Now for a downer; sorry.

Heather Hironimus has been forced (by a threat of prison) to sign the permission slip for her four-year-old son to get his penis snipped against his will.

With handcuffs on her wrists and tears rolling down her cheeks, Heather Hironimus looked up to the courtroom ceiling, briefly clasped her hands together in prayer, and finally picked up her attorney’s pen.

The 31-year-old West Boynton [mother] — jailed since May 14 for defying a judge’s custody order and refusing to let her 4 1/2-year-old son be circumcised — gave her consent to the procedure wanted by the boy’s [father], Dennis Nebus, of Boca Raton.

Because of the boy’s age, the snipping requires general anesthesia – which is itself risky.

What a horrific thing to do.


  1. says

    I don’t get it. In civilized places, consent given under duress isn’t valid. If parental consent is required to perform the procedure, it follows that the doctors could and should refuse it on that ground. But I am very obviuosly not a lawyer.

  2. brett says

    The whole thing is pretty vile. I think it mentioned in the article that the original surgeons backed off once it picked up notice in the news – maybe they won’t be able to find a doctor willing to do it, although I suspect they will.

    More generally, involuntary circumcision on a child is an abominable practice. It’s irreversible and has no medical benefit until they’re in adulthood (and even that’s disputed).

  3. brett says

    Okay, to clarify-

    No medical benefits until adolescence, at which point it can be an issue at times because of phimosis. But for a four-year-old? Nothing.

  4. Kaelik says

    Her consent when she signed the original agreement to do that was allegedly not under duress. I personally don’t know the circumstances.

    However, having worked in the family Court system for 8 months longer than I ever wanted to, I can say that the Court absolutely has to be able to compel parents to consent to things, because there are a number of organizations which refuse to respond to court orders directing X, and then, there are all the billions of times when parents have already agreed to something in a complex agreement that resolved hundreds of issues (Their Final Judgment of Divorce) and then tried to back out of one small part of it by not signing the forms.

    Finally, even though circumcision is a stupid bullshit thing that only idiots do, what is actually happening is she is being compelled to authorize a medical procedure for her son. I wish the Court did a hell of a lot more locking people in jail for refusing to sign medical authorizations for needed medical procedures. The problem here is 1000000% that circumcision is treated like a medical procedure instead of a crazy psycho mutilation, and approximately .003% that she is being forced to sign papers by Court Order.

  5. corporal klinger says

    Let’s see if I get this – letting your children die because you believe in faith healing is ok because religion…. not consenting to unnecessary surgery on a 4 yr old is a crime?
    I want to leave this planet.

  6. Sili says

    maybe they won’t be able to find a doctor willing to do it


  7. sacharissa says

    I was once told by a doctor that she wouldn’t operate on me because the symptoms that I was experiencing were not serious enough to justify the risk of the general anaesthetic. There was nothing about my health that would make the anaesthetic especially risky.

    This kid has no symptoms whatsoever but apparently the risk is no big deal.

  8. Seeker2 says

    @Kaelik; I agree with you. How can it be that parents are found not guilty of killing their children when they withhold medical treatment for diabetes, pneumonia, cancer and other needed medical care, yet this woman is being compelled against her will to consent to completely unnecessary surgical mutilation on her 4.5-year-old? How is this not a crime against the body of the child? Why not set up a medical fund, so when the child reaches the age of legal maturity, if he wants to be circumcised, then he can seek it himself?

  9. Kaelik says


    Long story short, because she signed an agreement ahead of time. It is a lot harder to argue something is your sincerely held religious belief when you apparently didn’t consider it that big a deal a year ago.

    As for the rest: because religious people by definition believe crazy shit, so at least in America, we are really bad at figuring out what crazy shit deserves protection and what doesn’t. And so elective genital mutilation and depriving your kids of life saving treatments are important religious beliefs (and apparently actions) that the Supreme Court has decided need to be protected.

  10. resident_alien says

    And when that poor boy grows up and refuses to have anything to do with the worthless fucker who spawned him because the arsehole had him mutilated and threatened to throw his mother in prison, MRAs the blogosphere over will whine about “Parental Alienation Syndrome” while decrying feminists’ indifference to male genital mutilation.
    Anybody betting against this?

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