Government seeks to strike out lawsuit on botched circumcision

Lawyer Mohamad Zainuddin Abu Bakar.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has applied to strike out a lawsuit filed by a teenager over a botched circumcision procedure by medical staff and doctors at the Kuala Lipis district hospital eight years ago.

Lawyer Mohamad Zainuddin Abu Bakar, who represents the boy, said the government took the position that the suit had no merit, and was unreasonable and frivolous.

“We have rebutted the application as a trial must be held to determine the issue,” he told reporters after case management before High Court deputy registrar Rumaizah Baharum.

The next case management has been fixed on Jan 3.

The government said the first defendant, a medical assistant whom it is not representing, conducted the procedure on the boy at private premises, adding that it was outside the scope of his duty.

“The other four defendants were not involved and had no knowledge of the first defendant’s action,” it said in an affidavit affirmed by health ministry official Dr Ahmad Razid Salleh.

The 18-year-old plaintiff, who filed the suit through his mother, said the defendant had on Dec 13, 2010 failed to adhere to the standard procedure.

As a result, he said, his penis head was cut off during the procedure when only the foreskin should have been removed.

“A large amount of blood flowed from the penis,” the boy said in his lawsuit, adding that the first defendant had only covered the penis with a white cloth.

The boy said the first defendant and a medical officer knew about the failed procedure but did not inform his family.

He said they also took a long time to send him to a specialist.

“The victim was only operated on at 8.15pm on Dec 13, 2010 at Hospital Selayang to reattach the penis head,” he said, claiming the medical doctor had tried to hide the problem in her medical report.

The boy’s mother only found out about the problem a month later, but the urologist told her that the penis head would “grow back” upon reaching puberty.

“There was no truth to it because there was no growth at all throughout the victim’s teenage years,” the lawsuit said.

The boy is seeking RM108,356 for special damages and also general damages.

The first defendant, in his defence, has denied the allegations.