Circumcision Lawsuits

To the Editor:

This spring, a groundbreaking circumcision lawsuit was settled in New York, although terms of the settlements have not been made public.

William Stowell filed suit in 2000 against the hospital where he was circumcised in 1981 as a newborn, and against the physician who circumcised him, seeking $75,000 in damages.

Stowell’s case did not claim an unexpected outcome, but questioned whether a physician could legally and ethically remove normal, healthy tissue from a non-consenting minor for non-therapeutic reasons. David Llewellyn, one of Stowell’s attorneys, stated, “I would expect that this is just the first of many cases that will be brought by angry circumcised young men against their circumcisers.”

In 1971, the American Academy of Pediatrics found no medical justification for routine circumcision. No national medical group in the world today recommends routine circumcision.

For further information on this case, see:

A second similar lawsuit was filed on June 26, 2003 in Georgia by William Haynes, Jr. Haynes was born on June 28, 1983, and he is suing the physician and hospital responsible for performing an elective circumcision upon him after birth.

Currently, an essay contest for college students is being held to answer the question “Is Circumcision Ethical?” First prize is $1,200, and essays must be submitted by November 1, 2003. For more information, go to

Sincerely, Petrina Fadel 5609 Sears Rd. Groton, NY 607-898-3978