Baby dies after parents circumcise him at home

Police investigating after five-month-old boy suffers cardiac arrest

Chiara Giordano
Monday 25 March 2019 17:15
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Baby dies after parents circumcise him at home

A baby has died after his parents attempted to circumcise him at their home in Italy.

The five-month-old child suffered a cardiac arrest on Friday afternoon following the procedure in the town of Scandiano, in Reggio Emilia.

He was flown to Sant’Orsola Hospital in Bologna by helicopter but died that night.

The prosecutor’s office in the northern province of Reggio Emilia has opened a manslaughter investigation, ANSA news agency in Italy reports.

A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out to determine the infant’s cause of death.

The baby, who has not been named, was born to parents of Ghanaian origin.

The infant’s death comes after a botched home circumcision of a two-year-old boy who died of severe blood loss in December on the outskirts of Rome.

In that case, his twin brother also nearly died but survived following intensive care treatment.

Alessio Mammi, the mayor of Scandiano, said he hoped those responsible for the five-month-old’s death would pay “severely” under the law.

He told The Telegraph: “It is worrying that there are still individuals who practice these rituals of such a very ancient character to risk the lives of such small children.”

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It is believed about 35 per cent of circumcisions in Italy take place in people’s homes.

Circumcision is not practised among Italy’s Roman Catholic majority.

However some in Italy practice circumcision for cultural and religious reasons, but sometimes have trouble accessing the practice in hospitals.

For some parents the hospital costs are too high, but doctors in some Italian hospitals also refuse to perform circumcisions until the boys have reached the age of four or even older.

Foad Aodi, the founder of the association of foreign doctors in Italy (AMSI), has appealed to health authorities to allow circumcisions at affordable prices and to lower the age of access to help avoid people turning to other methods such as home circumcisions.

He has previously said having the procedure done privately can cost between €2,000 (£1,798) and €4,000 (£3,596).

According to ANSA, Yassine Lafram, the head of Bologna’s Islamic community, condemned the practice of subjecting children to illegal circumcisions on Monday.

He said the five-month-old boy’s death could have been avoided and “pains us deeply”.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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