KUALA LUMPUR: A man is suing the Malaysian government, as well as the directors of two government hospitals, for negligence over a circumcision that went awry when he was eight years old.
The Bernama news agency reported on Friday (Nov 30) that the man, who is now 18, claimed to be permanently incapacitated due to the botched procedure.
The man filed the suit through his mother on Jul 19 this year. The first five defendants are a medical assistant, a medical officer and the director at Kuala Lipis Hospital in Pahang, along with a specialist doctor and the director of Selayang Hospital in Selangor. The Malaysian government was named as the sixth defendant.
In the statement of claim, the victim’s mother stated that on Dec 13, 2010, at 10am, the medical assistant had conducted circumcision procedures on two boys, including her son, at a residence in Kuala Lipis. The procedures were carried out with the knowledge and permission of the Kuala Lipis Hospital medical officer and director.
The victim’s mother claimed that during the circumcision, the medical assistant did not follow the stipulated procedure.
The woman said the negligence caused the head of her son’s penis to become severed, with his foreskin still intact. She added that the medical assistant attempted to stitch back the severed part, but claimed it was not performed according to procedure.
The victim’s mother said that her son was not provided with immediate treatment when he was at the Kuala Lipis Hospital. She added that her family was also not informed that the head of her son’s penis was severed.
She said that she was only informed that the cut affected her son’s urinary tract.
She charged that the medical officer was negligent for not stitching back the severed part of her son’s penis and also for taking too long to decide to send her child for immediate treatment.
The woman said the boy was eventually sent to Selayang Hospital where surgery was performed to stitch back the severed part. However, about a month after the procedure, the woman said she was shocked to find out that her son’s penis had no head.
A specialist doctor from the hospital then allegedly told the woman that her son’s penis head would grow as he got older. However, her son remained incapacitated at the age of 17, the woman said.
Due to the incident, the woman claimed that her son had changed. He came a quiet person who did not want to befriend people of his own age group and instead preferred to mix with younger children.
The woman said her son’s treatment, welfare and legal fees have cost her more than RM100,000 (US$23,900). She is seeking general and special damages, as well as interest and other costs which the court deems fit.
In September, five out of the six defendants denied any accusations of negligence in providing treatment for the boy. They also claimed that the teenager had no right to claim damages as the injury was caused by the medical officer.
The medical officer has also denied negligence on his part.