Florida judge: ‘Boy must be circumcised’
Earlier this month, an appeals court upheld a ruling allowing the father of a 4-year-old boy to circumcise his son against the wishes of his mother.
And in a bizarre twist, the judge slapped a gagging order on the boy’s mum. This not only forbids her from talking about the issue to the media, but from telling her son that she opposed his circumcision.
According to this report, Dennis Nebus and Heather Hironimus went to court last year to fight over whether their son Chase, then aged three, should should be ritually mutilated according to Jewish custom.
Hironimus had originally agreed to the circumcision, but later changed her mind, arguing that there was no medical reason for chase to be circumcised and that the procedure could harm or even kill him.
But Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen, who sits in the 15th judicial district in Palm Beach County, ruled in Nebus’ favor, allowing him to go ahead and circumcise Chase, and he then added the gagging order.
According to Beyond the Bris, a Jewish website dedicated to educating the public on the risks of circumcision, the judge not only placed a gag order on her but ordered Hironimus to be separated from Chase for several weeks after the procedure.
The New Times, which broke the story last year, spoke to David Llewellyn, an Atlanta-based trial attorney and civil mediator who specialises in medical malpractice, particularly in the areas of genital injury, circumcision damage, and wrongful circumcision. He said:
In my opinion, there is never a reason to circumcise. There are good legal principles regarding this, but those principles are often disregarded because it’s such an emotional topic.
Commenting yesterday on the case in the Jewish Independent, Yori Yanover wrote:
I think it’s clear from the names of the main characters in this story (other than the judge) that these are not Jews arguing over the biblical commandment of circumcision. In fact … Chase’s father and mother were never married. In other words, Nebus is what’s known in some parts as the baby daddy. Why should he have the power to dictate the medical future of a child that isn’t officially under his care?
In his order, Judge Gillen notes that the mother, Ms Hironimus, signed a parenting plan of circumcision in December 2011, as did Mr Nebus. The plan was that Nebus arrange the circumcision. It’s part of the court records.
And that’s the basis for the Judge’s decision, forcing a woman to submit her son to a brutal violation of his person, against her best judgement: you signed the contract, you can’t change your mind about it.
Can you imagine someone contracting to donate, say, a kidney, then changing their mind only to be forced by a judge like this one to lie down and give up the body part?
Honestly, it’s hard to imagine a more invasive intrusion on the part of a court in people’s privacy.
After signing the agreement, back in 2011, Heather Hironimus changed her mind about the circumcision. She told her baby daddy that it was not medically necessary and that it could be a risky operation for the infant, because of the general anesthesia.
And she was right.
Don’t get me wrong, as a Jewish person, I support with every fiber in my body the requirement, even the need for Jewish parents to circumcise their sons. But over the years, I’ve read tons of evidence proving both sides of the circumcision debate, and I have had no use for them. The only valid reason I see for the brutal attack with a sharp knife on a defenseless infant is if God said so.
Otherwise, I completely agree with the voices out there suggesting circumcision is an aggressive violation of an infant’s civil liberties.
He pointed out that Heather Hironimus was on GoFundMe, where she’d already picked up just under the $10,000 she needed for her legal fees, and said:
Go help, if you’re into it. And ask yourself if we, as Jews, shouldn’t be committed to supporting people who were not told by God to circumcise their sons, just by this judge in Palm Beach, Florida.
This morning, I tried to find the GoFundMe appeal, but it had been removed because it reportedly violated the court order. However it has been replaced by a new funding campaign that aims to raise $25,000 on Hironimus’s behalf.