Court spares govt, 4 others from suit over botched circumcision

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today allowed an application filed by the government and four others to strike out a negligence suit filed by a 19-year-old youth over a circumcision procedure that went awry when he was 10 years old and left him with a permanent disability.

High Court Judge Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad made the decision after allowing the application from the five — namely, Kuala Lipis Hospital’s (KLH) medical officer and its director; Selayang Hospital’s specialist and its director; as well as the government, as the second to sixth defendants — to strike out the suit on the grounds that the circumcision procedure was performed outside the hospital and the government was not involved.

“The trial between the plaintiff and the first defendant (KLH’s medical assistant) will continue,” lawyer Mohamad Zainuddin Abu Bakar, representing the youth, told reporters after the proceedings in Nik Hasmat’s chambers here today.

He said the court had set March 13 for further management of the case.

The five defendants had filed an application to set aside the suit on Dec 7 last year.

Meanwhile, the KLH medical assistant had filed an application to strike out the suit but withdrew it later.

On July 19 last year, the youth, in the suit filed through his mother, claimed that on Dec 13, 2010, at 10am, the medical assistant had carried out the circumcision procedures on two boys, including him, at a residence in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, with the knowledge and permission of the second and third defendant (KLH medical officer and director respectively).

The mother claimed that during the circumcision, the medical assistant did not follow the stipulated procedures and cut off her son’s penis’ entire head due to his negligence.

The woman claimed that the medical assistant attempted to stitch back the severed part, but claimed it was not performed according to procedures.

She also claimed that while her son was at KLH, the second defendant did not provide immediate treatment to the boy, as well as failed to inform her and other family members that the entire head of her son’s penis was severed.

She alleged that she was only informed that the cut affected her son’s urinary tract.

The second defendant, she claimed, was negligent in not stitching back the severed part of her son’s penis and also took too long to decide to send her child for immediate treatment at the Selayang Hospital.

The plaintiff said her son was sent later to Selayang Hospital where surgery was performed to stitch back the severed part. On the 35th day, she was shocked to find out that her son’s penis was without its glans.

She claimed that the fourth defendant (a specialist at Selayang Hospital) had assured her that her son’s penis glans would grow as he got older, but at the age of 17, it had not.

As a result of that, she claimed that her son had suffered a permanent disability and became a quiet person, only making friends with small children.

She claimed to have forked out a huge sum for her son’s treatment at Selayang Hospital, including transportation and legal consultation, amounting to more than RM100,000.

She is seeking general and special damages, as well as interest and other costs which the court deems fit.