Home circumcision of 4-year-old ends in conviction
Friday, October 16, 2009 | CBC News
A Vancouver-area father has been found guilty of negligence causing bodily harm after botching a home-circumcision attempt on his four-year-old son as part of a spiritual quest to make things right with God.
The bizarre case centred on a battle over the religious freedoms of the former Jehovah's Witness, who was trying to follow a literal interpretation of the Bible after a series of misfortunes hit his family.
During the trial, the B.C. Supreme Court heard that after a bad motorcycle accident in 2002 left both the man and his wife with brain injuries, he began the religious quest that eventually led him to believe that both he and son needed to be circumcised to celebrate Passover.
I'll spare you the graphic details of the attempt as you can view them in the original piece should you be so inclined.
Religious freedom argued
In court, the man's lawyer, Douglas Christie, argued the man's desire to fulfil his religious duty negated any criminal intent.
And in her ruling issued on Wednesday, Judge Marion Allan found the man not guilty on charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon, saying the man did not seriously harm the boy and the razor blade was not used as a weapon.
But the judge also ruled the child could not have consented to the operation and the father should have known he needed a trained professional to perform it — especially given his own first-hand experience — and found him guilty of negligence causing bodily harm.
"Indeed his motivations could be characterized as selfish or even deluded insofar as he believed that he was unable to live in his home at Passover with any uncircumcised male, including his four-year-old son," wrote the judge in her ruling.
The man's lawyer is reportedly considering an appeal on constitutional grounds, and a sentence has yet to be handed down.
Freakin' amazing . . . .
(Cross-posted from Moved to Vancouver)