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Lawsuit for Newborn Circumcision, 'Intentional Battery'

Mother says family has never practiced circumcision, and believes genital integrity to be a basic human right.

MUNCIE -- A Delaware Circuit Court 4 jury next month will be asked to decide whether a local physician should pay damages to a now-7-year-old Muncie boy who was circumcised a day after his November 2003 birth -- allegedly against the wishes of the youngster's parents.

The boy and his mother have already reached an out-of-court settlement with Ball Memorial Hospital, where the birth and circumcision took place.

In a lawsuit -- filed nearly six years ago, in November 2005 -- the mother alleges her newborn baby displayed "calm, cuddly, confident behavior" on his first day of life.

As a result of "the tremendous pain suffered upon him" a day after his birth, the child became "a very fussy and upset baby" for nearly a year, and continued to suffer pain for at least two weeks after the procedure, which the suit calls "an intentional battery."

The mother maintains the physician targeted in the suit, Michael R. Burt, was aware of her opposition to circumcision, in part because he was the pediatrician for her "genitally intact" older son.

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