Out-of-court deal for botched circumcision

2013-03-26 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL health authorities reached an out-of-court agreement yesterday in which they accepted liability for a botched circumcision performed on a five-year-old boy at Vryheid provincial hospital in 2009.

The case has been adjourned to June 19 for a hearing to determine the amount of damages that the province must pay.

The mother of the boy sued the MEC for Health and the doctor who performed the surgery — identified only as a Dr Cabellero — for R4,1 million in damages.

According to documents in the court file, the operation was required for a medical reason, and the child underwent the procedure in October 2009.

Afterwards the boy suffered severe pain, burning and infection and his penis turned black and became necrotic.

The complications were said to be due to negligence on the part of the surgeon.

The surgeon was accused of having failed to exercise reasonable professional care and skill, and applied “incorrect practices and procedures” when performing the circumcision.

He was also alleged to have failed to provide adequate post-operative treatment.

As a result of the botched operation, the boy is said to have been in severe pain and suffering. He has been disfigured, had to undergo further medical treatment and operations, and will have to endure more surgery in future for the reconstruction of his penis.

He is said to be depressed and to have suffered physical, psychological and emotional trauma.

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