A 4-year battle saw its conclusion yesterday, when the High Court approved the lawsuit made by a 22-year-old man regarding a mangled circumcision procedure he underwent as a child. The initial litigation was made in mid-July 2018.
Charges were filed against the government and four other defendants, namely Kuala Lipis Hospital’s medical officer and director, as well as the specialist and director of Selayang Hospital.
The funds can be broken down into special damages worth RM108,356, general damages of RM2 million, aggravated damages of RM500,000 and exemplary damages totalling RM500,000.
The Court also prompted the defendants to fork out additional funds for the wronged adolescent, which added up to around RM100,000.
Judge Akhtar Tahir deemed that the monetary penalties were fit due to the general negligence displayed by the defendants. Lawyer Zainuddin Abu Bakar and federal counsel Saravanan Kuppusamy were also present, to represent the youth and defendants respectively during the virtual proceeding.
The trial, which began in September 2020, had a total of eight witnesses, five of which spoke for the defence.
The victim’s mother also stated that the imprecise procedure had left her son with the entire head of his penis cleaved off, leaving him with lifelong physical afflictions and a hushed personality. The disservice took place twelve years ago, when the plaintiff was around 10 years old.
Originally, as per the requests of the five defendants, the lawsuit was dismissed by the High Court on Feb 20, 2019. The matter was appealed, and the suit was restituted for trial a year later.
Similar cases have occurred throughout the nation.
A notable case took place in December 2016, whereby a 10-year-old boy faced excessive bleeding following a mangled laser-based circumcision in Taman Cheras Utama. His glans penis failed to be reattached after undergoing three separate surgeries.
The Health Ministry threatened stringent action to be taken upon negligent practitioners performing circumcisions improperly, or without adequate training.
Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the Director-General of Health, released a statement in 2016, saying, “Although this is a minor procedure, the complications can be severe and devastating for the patient.”
He also confirmed that the Medical Practice Division will take on the responsibility of investigating these cases to prevent other mishaps of the same kind.