Family to sue hospital over procedure

September 13th, 2010 by Staff

SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. (WSVN) — A family is taking legal action against a local hospital that performed an unauthorized medical procedure.

Vera Delgado gave birth to her son, Mario Viera, at South Miami Hospital, seven weeks ago. Mario spent 10 days in intensive care for complications related to his birth. During this time, hospital staff asked Delgado and her husband if they wanted Mario to be circumcised. “Every time that the doctor asked if we’re going to have the circumcision on him, we always say no. Always. All the time, we always say no, because we always think that it was unnecessary surgery for him,” said Delgado.

However, on the eighth day of Mario’s hospital stay, Delgado discovered a painkiller in his bassinet. A nurse informed Delgado that doctors performed the circumcision on her son. “I asked her what the Tylenol was for, and she told me that it was for the pain caused by the circumcision. She opened the diaper, and when she opened the diaper, we saw all the blood, and we saw everything, and I started crying. She told me, ‘Unfortunately, they did the circumcision on him,’” Delgado said.

Delgado and her husband hired Attorney Spencer Aronfeld, who has worked on circumcision lawsuits in the past. “The hospital didn’t just commit medical malpractice. What they did is a battery, because it was an unauthorized touching of this baby boy,” said Aronfeld. “This is more than a procedure and policy error at the hospital. This is a doctor signing a document stating he had had conversations with parents that never occurred, and this is the kind of answers to the questions that we have for South Miami Hospital and for this physician.”

South Miami Hospital officials admitted the hospital’s mistake, and released the following statement: “The baby’s circumcision was an unfortunate mistake caused by a misread consent form. We’re all deeply sorry that this happened.”

Delgado said, the mistake cannot be undone. “I’m not sure if someday he’s going to ask why he’s so different from his brother or his father. I don’t know, but we’re going to have to start thinking about that. Any mother, they want to protect their child, and I couldn’t protect my child at that time,” she said.

According to South Miami Hospital officials, Mario did not experience any complications from the surgery. The hospital has created new procedures to prevent unauthorized circumcisions from reoccurring.


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