Fathers fight paternity fraud
Townhall.com, by Kathleen Parker, February 24, 2001
You can't blame Carnell Smith for being a little ticked off. He was a good father, paid his child support on time, loved and cared for his little girl. That is, until he found out through DNA testing
You can't blame Carnell Smith for being a little ticked off. He was a good father, paid his child support on time, loved and cared for his little girl. That is, until he found out through DNA testing that he wasn't "Daddy." In the two years since he was tested, Smith has become a one-man army trying to advance a relatively new legal term - "paternity fraud."
He has recruited Georgia legislators to draft a proposed law (HB 369), joining four other states (Arkansas, Ohio, Louisiana, Colorado) to provide "accused fathers" with the legal mechanism to seek DNA testing and, in cases of exoneration, to be relieved of financial responsibilities for a child not their own. "Why hold someone responsible for what someone else did?" asks Smith. "Common sense, decency and logic say he's not financially responsible for something he didn't do."
Smith's personal nightmare began in 1999, 10 years after he'd taken responsibility for the child he thought was his. Until then, he says he voluntarily paid his child support and helped raise the girl. Then in 1999, the mother went to court to try to increase her child support payments to $1,300 per month, or 42 percent of Smith's take-home pay.
An engineer with a telecommunications company, Smith earned a good salary, but he also had a wife and two children of his own. In the midst of court proceedings one day - in a scene made for Hollywood - Smith was going to pick up his daughter when a billboard caught his eye. "Who's the Father?" it said and listed a toll-free number for a DNA-testing company.
Acting on instinct, Smith made the call. He's been tested twice now, and both times with the same result: There is zero chance he's the girl's father. A judge has ruled that he no longer has to pay child support. And one 12-year-old girl no longer has a father. That's the sad part of the story, and the piece that usually dampens sympathy for men such as Smith.
How can you suddenly stop loving a child for whom you've always been Dad? How can you abandon a child who needs you? These are tough questions and prompt emotions that interfere with one's usual impulse to fairness. But fair is fair, and the truth looks like this: The mother who lies about paternity is guilty of fraud and deserves condemnation at least equal to what we assign fathers who abandon their children. In no other imaginable scenario, meanwhile, do we punish victims of a false allegations.
As Smith points out on his Web site ( www.paternityfraud.com ), fraud is a crime that under any other circumstances would be punishable in criminal and civil courts. In fact, Smith has filed a civil suit against his ex-lover, hoping to recoup the $80,000 he's paid her. And though he'd like to see his former daughter, he's steering clear of the child custody system that he says indentured him to pay for another's sins.
Smith's activism wouldn't be possible, of course, without recent technological advances in DNA testing, the advent of which has been a mixed blessing. Knowledge is sometimes ruthless and can exact painful consequences. Men often are devastated by the results and, of course, any child so ill-conceived loses more than money and pride.
One can't blame Smith and others who've fallen prey to paternity fraud. But the whole business does make one nostalgic for those stodgy old days when marriage preceded procreation, and Mom and Dad knew exactly who they were.
Kathleen Parker is a popular syndicated columnist and director of the School of Written Expression at the Buckley School of Public Speaking and Persuasion in Camden, South Carolina.
Male Circumcision, the unkindest cut
By Dr. Gifford Jones
Special to C-Health
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."
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
Peak age of circumcision of males in Korea is 12 years old! Read More ..
UTIs are rare
"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. "
Sur 1 000 garÃ§ons circoncis 2 seront hospitalisÃ©s en raison d'une infection urinaire avant l'Ã¢ge d'un an.
Sur 1 000 garÃ§ons non circoncis 7 seront hospitalisÃ©s par suite d'une infection urinaire avant l'Ã¢ge d'un an.
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 News Daily Online
Commentary on the David Reimer botched circumcision / gender changed case
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.
Read what the medical profession associations have to say on this issue
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 ..
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.