April 26, 2012
Supreme Court to hear B.C. botched circumcision caseThe Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of a B.C. father who tried to circumcise his four-year-old son with a razor blade and a blood coagulant meant for horses, it was announced Thursday.
The man, who is referred to in court documents only as D.J.W. to protect the identity of his son, was first convicted in a British Columbia court in October 2009.
He was found guilty of criminal negligence causing bodily harm following the botched April 2007 procedure.
But, after the man appealed the decision, three B.C. Court of Appeal judges stayed the conviction and upped the charge to aggravated assault last December.
The previous sentence imposed was one year in jail, with two years' probation and a 10-year prohibition on owning a firearm. An aggravated assault conviction carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.
According to the documents, D.J.W. had "changed his world view" after the birth of his son and felt he had to "make things right with God."
The original trial judge found D.J.W. had asked two rabbis and four physicians to perform the circumcision but was told the procedure would require a general anesthetic, which could not be justified for his four-year-old son.
The man then attempted to enrol in a course that trained mohels to perform circumcisions, but was told only trained doctors could take it, the documents stated.
Despite having botched a circumcision on himself a couple of years earlier which caused an infection, the man decided to circumcise his son himself, in his kitchen.
According to court documents the kitchen was not sterile, or even sanitary. The documents also say that D.J.W. gave his son a quantity of honey wine, placed him on garbage bags on the kitchen floor, then cut away the foreskin with a razor blade. The documents further state that D.J.W.'s hand slipped when his son shuddered and cried, and that D.J.W. used a veterinary blood coagulant called Wonder Dust — meant for horses and livestock — on his son's bleeding penis.
The boy had to have corrective surgery.
According to a summary of the case in the 2009 ruling, D.J.W. had told his son the procedure would grant him "extra special protection from God" and allow him to eat Passover lamb, ice cream and pick all the movies he wanted for a week.
D.J.W. is banned from seeing the boy, who now lives with his mother.