Queens Baby Dies on Table During Circumcision

Source: Daily Mail Reporter

A two-year-old boy died on the operating table after circumcision. The devastated parents of Jamaal Coleson Jr, from Queens, are demanding to know why their son died during the procedure at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.

Jamaal's uncle Jabbar Coleson, 23, said his nephew died on Tuesday about ten hours after he went in to be circumcised. His grieving parents - Taleah Echezerriam and Jamaal Coleson - were too distraught to speak.

Coleson told the New York Post that the hospital was supposed to give the two-year-old a local analgesic, but instead gave him a general one. Jamaal, who would have celebrated his second birthday next month, was said to have "woken up and called for his mother, and then went critical."

Jamaal never regained consciousness and was declared dead at 8.35pm.

Coleson, who lives in Atlanta, told the Post, "I want to know what happened. He was so sweet and energetic and so happy - a very happy child. I am very upset and I am glad I am a couple of hundred miles away. I have time to calm down and say my prayers."

The family are demanding answers and want to know what went wrong. The hospital said in a statement:
We extend heartfelt condolences to the family of the young patient in question. This is a devastating event for his family as well as for the staff at Beth Israel who tried to save his life. We immediately notified the Medical Examiner's Office and requested that they accept this case for further review, which they have. We also are in the process of reporting this case as an unexpected death to the NYS Department of Health.
Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the ME, confirmed an autopsy was conducted yesterday to determine the cause of death, the results of which have yet to be released.

Jamaal's parents were to be married next year. Coleson said, "We just don't understand what happened. Now my mother is out buying a suit for the funeral (instead of the wedding)."

Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan where Jamaal Coleson died while undergoing circumcision.


Angry relatives report to the New York Post that they have refused the East Side Medical Center's offer to pay or Jamaal's funeral. "I'd rather have him back. I wish there was a way to clone him. We miss him so much," said Jabbar Coleson, uncle of Jamaal.

A spokeswoman for Beth Israel Medical Center said she was unaware of any offer.

The autopsy performed Wednesday on the toddler was "inconclusive," said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner's Office.

When performed, genital cutting on male babies and children in the United States is executed with general anesthesia if the baby is over 6 months of age, or 10 pounds in weight. Local anesthesia, while not used in the majority of circumcision surgeries performed on U.S. newborns, is exclusively used on young or light weight babies. This seems to be a carry over practice based in mythology in the U.S. from the decades when babies were said to be born "without the ability to feel pain." Today, it is common practice in the U.S. to not use anesthesia of any kind when cutting a newborn baby boy (although this is against the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics), or to use local anesthesia in the first weeks or months post-birth, and general anesthesia when circumcision surgery is performed later.

The family, however, has accused the hospital of giving Jamaal general anesthesia when they expected him to only receive a local analgesic for the 30-minute amputative surgery of his prepuce organ.

"He started to tell his mommy he wasn't feeling well. It took them four hours to get him into surgery. Then they couldn't find the doctor," Coleson said.

The hospital reports they have turned over all information to the New York state Department of Health.

Related Reading:

New York Post article on the tragic death of Jamaal Coleson Jr. can be read here.

Death From Circumcision

Circumcision Information Resource Pages - Death

Doctors Opposing Circumcision - Statement

Circumstitions - Complications

NOHARMM - Complicaitons Incidence

Cut vs. Intact Outcome Statistics

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers 2010 newsletter

Partial list of those who've died from circumcision

Bollinger, Dan. Lost Boys: An Estimate of U.S. Circumcision-Related Infant Deaths. Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies. 2010;4(1):78-90.

Baker RL. Newborn male circumcision: needless and dangerous. Sexual Medicine Today. 1979;3(11):35-36.

Related News Briefs:

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More newborn baby boys die from circumcision surgery each year in the United States than from choking, from auto accidents, from suffocation, from SIDS, from sleep positioners and from (the newly banned) drop-side cribs.


Doctors Re-examine Circumcision

Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy

Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma

Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery

Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision

Circumcision: What Every Parent Should Know

Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America

Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma

Circumcision: The Rest of the Story

Circumcision Exposed: Rethinking a Medical and Cultural Tradition

40 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Respect His Birthright and Keep Your Son Whole

Children's Genitals Under the Knife

Additional books published on circumcision linked and available here.

Additional information on the prepuce organ ("foreskin" or "clitoral hood"), intact care, and circumcision found at Are You Fully Informed?  


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