Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

The Globe and Mail

Troubled man 'felt like a failure'

Mother says son, raised as a girl, was 'ashamed' of losing $65,000

The Globe and Mail, By BRENT JANG AND GRAEME SMITH, Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - Page A7

DUNCAN, B.C. and WINNIPEG -- A former golf instructor says he was trying to help David Reimer when he hired the famously troubled victim of sexual experiments to work at his golf shop in Winnipeg.

"I took a chance with him, and I was happy that I did," Gary Perch said yesterday. "I'm very sorry about what happened."

But it's still not clear what happened between Mr. Perch and Mr. Reimer in the months before the 38-year-old committed suicide last week.

Mr. Reimer lost at least $65,000. It was part of the money he had earned by publicizing the painful story about how his penis was burned off in a circumcision accident and how doctors tried to make him female.

"He felt like a failure," said Mr. Reimer's mother Janet, describing his despair at losing the money. "He was ashamed."

Mr. Perch said his lawyers have advised him not to talk about what happened to Mr. Reimer's money. He also can't discuss his investments, which resulted in several lawsuits and a warning about his behaviour from the Manitoba Securities Commission.

When asked for an interview yesterday, he wouldn't even leave his room at the Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn, a pleasant motel managed by Mr. Perch's cousin on the northern outskirts of Duncan, B.C.

But speaking by telephone, Mr. Perch expressed regret at Mr. Reimer's death.

"What happened with David was a very tragic thing," Mr. Perch said. "I'm just stricken over what's happened with him."

He says he hired Mr. Reimer for duties such as maintenance of the pro shop at the Transcona Golf Club in east Winnipeg.

"I was aware of his problems," he said.

The strange troubles of Mr. Reimer have been well publicized, with magazine articles, a book and appearances on television programs, such as Oprah. When he was an infant, his penis was so badly burned during a botched circumcision that it dried up and fell off. Doctors tried surgery and hormones to make him into a girl, but he never felt comfortable in that gender.

He went public with his story in the mid-nineties, earning profits from the book and touring television talk shows, but life wasn't easy. Friends say his fabricated anatomy strained his marriage with his wife, Jane. He was also mourning the suicide of his twin brother two years earlier.

Money seems to have been his biggest worry recently, his mother says, but he kept it secret.

"Jane went to the bank and the account was empty," Ms. Reimer said. "We didn't know he was so broke. We would have helped him."

Realizing what happened came as a terrible shock, she said.

"We were horrified. That was his money for living on, you know, he wasn't a rich man. He thought it was a sound investment, that the money would be there for him when he needed it."

Although Mr. Reimer never started any legal action, his widow has contacted a lawyer about reclaiming the debt.

Two other investors have launched lawsuits against Mr. Perch, claiming he touted a scheme that would pay high interest, but didn't make good on his promises. Statements of claim filed in Winnipeg courts say he owes those investors more than $100,000. Several other creditors are also suing Mr. Perch, saying he failed to pay a variety of debts, including balances on three Visa gold cards and two lines of credit.

Mr. Perch hasn't filed responses to the claims, although he said yesterday that he intends to sue the golf club for terminating his contract.

Bob Olien, president of the Transcona Golf Club, said the club's board of directors unanimously voted to remove Mr. Perch from the golf pro job he's had for 24 years after securities regulators issued a warning about him in November.

"Gary Perch has been soliciting money from the public to invest in his Winnipeg-based pro golf shop," said the statement by the Manitoba Securities Commission. "If you have invested your money with him, your money may be at risk."

But Mr. Perch said the whole story hasn't yet come to light. "David was caught in the middle," he said, without elaborating. "I considered him a friend."

copyright The Globe and Mail

Pediatricians turn away from circumcision

The United States is the only country that routinely circumcises baby boys for non-religious reasons

March 1, 1999

ATLANTA (CNN) -- American pediatricians are turning away from the practice of routine circumcision, concluding that doctors have no good medical reason to perform the procedure.

The United States is the only country in the world that routinely removes the foreskins of infant boys. Critics of circumcision got additional ammunition Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a leading medical organization.

The academy concluded the benefits "are not compelling enough" for circumcision to be routinely administered.

baby screaming in pain

A newborn winces in pain after a circumcision

Monday's statement, published in the March edition of the journal Pediatrics, was the academy's first in 10 years on the practice. But in recent years, medical societies in Canada, Britain and Australia have come out in opposition to routine circumcision.

Critics have long contended that removing the foreskin from the penis is traumatic, medically unnecessary and may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. As one critic, Dr. George Denniston, put it: "Who are we to question mother nature?"

Canadian researchers, whose study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, studied the heart rates and crying patterns of babies during different stages of circumcision.

In fact, in the study they found the babies suffered so much trauma that they stopped the study part way through.

The results were so compelling that they took the unusual step of stopping the study before it was scheduled to end rather than subjecting any Read More ..bies to circumcision.

One baby stopped breathing for 25 seconds from the trauma of having part of his foreskin severed.  Read More ..

Toronto Sun logo

Male Circumcision, the unkindest cut

By Dr. Gifford Jones

Special to C-Health

Read More ..

Baby Died from Herpes Transmitted by Rabbi During Ritual Genital Mutilation

ABC News USA - Spanking children Leads to aggression

Baby Dies of Herpes in Ritual Circumcision By Orthodox Jews

ABC News, U.S.A., by Susan Donaldson James, March 12, 2012

New York City is investigating the death last September of a baby who contracted herpes after a "ritual circumcision with oral suction," in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish ceremony known in Hebrew as metzitzah b'peh.

The district attorney's office in Kings County Brooklyn is investigating the death of the 2-week-old baby at Maimonides Hospital, but would not disclose the name of the mohel or whether there would be a prosecution.

The 5,000-year-old religious practice is seen primarily in ultra-Orthodox and some orthodox communities and has caused an alarm among city health officials. In 2003 and 2004, three babies, including a set of twins, were infected with Type 1 herpes; the cases were linked to circumcision, and one boy died.

The mohel who performed the procedures, Yitzchok Fischer, was later banned from doing circumcisions, according to The New York Times. It is not known if he was involved in this recent death.

"It's certainly not something any of us recommend in the modern infection-control era," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University.

"This is a ritual of historic Abraham that's come down through the ages, and now it has met modern science," he said. "It was never a good idea, and there is a better way to do this." (The modern Jewish community uses a sterile aspiration device to clean the wound in a circumcision.)

In the 2004 death and the more recent one, a mohel infected the penile wounds with Type 1 herpes I (HSV-1), which affects the mouth and throat. It is different from Type 2 or genital herpes (HSV-2), which is a sexually transmitted disease and can cause deadly infections when a newborn passes through an infected birth canal.

Neonatal herpes is "almost always" a fatal infection, according to Schaffner. "It's a bad virus. [Infants] have no immunity and so it's a very serious illness. Now we have another death -- an unnecessary, incredibly tragic death."

Male Genital Mutilation (MGM) Circumcision - Baby Boy Botched

Circumcision Botched - Canadian Press

Circumcision Botched by Jewish Father Results in Conviction for Aggravated Assault

The Canadian Press
Dec. 22, 2011

VANCOUVER - A B.C. man who performed a botched circumcision on his four-year-old son on the kitchen floor of his home has lost an appeal of his conviction and been found guilty of a more serious charge.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has stayed the man's conviction for criminal negligence causing bodily harm and convicted him of aggravated assault.

Court heard the boy was born premature at only 2.5 pounds and could not be circumcised at the time, nor did his parents request it.

South Korean Doctors

Male circumcision based on myths and misinformation

Peak age of circumcision of males in Korea is 12 years old! Read More ..

Urinary Tract Infection Rates for Both Circumcised and Non-Circumcised Baby Boys Under 1 Year Old

UTIs are rare

Canadian Paediatric Society - Circumcision statement

"Of every 1,000 boys who are circumcised 2 will be admitted to hospital for a urinary tract infection (UTI) before they are one year old."

"Of every 1,000 boys who are not circumcised 7 will be admitted to hospital for a UTI before they are one year old. "

Société canadienne de pédiatrie - circoncis statement

Sur 1 000 garçons circoncis 2 seront hospitalisés en raison d'une infection urinaire avant l'âge d'un an.

Sur 1 000 garçons non circoncis 7 seront hospitalisés par suite d'une infection urinaire avant l'âge d'un an.

CanadianCRC editor:
Anyone who states that urinary tract infections are common among newborn baby boys, and therefore advocates that the genital mutilation of boys ( male circumcision) will stop urinary tract infections, is a liar or misinformed.

Besides, urinary tract infections are entirely treatable.

Men's Rights Commentary

Men's News Daily Online

Commentary on the David Reimer botched circumcision / gender changed case

When Feminist Dogma Met Dr. Mengele

CanadianCRC editor's Note: Reminder about our policy: Many sides of an issue are expressed in articles on this website. Many articles contain points of view which should be heard but are not the position of the Canadian Children's Rights Council.

"..Circumcision May CAUSE Urinary Tract Infection"

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are rare, and mainly occur in the first year of life. They are several times Read More .. common in girls than boys (but of course surgery is never considered for girls).

They are painful, and women's experience of them is a powerful inducement to have sons circumcised, if they imagine that this will protect them. In fact, a significant proportion of boys contract UTIs even though they are circumcised. A study in Israel found they mainly occurred in girls at four months, but in boys soon after they were circumcised....  Now an Australian study suggests circumcision may cause urinary problems.  Read More ..

Read what the medical profession associations have to say on this issue

2003 British Medical Association Statement Against Circumcision

The BMA does not believe that parental preference alone constitutes sufficient grounds for performing a surgical procedure on a child unable to express his own view. . . . Parental preference must be weighed in terms of the child's interests. . . . The BMA considers that the evidence concerning health benefit from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it. . . . Some doctors may wish to not perform circumcisions for reasons of conscience. Doctors are under no obligation to comply with a request to circumcise a child.  Read More ..

Toronto Sun Circumcision of males unkindest cut

Circumcision, the unkindest cut

By Dr. Gifford Jones

Special to C-Health

Read More ..

Baby Dies From Circumcision

Five-week-old infant died after he was circumcised at Penticton hospital

Vancouver, British Columbia
August 29, 2002

The Kamloops coroner is investigating the case of an infant who died last week from complications following his circumcision at Penticton Regional Hospital.

The five-week-old child was released after the procedure last Tuesday morning, but his parents went back to talk to the doctor later that day with concerns about bleeding. They returned home, but the situation worsened overnight, forcing them to rush the child back to hospital early Wednesday.

The infant was flown by air ambulance to Vancouver, where he died last Thursday in B.C. Children's Hospital.

"It certainly seems to be unusual," coroner Ian McKichan said yesterday. "It's definitely something that warrants an investigation, because it's a totally unexpected sort of death."

Deaths following circumcision are almost unheard of, but like any operation, bleeding and infection are the greatest dangers.

The case raises questions about an increasingly rare operation which stirs controversy in some circles.

"The bottom line is that circumcision is becoming a less-common procedure," said Dr. Morris Van Andel, registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. "It's no longer an insured service -- it's considered an option. That makes it all the Read More ..stressing when you hear about something like this."

According to Penticton hospital officials, the operation to remove the foreskin from the child's penis was conducted by a physician with 16 years' practice in British Columbia.