Mother to sue Miami hospital that wrongfully circumcised baby

Newborn Mario Viera of Miami was circumcised without his family’s consent at South Miami Hospital last month. This week his mother, Vera Delgado, said her attorney is readying a lawsuit against the hospital. The mother, Vera Delgado, said she’d told hospital staff more than once that she did not want her son circumcised. The surgery took place in the intensive care unit where then- 8-day-old Mario was being treated for an infection. Mario Delgado was away from the hospital at the time, according to Delgado’s attorney.

Spencer Aronfeld, a personal injury lawyer representing Delgado, said he will file a lawsuit — not for medical malpractice as is the norm for such cases — but for assault and battery against the doctor and the hospital for performing an unnecessary and unwanted procedure without parental consent. Delgado is seeking $1 million in damages, said Aronfeld.

“She [Vera Delgado] wants a law passed that would prohibit any hospital from routinely circumcising newborns without a compelling medical or religious reason,” added Aronfeld on an entry on his blog.

South Miami Hospital has a poor patient safety track record, according to HealthGrades, an organization that rates all U.S. hospitals on factors like treatment outcomes, mortality rates, and patient safety. Of 12 patient safety categories, South Miami scored “worse” than expected standards in six categories. It scored “average” in five patient safety areas, and “better” than expected for a hospital its size on just one measure, the incidence of hospital-acquired infections.

The hospital released the following statement regarding the circumcision: “The baby’s circumcision was an unfortunate mistake caused by a misread consent form. As soon as the error was discovered, the doctor and nurses let the family know what had occurred. We also immediately implemented new processes to ensure this mistake will not occur again. The procedure itself was performed following appropriate surgical guidelines and the baby didn’t have any complications. Nevertheless, we’re all deeply sorry that this happened.”

Kathlyn Stone

Kathlyn Stone is a Twin Cities, Minnesota-based writer who has covered general news, and business, international trade, and health care news and policies for public and professional audiences.