to save his life.”

A circumcision procedure entails the removal of the foreskin of the penis. It is an elective procedure carrying certain risks. Parents may choose circumcision of their male child for perceived health benefits or religious and cultural ideals. However, circumcision is controversial and there is a growing movement to discontinue it, calling it genital mutilation.

“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,” says the Circumcision Resource Center. “Circumcision is a social and psychological problem that is disguised as a medical issue.”

Jamaal’s uncle, Jabbar Coleson of GA, told MSNBC that the child was to have a local anesthetic but that the hospital have him general anesthesia instead.

In newborn infants, circumcision usually involves a local anesthesia, an injection or topical agent given at the site of the surgical procedure. However, on older children and adults a surgeon usually uses a general anesthesia given intravenously or through the respiratory system and alters the patient’s consciousness.

“I want to know what happened,” Jabbar Coleson told the New York Post. “He was so sweet and energetic and so happy, a very happy child.”

Beth Israel Medical Center has reported Jamaal’s case as an “unexpected death” to the New York City Department of Health.

According to ABC News, New York’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner is investigating, but will not release the results for two weeks.

Medical malpractice attorney Laurence Banville, from Banville Law stated: “in this situation, it will be important to investigate whether the administration of a general anesthesia instead of a local anesthesia would be a generally approved practice by other anesthesiologists”.


  1. Gravatar for Hugh7

    Whether you call it "genital mutilation" or not, male genital cutting is a human rights issue. This is not an "elective procedure", in that no baby elects it. Parents may elect the correction of birth defects that have demonstrable harm, but this is purely cosmetic, not a "choice" that parents have to make. There is no other normal, healthy, non-renewable, functional body part it is even legal to cut off.

    Health benefits? The experiment has been done. Australia and New Zealand, developed countries comparable to the USA, started circumcising when it did, until it was nearly universal in the 1950s, then they stopped. Now few but older men are circumcised, yet there has been NO outbreak of any of the things it was supposed to be good for. (And a generation of men who don't look like their fathers, and no problems there, either.)

  2. Gravatar for Frank OHara

    Deaths such as this one are not uncommon. Three studies over the 20 years between 1978 and 1998 found an average of 229 circumcision deaths per year or an incidence of 1 death per 7,000 procedures. The study was done again in 2008 and found the number of deaths had dropped to 117 for that year but that is not an improvement. When the first study was done, the infant circumcision rate was about 67% and now it is 32.5% so half as many circumcisions means half as many deaths. The danger and incidence is the same per procedures performed.

    You're probably thinking "I've never heard of a circumcision death." Yes, those who kill innocent children don't want it known. The doctors who perform the procedure sell it as so simple it is characterized as "The Snip" and if they can't perform it successfully without killing the child people will wonder (correctly) about the competence of the doctor.

    Parents who kill their child by approving unnecessary and non-beneficial cosmetic surgery on their child's sexual organ certainly don't want it publically known so they hide it as if it was a "crib death." Among their family and friends, it is assumed the death was unavoidable.

    This conspiracy of silence allows the murder to go on and on and no perpetrators are arrested and no punishment meted out. The only one who is punished is the child that died.

    The meidcal profession needs to be punished for causing these deaths and the punishment needs to be severe so that a warning is sent out to all others.

Comments are closed.

Of Interest