British Columbia

Circumcision under attack

The report on the death of an infant following a routine circumcision has triggered renewed calls to ban the procedure in B.C.

The report on the death of an infant following a routine circumcision has triggered renewed calls to ban the procedure in B.C.

Ryleigh Roman McWillis was a month old when he bled to death following the operation in Penticton in August, 2002.

A coroner's report released this week makes no recommendations for change, which dismays his parents.

Brent McWillis had hoped the coroner's report into the death of his son Ryleigh would help prevent a similar tragedy in future.

"It was a very unfortunate and nightmarish thing that happened to us," he says. "The only thing I want to see is that it doesn't happen to anyone else's child."

Ryleigh's parents say they'd like all hospitals to adopt better standards to care for infants following a circumcision.

Meanwhile, other groups opposed to circumcision, are calling for an internal review by the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"This surgery is not necessary, and if the surgery is not therapeutic, the risk cannot be undertaken," says John Geisheker, the lawyer for the group, Doctors Against Circumcision.

Dr. Eugene Outerbridge of the Canadian Pediatric Society says a study last year, showed male circumcision exposes children to risk, with no real medical benefit.

But Outerbridge says an outright ban would violate the rights of religious minorities.

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